Yesterday was an important day for Microsoft with the first Windows 10 event being streamed worldwide (watch it back here). This first event in a series in the run up to its release (expected end of this year) allowed Microsoft to talk openly about the much-anticipated Windows 10 and also show it in action.
We wanted to have a look at a few of the highlights and have picked 10 of the most important:
Windows 10 will be released as a free update for the first year for all users running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 (including Windows Phone 8.1 users). This is incredibly exciting news and a brilliant offer which will only be available for one year after the launch of Windows 10.
In order to avoid everyone running on different version of Windows, once you are running Windows 10, Microsoft will keep it updated for the supported lifetime of the device – delivering new features when they’re ready, which Microsoft have dubbed ‘Windows as a Service’.
People have certainly missed the start menu in Windows 8, so Microsoft have immediately brought it back for Windows 10. They’ve made a few improvements by combining the traditional start menu with the modernised tiles for quick-access to your favourites – all in the recognisable start menu environment.
It was revealed that the Windows 10 Insider Programme has over 1.7 million people participating to help give 800,000 pieces of feedback into the technical preview- showing Microsoft’s commitment to listen to want people want. As Satya Nadella said "We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows."
Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant software will be integrated into the desktop (on the task bar) in a bid to speed up working efficiency. Cortana will be able to offer suggestions and notifications, search documents, schedule tasks and much more – via either voice or text commands.
Microsoft are calling it ‘the next generation browser’ and the features that have been shown, include: annotating onto web pages directly to share, simplified reading view (that formats pages like a book), article downloads for offline reading, and Cortana integration. Watch this space though as the codename is likely to change before the release – which also hasn’t been confirmed yet.
A key aim for Microsoft was ensuring the fluidity of Windows 10 across all devices – allowing users to switch from PC, to tablet to mobile seamlessly. Now all of its apps for Windows 10 will be ‘universal’ – working across all devices but with customised display for the various screen sizes and allowing seamless syncing between devices.
In line with optimising the user experience across devices, Microsoft have also created ‘Continuum Mode’ for Windows 10. This is used with 2 in 1 devices and detects when you switch from laptop mode with a mouse and keyboard, to tablet mode with touchscreen needs and automatically switches the device to run the suitable mode.
Microsoft announced universal Office apps will be preinstalled across Windows 10 phones and small tablets (less than 8 inches). The desktop Office 16 has been rumoured to be released in Q2 this year.
A surprising finish saw Microsoft introduce two new devices. The Surface Hub is a massive 84-inch touchscreen TV aimed at business collaboration, with cameras, speakers, microphone and the touchscreen to allow workers to draw on the screen during meetings and video conferencing. Meanwhile the HoloLens is one of the most talked about aspect from the event- as Microsoft’s first venture in augmented reality – click here for more info.
It’s a very exciting time for Microsoft and the Windows 10 release shows their new direction and focus: not only making Windows highly productive and important, but also making it enjoyable and innovative. We’re looking forward to hearing more about it as the release gets closer and will be writing more on this.
In the meantime, if your business wants to prepare for the free Windows 10 upgrade or you would like to discuss how Microsoft technologies can help your business, please contact us.