Why Windows 10 Blew Our Minds!
Microsoft came into this mornings event with a lot of expectations put on it by the media. Statements that this could be the end for Windows if Microsoft did not deliver where being thrown around by some of the tabloid tech reporters. Well after a marathon two and half hour event i have to say that Microsoft definitely came out swinging punches. There was definitely enough in what was shown to rebut the statements that Windows was dead. As a person that has been bringing more Apple devices (iMac, two iPad’s, iPad mini and an iPod) into my daily usage i am actually excited about what was shown this morning up on the Redmond campus. I will be eagerly waiting for the beta release of Windows 10 to install it onto my PC and phone to put the new OS through its paces.
So what was it that has got that excitement back in the Windows platform for me,
Windows is free: People have been calling out for this to compete against Apple and Microsoft have sort of delivered on this. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users for the 1st year ( there is the catch we don’t know pricing post the first year). As part of the new Windows 10 plan, Microsoft will keep your operating system up to date. From what we know at the moment this seems to all of nothing approach, if you upgrade to Windows 10 then Microsoft will keep your OS up to date even if you don’t want them too. We are still short on details here but this is what we have managed to work out so far.
Return of the start Menu: From what i have read and heard this is one of the biggest complaints from business users and consumers. A blended version of the traditional start menu alongside live tile integration will be what Microsoft is releasing as the new start menu. It actually looks and feels like the old start menu , just with tiles added in. Users will feel right at home. They have also addressed the confusion when moving from a Desktop PC to a Tablet with dynamic modes being introduced which will be called Continuum. It will detect you moving from a table device to mouse and keyboard and adjust the layout to fix the purpose.
Consistent Experience across devices: Microsoft promised this and they are on the way to delivering it. One consistent experience across all devices. It bring a unified experience across phone, tablet and PC. The killer thing about having one experience across all of these devices is that we finally start to experience universal apps ( which Microsoft promised over 2 years ago). Microsoft demoed various apps have the same look and feel across all platforms all coming from the same code base. This will be huge for developers as there apps can now reach a much bigger audience.
Cortana Integration: She was in Halo, your phone and now she is on your desktop. After a rather cheesy opening to Cortana ( it was way to rehearsed) we got see Cortana as a personal assistant on your desktop, crating emails, appointments, calendar management etc. If you have seen Cortana on Windows Phone then this is that on steroids. I do wonder what the likes of Dragon Dictate are thinking right now this was there area?
Project Spartan: This one was leaked a few weeks ago but we got our first official look at Project Spartan, this is an answer to Google’s Chrome browser which is lean and mean and super fast. Besides a new look, feel and tight integration into cloud services you also get the ability to take notes using “Note taking mode” which allows you to use a stylus to take notes on a web page and save it into OneNote. Overall we will have to wait and see but lets hope it has lost the baggage of IE.
Xbox on Windows 10: Something that i think we all have been wanting is the ability to have the Xbox app on a PC. Well we now have that, the Xbox app brings together Xbox One features into you desktop ( people, achievements etc). But more importantly you will be able to stream games from Xbox One onto your PC ( similar to what Sony are proposing to with the Vita). The cool thing that they showed off was the ability to playing a game like Forza on your PC against a friend on his Xbox. This is super cool as you get the two platforms working together within the one space.
Holograms: That is not a typo, Microsoft is introducing the ability to create and interact with Holograms. This can be done via new set of software components and Microsoft’s new HoloLens Goggles. Yes HoloLens Goggles, the demo they showed off was truly mind blowing, this is something a lot of us wished we had (Star wars people) to be able to interact with every day objects with an augmented reality. I cant actually write to much more as you will think i am making things up so please watch the video below and it will blow your mind.
Overall Microsoft answered a lot of questions but created a lot more. You could see the excitement coming across , but now we wait until we get out hands on the Beta Windows Client bits next week with the Windows Phone bit coming out the week after that ( we will re-watch the presentation to confirm these timelines).
Here is also a brief outline of what is coming in Windows 10
Enjoy and welcome back Microsoft, it looks like you can innovate.
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