23 January 2015

Get ready for the Windows 10 experience, across all devices

Microsoft unveiled a new generation of Windows on Wednesday US time, one that is more personal, the company said. 

Source: Microsoft. The Windows Start screen on different devices will look similar.

Windows 10 will adapt to the devices customers are using — from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and other gadgets — and what they’re doing with a consistent, familiar and compatible experience. Windows 10 will also run across a broad set of devices.

“Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

“Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Window 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”

The company is focusing on making the experience seamless and familiar across devices, and supporting the way people interact naturally, through voice, gestures and gaze. 

Windows 10 will be delivered as a service to offer a safer, always updated experience for the supported lifetime of the device. A free upgrade* for 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.

Some of the new developments include: 

Cortana on the PC and the tablet. The Cortana personal digital assistant, which debuted on Windows Phone last year, will also be available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets**. Cortana learns an individual’s preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders. Interaction is via talking or typing, with advanced features to control Cortana for more trustworthiness and transparency.

A new browser. 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 by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and easily share the notes with friends; a reading view that displays the content in a simplified layout for a great reading experience online and offline; and the integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster. 

Office for Windows 10. Universal apps for Office on Windows 10 will deliver a touch-first experience across devices. New versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook are designed from the ground up to run on Windows, built for touch, and offer the Office experience users are familiar with. New inking features in PowerPoint let people annotate slides in real time, and 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 and Microsoft will share more in coming months.

Additional Windows 10 features include:

· 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  switches to the new mode.

· New universal apps. Windows 10 will offer 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 looks and feels the same from app to app and device to device. Content is stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling people to start something on one device and continue it on another.

“Everything about Windows 10 — the experiences, delivering it as a service and the free upgrade — means that Windows 10 isn’t just another product, it’s an ongoing relationship — one that will give ongoing value to all our customers,” said Terry Myerson, Executive VP of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “The new generation of Windows is a commitment — a commitment to liberate people from complex technology and enable them to do great things.”

Two new devices designed to extend the Windows experience from large screens to no screens were also launched at the same time.

Source: Microsoft. The HoloLens in action.

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 HoloLens, 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) that understands what you are doing and the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real time.

Windows 10 is also 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 deliver a new experience designed to make every person — whether remote or onsite — feel as if they’re in the same collaborative space. Specifically, 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 a laptop, tablet or phone; and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. It is available in two sizes — 55" and 84".

Read the blog post here.

*Hardware and software requirements apply. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details here.

**Cortana available in select global markets at launch.