Microsoft on Tuesday gave its first detailed look at the next major update to Windows, which it has decided to call Windows 10.

The software, expected to be released in final form next year, is designed to run across the broadest array of devices, with screens ranging from four inches to 80 inches, with some devices having no screens at all.

"Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever," Windows chief Terry Myerson said at a briefing with reporters in San Francisco. "It wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9."

Visually, Windows 10 resembles Windows 7 as much as Windows 8. Many of Windows 8's user interface features are still present, but they are tucked into a more traditional Windows interface.

It's a critical launch for Microsoft, which has seen exceptionally slow business take-up for Windows 8 during its two years on the market.

While Microsoft is previewing the code now it will be some time before the company reveals other details, such as exact timing and pricing. The company made its business pitch on Tuesday, with additional events expected in the coming months to tout features for other audiences, including consumers.