Big day for Windows 10
Today Microsoft showed off many of the new features of their new operating system Windows 10. The biggest news from the announcement is that for the first year it will be a free upgrade for anyone with Windows 7 or 8. It will be released on laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile devices, Xbox One, and presentation boards in mid to late 2015. Microsoft’s vision for a single operating system across all devices is brilliant and very ambitious. It benefits the consumer in that all their technology has a similar feel, UI, and files and setting sync across all devices. For developers, it is also great to be able to write an app in Microsoft Universal App tool and it will be usable on all devices.
Windows 10 Announcement for PC:
With many desktops and laptops having touch capability, Windows 10 promises to make the most of both the keyboard and mouse and touch with Continuum mode. Continuum switches between two different interfaces depending on how you are using the device. For example, if you are on a surface or convertible laptop while using mouse and keyboard it stays in traditional desktop mode, but when you remove the keyboard and begin to touch you get prompted to move into touch mode. Touch mode expands the size of buttons and the start menu to make using it in touch more intuitive.
Cortana the voice personal assistant that was introduced on Windows Phone will now join the desktop version of the OS. Adding Cortana is great for PC users who hope to dictate or control their PC just from voice commands. Cortana will reside on the taskbar and be able to search your PC with voice commands like, “find photos from December.” She can also set reminders, dictate emails, and give you weather forecasts. For the ultimate multitasker this makes working on many things at once even easier when you can be dictating emails while working on a spreadsheet.
One of the biggest problems with Windows 8 was the fragmented settings. There was the traditional control panel and the Windows 8 Settings app. Now they have combined these into a single place for all settings on the PC.
A notification center has also been added to Windows 10. This notification center will allow you to interact with apps directly through the notification center. It also features settings toggles to be able to turn on and off wifi, Bluetooth, and airplane mode, easily and quickly.
Announcements for Windows 10 on Phones:
The Windows Phone live tile interface has not changed much at all with Windows 10. The biggest reveal for Windows Phone was the universal apps. Windows 10 for Phones will feature, Outlook, Calendar, Word, Excel, PowerPoint that are almost identical their desktop counterparts. They have the same menu and the phone version even features the same ribbon of options found in the entire office suite but in a touch form. This makes going from the desktop to a phone seamless as the apps look almost identical.
The action center has been redesigned to allow for more controls. Instead of just 5 toggles they have added a full control panel similar to iPhone and Droid. They have also updated the notification center to be able to reply to texts and emails through the notification center itself. This notification center is almost identical to the one found on the desktop.
They also showed a better texting experience with the ability to use the keyboard on one side of the phone screen for better one handed use, and the ability to move from an SMS message to skype message. Microsoft will most likely be using Skype integration as a FaceTime and iMessage competitor.
Announcements for Surface Hub:
Microsoft also introduced the Surface Hub, an 84-inch 4K display with support for multi-touch and multi pen inputs. It has a wide array of sensors, multi-cameras, and it is completely built on Windows 10. This device appears to be the ideal device for a conference room. The demo included a preview of Skype for Business meeting and demonstrated using OneNote on a much larger scale screen. Documents from other devices can be easily cast into the meeting for screen sharing. Their goal was to eliminate the pre meeting planning of how things will be presented, where are the documents, etc.
Announcements for Holograms???
Microsoft came out of left field with this announcement. They have created an augmented reality headset, called the HoloLens, that creates holograms in your real world that you can interact with. Anywhere you look can become a screen where you can open applications, have Skype calls, create objects in 3D space, and play games that interact with your surroundings. You can interact with your environment with voice, touch and just with a glance.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella promises “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows and loving Windows. That is our bold goal with Windows.”