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10 Out of 8.1 and 7 and Phone

23rd January 2015

On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a new generation of Windows, with a free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 available to customers running Windows, who upgrade in the first year.

Most analysts believe the company is making a bold bid to encourage both personal - and more importantly, business users, to finally give-up on Windows XP and move into the 'modern', feature-rich world of fully supported (particularly from a security point of view) operating system.

10 definitely has a wide range of experiences designed to usher in a new era of more personal computing, as well as two new devices designed to extend the Windows experience from large screens to no screens at all. “Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile first, cloud first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft on the launch. “Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”




In this era, 'mobility matters, not the mobility of the device' is the clarion call for Microsoft and thus everything should work across all devices. Nadella says people should be able to naturally interact with technology as they interact with other people - with voice, gestures and gaze.

On Wednesday, Microsoft showcased a variety of new experiences, including the following:

The Cortana personal digital assistant, which debuted on Windows Phone last year, will now also be available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Cortana is a personal helper who learns an individual’s preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders.

Windows 10 will feature the new Microsoft browser, code-named 'Project Spartan,' which was built with interoperability in mind. Some of the most advanced features in the browser include the ability to annotate whether 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.

Xbox Live and the new Xbox App. Windows 10 lets gamers and developers access the best of the expansive Xbox Live gaming network on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. 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.

Office for Windows 10. New versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook have been built for touch whist retaining the familiar features. New inking features in PowerPoint let people annotate slides in real time and the new touch-first controls in Excel make it easy to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development.

Continuum mode. On 2-in-1 devices, Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard and mouse and touch and tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode.

Windows 10 will offer applications, consistent across devices, for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging and Mail & Calendar. Content can be stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling people to start something on one device and continue it on another.


The internet of things

Windows 10 is said to run across an incredibly broad set of devices - from the tiniest of sensors as part of the internet of things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some devices have 4-inch screens, some have 80-inch screens and some don’t have screens at all.

On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled two devices that will empower customers to interact with computers and software in a different way. As the world’s first holographic computing platform, Windows 10 includes a set of APIs that enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world. A spokesperson said: "With Windows 10, holograms are Windows universal apps, and all Windows universal apps can also work as holograms - making it possible to place three-dimensional holograms in the physical world and enabling new ways to communicate, create and explore that are more personal and human."

To showcase the possibilities of holograms in Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled the most advanced holographic computer in the world. Microsoft HoloLens is the first untethered holographic computer — no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens features see-through holographic high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can view and hear holograms in the world around you. Complete with advanced sensors, a next-generation system on a chip and the addition of a completely new Holographic Processing Unit (HPU), Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real time.


New Microsoft Surface Hub optimises Windows 10 experience for groups

Windows 10 is powering a new large-screen device to help teams in the workplace share, ideate and create together. Hardware innovations in multi-touch and digital inking, along with built-in cameras, sensors and microphones, allow the Surface Hub to take advantage of Windows 10, Skype for Business and Office 365 to allow every person - whether remote or onsite - feel as if they’re in the same collaborative space. Specifically, the Surface Hub features digital white boarding; instant remote conferencing; the ability for multiple people to share and edit content on the screen from a laptop, tablet or phone; and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. It is vailable in two sizes -55-inch and 84-inch.


Pictured: HoloLens

Article written by Cathryn Ellis – published 23rd January 2015


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