Microsoft has finally share new information about Windows 10, the new generation of Windows. Microsoft unveiled its next operating system, Windows 10. The latest event offered a nice look at the features that users can expect with Windows 10 across PCs, smartphones and tablets. Microsoft representatives emphasized and reemphasized that all these features would make for a much smoother experience. Windows 10 ‘skips’ Windows 9 for its name for various reasons, including it being such a big update that it moves beyond just a single number upgrade.
We got our first look at a bunch of features in Windows 10, which comes out next week for people who signed up for the pre-release. As expected, Microsoft made a strong push toward connecting its devices more seamlessly, part of its universal apps program. Office, Outlook, and other apps all work quite similarly across devices, and Cortana is everywhere, working as a natural-language interface and personal assistant. The big surprise, however, was Microsoft’s foray into virtual reality, with its Holo-Lens glasses, an ambitious bid to create a system for overlaying holographic images over the real world.
We managed to extract some 10 New and Amazing features of Windows 10.
1- Delivering Windows as a Service and a Free Upgrade to Windows 10
The new windows will be available as a free upgrade. Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch.
Revealing this amazing offer Microsoft said:
This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We’ll deliver new features when they’re ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.
It’s fair to assume that there might be some hardware limitations involved with running Windows 10 on devices that currently run Windows 7. However, Microsoft has not revealed any specifics as to how the company intends to make this work. Nevertheless, a simple upgrade could be seen as a nice and easy way for Windows users to port to the next version without having to incur costs or deal with different variants.
2- Cortana comes to PC and tablet, for the first time with Windows 10.
Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, (Microsoft’s Siri or Google Now) learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Cortana has been tailored to suit PC interactions. That’s right, assistant Cortana has finally been promoted from Windows Phones to desktop. Long available on mobile, Cortana will now live next to the start button on the task bar and serve as a natural-language interface for Windows 10. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing, with advanced features to control Cortana for more trustworthiness and transparency.
Cortana will show web links and other suggestions — if you type Skype, for example, it or link to the store if you haven’t installed it already. Cortana will also be integrated into the new Maps app, reminding you where you parked your car. It will also be proactive, popping up notifications it thinks you’ll be interested in — tracking flights, stocks, sports, and other it’s either learned or you’ve entered manually into its notebook.
3- Windows 10 for phones and tablets
Joe Belfiore today demonstrated the new experience tailored specifically for phones and tablets with screens of 8 inches and smaller. The most immediate change is a shift of the background image to sit behind the UI tiles, making for a much tidier and more attractive interface. Windows 8 was a desktop / tablet compromise, but Windows 10 is going even further: it’s for phones, too. There’s a build of it tailored to devices smaller than 8 inches, which reorganizes the interface to look a lot more like the old Windows Phone operating system. True to Microsoft’s unified vision, notifications will sync between PC and phone, and Microsoft-owned service Skype will integrate into the messaging app. Windows 10 for phones and small tablets features a fast, fluid and familiar experience that seamlessly interacts with your PC.
Microsoft is bringing back the messaging switching capabilities it used to have in Windows Phone, so that you can swap between talking to people over SMS, Skype, and other apps. Skype is the only chat app to have this level of deep integration so far, but Belfiore has repeatedly noted that this is still an early build of the software and bringing in others like Facebook and WhatsApp will surely be high on Microsoft’s list of priorities. The first build of Windows 10 for phones will be made available to members of the Windows Insider Program soon.
4- A new web experience for Windows 10
The next generation browser, Code-named “Project Spartan” built with greater interoperability, reliability and discoverability, with a new look and feel built just for Windows 10. Advanced features include the ability to annotate by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and easily share with friends, a reading view that is distraction free, displaying the article in a simplified layout for a great reading experience for Web articles online and offline, and the integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster.
Windows is replacing the much-maligned Internet Explorer with this browser, designed for Windows 10. It’s a cleaner browser with a lot of shiny new features and integration with other Microsoft services. There’s a “note-taking mode” that lets you draw all over pages with a stylus or add comments with a keyboard, then save the results on OneNote. A clean “reading mode” does what you might expect: it formats a page like a book and adds a syncable reading list that’s basically “Pocket for Microsoft” or Safari’s page-saving feature. And like just about everything else Microsoft announced today, Spartan has Cortana built into it, contextually recognizing information like restaurants or plane flights and offering extra information.
5- Office universal apps on Windows 10
This new version of Windows offer a consistent, touch-first experience across phone, tablet and PC with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows, you can easily create and edit Word documents, annotate slides in real-time with new inking features or easily present PowerPoint presentations, and with new touch-first controls in Excel you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development, more on this in the coming months.
Microsoft demonstrated its vision for getting all its Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones to work well together. First up was the unified Office, the phone and tablet versions of which look very similar to the desktop one. Most of the same formatting options are there, and the recent documents list syncs between devices, so you can collaborate on documents on the go. Microsoft ran a Powerpoint presentation from a phone and said you could wirelessly print documents from mobile as well. Other then that New universal applications will ship with Windows 10, offering
innovative new experience applications, consistent across the device continuum, for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging, and Mail & Calendar. These built-in apps have an updated design that look and feel the same from app to app and device to device. Content is stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling you to start something on one device and continue it on another.
6- Xbox Live and the new Xbox App bring new game experiences to Windows 10.
Millions of people use Windows every day, and they spend countless hours playing all kinds of games – from World of Warcraft and League of Legends to Minecraft and Minesweeper – on a variety of devices, whether they are PCs, laptops, tablets, or phones. Xbox on Windows 10 let gamers access the best of the expansive Xbox Live gaming network on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. Players can capture, edit and share their greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability. Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within their home.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox at Microsoft, shared the company’s vision for gaming on Windows 10 and Xbox One.
With Xbox on Windows 10, we’re bringing some of the most exciting features from Xbox Live and some of the most popular Xbox experiences into Windows 10 itself. The built-in Xbox app is the place where your world of gaming comes together. It’s a unified view of the games you care about, your friends, and your gaming activities. And with Xbox Live, more than 50 million members will now connect across screens in new ways.
Now, while Xbox is coming to Windows, Windows 10 is also coming to Xbox One. As you know, Xbox One runs on Windows today for its app environment. Later this year Microsoft will update to Windows 10 to enable seamless interaction with PC gamers and to give developers who want to extend their applications to the television an easy path to do so.
7- Continuum Mode.
Simply you can understand Continuum mode as “2 in 1 device”. Speaking of display, the Continuum feature allows transition from modern UI to desktop UI as users shift from PC to touchscreen devices. Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard/mouse and touch/tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode. This new feature called Continuum, in fact, is designed specifically for convertible devices, switching almost instantly from a mouse and keyboard to a tablet screen. It obviously works pretty well on the stage, but so far, we haven’t seen more than early testing builds.
Basically, if you have a device like the Surface Pro 3 that has a keyboard attached, the UI in Windows 10 will work in desktop mode. If the keyboard is detached, or if it flips around to show just the touchscreen, Windows 10 will pop up an alert asking the user to go into tablet mode. If the user clicks “Yes”. the UI switches so that Modern apps that were working in a windowed mode now take up the entire screen.
More importantly, the Start menu can also expand to fill the entire screen, in a way that’s similar to the Start screen in Windows 8 and in Windows Phone. It definitely looks like it will be a solid compromise for users who still want the freedom to use both touchscreen and mouse-keyboard controls.
8- A bigger role for OneDrive
It didn’t get a distinct announcement, but OneDrive was everywhere in Microsoft’s presentation. It formed the backbone of its unified apps, allowing documents to sync across devices. Content is stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling you to start something on one device and continue it on another. A larger role for OneDrive in photos and music: Music, for example, will sync between devices using OneDrive. There weren’t many details, but Joe Belfiore said the feature would be added in “a month or two.”
9- New Windows 10 Devices
Well it’s not enough to deliver great software experiences. Microsoft Windows 10 supports the broadest device family ever – from PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s to phones to Xbox and the Internet of Things. And today, we welcomed two new devices to the Windows 10 family: Microsoft Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens.
The most shockingly ambitious, unexpected, and bizarrely sci-fic announcement of the event was Microsoft’s foray into augmented reality. The Microsoft HoloLens is a see-through visor that overlays holographic imagery over the real world. The video showed architects walking through building renders, plumbers drawing instructions onto faucets remotely, and someone playing Minecraft on tabletops. Also possibly a virtual dog.
Microsoft explained it in this way:
It was a special moment this morning when we were able to share that Windows 10 is the world’s first holographic computing platform – complete with a set of APIs that enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world. With Windows 10, holograms are Windows universal apps and Windows universal apps can work as holograms, making it possible to place three-dimensional holograms in the world around you to communicate, create and explore in a manner that is far more personal and human.
Showcasing the possibilities of holograms in Windows 10, Microsoft HoloLens is the world’s first untethered holographic computer – no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to view holograms in high definition and hear them in surround sound, even if they are behind you. And with advanced sensors, Microsoft HoloLens can see what you are looking at and understand what you are communicating with your hands and voice. By putting you at the center of the Windows 10 computing experience, Microsoft HoloLens allows you to create, access information, enjoy entertainment, and communicate in new and exciting ways.
Overall, HoloLens is Microsoft at its most ambitious. It’s a big bet on the future of computing, the future of Windows, and ultimately the future of Microsoft itself. While the company is struggling at mobile, it wants to catch the next wave of computing and lead.
10- Microsoft Surface Hub
Microsoft showed off its Surface Hub, a new large screen multitouch device that runs Windows 10, and now you can watch it in action. Born out of Microsoft’s 2012 acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, the Surface Hub is essentially a big TV (available in either 55-inch or 84-inch 4K variations) that accepts touch or pen input designed for the way teams in the workplace naturally interact and come together. Microsoft Surface Hub Unlocks the Power of Group Computing.
Custom versions of Skype for Business and OneNote are integrated into the Windows 10 shell to take full advantage of the built in cameras, sensors and mics, as well as the new screen that was built from the ground up for ink and touch. The Surface Hub features state of the art digital white boarding, instant remote conferencing, the ability for multiple people to share and edit content on the screen from any device, and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. Available in two sizes – 55” and 84” – the Surface Hub removes the current limitations of traditional conference room scenarios to empower teams to create their best work together.
This giant screen device run Office 365, and thanks to dual cameras, can run Skype for business. Microsoft still isn’t saying how much it will cost, but since the company is targeting businesses, it probably won’t be cheap.
Microsoft has left us with some big things to think about. It’s trying to safely move away from the failures of Windows 8 and Windows Phone, revamping the former and taking a new tack on the latter. But it’s also introduced some wild, futuristic, and much more risky concepts. An 84-inch work tablet? A holographic headset? They’re the kind of thing that could end up helping define computing as we know it. Windows 10 will forge a new relationship between Microsoft and their consumers, developers and enterprises. Today was an important next chapter of Windows 10 story.
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