Microsoft has not simply changed at the helm, its operating system is evolving greatly. During its presentation today, the company demonstrated its big step yet into the future of PCs and devices with Windows 10 and many of its features, including the videoconferencing device Surface Hub, the official reveal of the web browser codenamed “Project Spartan,” and the augmented reality device known as Windows HoloLens, among others.
Windows 10: Free upgrade during the first year of release for current users of Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x. This strategy by Microsoft will make users jump straight to Windows 10 without the need to buy the OS, and make users adapt quicker and efficiently to W10. It’s the biggest change for the company about the way it releases a new OS.
Windows 10 Apps: The Microsoft universal apps for Windows 10 (Calendar, Outlook, Excel, Word, and others) will work in sync thanks to OneDrive when used with PCs and other devices. The upcoming versions of the apps look easy to use.
Microsoft HoloLens (Part of the Windows Holographic platform): It’s Microsoft’s way to go beyond virtual reality, to take apps out of the PC screen, and do work in a simpler way. With HoloLens, the company enters the field of virtual and augmented reality, where Google and Oculus Rift are the well-known players. It will work without a PC or smartphone, and features its own built-in CPU / GPU / HPU (hollographinc processing unit), spatial sounds (sounds you hear around you), advanced sensors (capturing info). “The HPU gives us the ability to understand where you’re looking, to understand your gestures, to understand your voice, to spatially map your environment, to run without wires … all in real-time.”
Surface Hub: It’s the future of videoconferencing according to Microsoft. Specifically designed for the workplace, “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.”
Cortana coming to Windows 10: A new information companion sure to compete with Apple’s Siri. The personal assistant is one essential part of the W10 ecosystem.
Project Spartan: Microsoft’s upcoming next-generation lightweight browser, the likes of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Fable Legends: On Xbox One and Windows 10. Finally, Xbox One gamers will be able to play titles with others who own the Windows 10 version.
Integration of Windows 10 into Xbox One: More info will be revealed during this year’s Game Developers Conference. We may not be seeing Office apps in Xbox One, but it is still cool to know apps on Windows 10 PCs will work on Xbox One. Also, the streaming of Xbox One games into Windows 10 should attract gamers.
Xbox One features in Windows 10: “We’ll treat gaming on Windows 10 with the same passion as we’ve put into the Xbox console,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. The Xbox One’s Game DVR feature will give players the ability to record games on Steam, Xbox Live, or other services. Game streaming will let people play games on their PCs; Xbox One accessories will work with your PC as well.
With the same operating system for PCs, tablets, smartphones, and Xbox One, Microsoft is opening an easier door to app development, seamless services for users, and an exciting look into the future of augmented reality for various uses. The future looks fantastic for Microsoft.