To say that we're excited for Windows 10 would be an understatement. With Microsoft accidentally gimping Windows 7 with a faulty update this week and Windows 8.1 continuing to be a lovable mess, Microsoft's new operating system can't get here soon enough.
New images of Windows 10, part of a pre-consumer build leaked earlier today, show off two of the platform's most anticipated features—Cortana and Xbox. Earlier this month, we saw a video from WinBeta with Cortana in Windows. Although that video did wonders showing off how awesome it will be to have a voice assistant built right into the operating system, the actual design and layout of Cortana was unpolished and pretty crappy looking. Build 9901 gives us a pretty good idea what Cortana will look like once Windows 10 is ready to ship.
As The Verge's Tom Warren points out, Cortana on desktop looks similar to its Windows Phone orientation, which makes sense since one of Windows 10's objectives is to unify Microsoft across all platforms. However, in this build Cortana is only partly functional.
Other sneak peeks include a first look at the Xbox app running on Windows 10 (above) along with updates to the Windows Store, according to WinBeta. Windows expert Paul Thurrott also breaks down this new build with a detailed changelog of everything that is new.
The focus on the consumer side of the OS is probably a preamble to Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 event set for January 21, which was announced on Thursday. Titled "The Next Chapter," the event is rumored to focus specifically on the consumer side of things and have Microsoft's big wigs on hand, including Satya Nadella and Xbox's Phil Spencer. It's also possible that we'll hear more on Windows 10 pricing and when the software will be ready for launch.
As leaks and excitement continue to build, January 21 could become a monumental date in Microsoft history. Whether for good or bad, we'll find out in a little more than a month. [The Verge/Paul Thurrott]
Update: WinBeta posted an in-depth video detailing build 9901. Take a look.