Windows10

Here are the main announcements from today’s Microsoft Windows 10 event.

You can watch the keynote here.

General Introduction:

– For 1 year after the release of Windows 10, you can get a free upgrade if you’re running Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, and even Windows 7!
– Microsoft will continuously upgrade Windows 10 for the life of the device.
– The Start Menu is back, but with Live Tiles. The Task Bar is more streamlined. The Start Menu can also go full screen. An evolution of the current Win 8 Start Screen.
– Updated Action Center coming from the lower-right corner of the tray.
– Continuum Example – Remove your Surface tablet from the keyboard, Windows knows that and asks if you wanna enter tablet mode.
– Cortana Personal Assistant is coming to the PC in Windows 10. Cortana “lives” in the cloud, but in the world of Windows, she lives in the lower-left corner of the desktop. You can speak or type to Cortana as well. Cortana availability in Windows 10 will be a gradual rollout during the previews.

Windows 10 for Mobile:

– The Action Center has new features and is synced up with the PC. You can dismiss single items. Expand the action buttons like on the PC.
– The Settings have changed too, as they did on the PC.
– You can drag the keyboard around the screen if you want.
– Being a Cortana-powered device, you can dictate your message using your voice.
– Microsoft’s speech recognition turns the word “hashtag” into a pound sign “#”.
– IP-based messaging systems (including Skype) can be built into messaging.

Universal Apps:

– Universal apps, like Office, operates the same between desktop and mobile devices.
– You can save your music collection on OneDrive and manage it from any device.
– Project Spartan – A new browser with a new rendering engine. It will debut on the PC and will eventually come to mobile devices.
– Spartan integrates with Cortana and can give you related information to a page you’re viewing. If you don’t know what an ingredient is in a recipe, you can right-click on it and Cortana will give you more information.

XBox:

– Gaming is personal and a social activity.
– Universal XBox app coming to Windows 10.
– DirectX 12 is the graphics subsystem.
– Game DVR clipping now integrated and sharing is easier.
– Unity is joining DirectX 12.
– DirectX 12 cuts power consumption in half.
– Cross-platform play between Windows 10 and XBox.
– You’ll be able to stream any XBox One game to any Windows 10 device later this year.
– Windows 10 is coming to the XBox One.

Release Info:

– Next week a new build of Windows 10 will be released.
– In February, a build will be available for phones.

Windows In The Workplace:

– Surface Hub: An 84-inch 4K display for the workplace. It’s multi-touch. “Multi-pen.” A host of sensors. You can use it as a white board. You can hook up your own device to share your own content.
– Large version of OneNote acts as a digital white board.
– Skype for Business is built-in.
– To end a meeting, go to the Start button and end the meeting with one tap. But, the contents of the meeting are then shared with everyone who was on that call. The Hub is then cleaned out, refreshed for the next meeting.

Windows Holographic:

– New ways to interact with technology from gaming to 3D assistance, architectures walking around designs.
– HoloLens enables holographic computing natively.
– Holographic Processing Unit (HPU).
– HoloStudio is software allowing you to make holograms.

Closing Comments:

– Windows is no longer just an OS, it is a service.
– Nadella: “Windows is the home for the very best Microsoft experiences. We are going to have services everywhere. But with Windows, we are not bolting on apps. We are seamlessly harmonizing our experiences.”
– Even more will be announced at the Microsoft Build Conference in April.

My Thoughts:

I’m excited about the future of Windows with Windows 10. I’ve always been a Windows user and I’ve tried to use Windows Phone but have always found my way back to Android or iPhone (currently the iPhone 6). With the cross-platform abilities of Windows 10, I’m excited to see where the future goes and how well they get developers on-board. Developers and adoption has been the downfall of Windows Phone, but hopefully this will change.

As an XBox One owner, I’m excited about being able to stream my games onto a laptop or tablet and play games without occupying a TV.

I’m hoping to be the proud owner of a Surface Pro sometime this year and I will be looking forward to getting Windows 10 on it.