Just few hours back Microsoft unveiled new features for Windows 10 and I must say all of them are coolest to come from Microsoft, ever. It seems Microsoft’s Windows Insider program has paid in a good way and has helped shape new features of Windows 10. And the high-light of the event was Windows Holgraphic and Microsoft HoloLens. But that’s not all. Apart from HoloLens, Windows 10 has added some more features.
One Windows for all:
By the way, going forward Windows 10 will be the only name and the only version of the Windows. There won’t be Windows 11, 12 anymore nor there will be Windows Phone. Microsoft has unified all of its Windows experiences in one pack. The same Windows will run across the devices with identical interface and experience.
Free Windows for all:
Yup, you heard it right. Windows 10 will come as a free upgrade to all Win 7 and Win 8/8.1 users and all phones running Windows Phone 8.1. And it’ll be totally free. Here’s a catch though. It’ll be free to upgrade in the first year only after its public release, so you will have to apply the update before that. And since there will be only Windows 10 as the version of the Windows, all devices will receive the same level of attention and support that includes future updates.
Unfortunately, there was no mention of Windows RT/RT 8.1 anywhere in the event or other announcements. It looks like Windows RT won’t receive Windows 10 update.
Refreshed interface and Enhanced experience:
Microsoft has focused a lot on this area to provide seamless experience. In Windows 10, Modern UI and regular Desktop mode will co-exist but it’ll boot straight to desktop mode. It also brings back the favorite Start menu but it’s more useful than ever with Cortana.
Windows 10 also packs a new feature called ‘Continuum Mode’ that works on 2-in-1 devices like Surface tablet. Simply speaking, it’ll detect the input type and switch to the optimum mode. Say for example, you’re using a keyboard/mouse with Surface then it’ll switch to the mode that works best with it; otherwise if you’re using it as a tablet it’ll use the mode made for touch input so that you can work with the same level of convenience.
Cortana is now more intelligent and works on PCs and Tablets:
We have already seen Cortana on Windows Phone and dare I say it’s impressive. During yesterday’s event, the new version of Cortana which Microsoft demoed is way more intelligent than what we see on phones right now. It has learned a lot of new tricks and it’s more personalized. I immediately felt that it’s going to leave Google Now and Siri miles behind. In terms of personalization, it’s way ahead of its competition.
And now, Cortana will come to PCs and tablets too. On PCs it’ll be built into the Start menu and you can anyways wake it up just by saying “Hey, Cortana”.
Better Universal Apps:
The exciting part about new Windows I feel is that you can switch devices without pausing what you do. No loss of productivity. All this is achieved by the enhanced version of Microsoft Universal Apps platform. These apps will look same across all your Windows devices and have same functionality. Microsoft used Universal Apps version of its Office productivity suit for the demo. Along with Office all other apps such as Mail, Calendar and Photos will be overhauled and delivered with Windows 10.
Microsoft will also deliver the new version of Office desktop apps later.
There are few more things from yesterday’s event like Surface Hub, Project Spartan – new browser in Windows 10 and Xbox support, which I’ll try to discuss separately.