Holo-Windows!

Microsoft takes a new approach to the OS game.win10logo

  • Microsoft made new announcements regarding its new operating system Windows 10 at a presentation earlier this month at its corporate headquarters in Washington.

This is a very early entrant for my list of big tech innovations for 2015 and I am honestly pretty excited to see Windows 10 later this year.

  • Starting with the rolling back of the aggressive changes to the look and feel of the operating system we saw in Windows 8, Microsoft showed off the revamped start menu which looked more like the old interface that was a hybrid between the Windows 7 and Windows 8.x offerings.
  • The next big deal was that the next upgrade will be free for existing users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 for one year from the release date expected to be later this year. This move has been speculated to have something to do with the shift to selling services that bundle with software and operating systems similar to the likes of Apple and Google.
  • Cortana, the digital assistant will feature as a part of the desktop version of Windows previously only seen on phones and tablets. Office for Windows 10 was also announced. Designed to work as well on phones, tablets and computers alike. This is most likely where Microsoft will be generating its ongoing revenue as the successful Office 365 has been up until now.
  • A universal app store has been promised allowing users to browse the same place to get applications regardless of what device is being used.
  • Internet Explorer is out, Spartan is in. An all new web browsing engine designed from the ground up will feature annotation allowing users to make notes on webpages and share them with collaborators via One Drive, a new “reading mode” designed to remove clutter to allow the user to focus on the actual content with less distraction and the ability to create and synchronize reading lists between devices similar to what is being done with other browsers such as Google’s Chrome.
  • One Drive to support music libraries making the service more attractive to people looking to fill the 1TB of storage that comes with their Office 365 subscription.
  • XBoxOne will be able to stream games to Windows 10 desktops allowing you to play your XBoxOne games on your PC or tablet. This will let you play games previously only available on your console on other platforms most notably on your Microsoft surface bringing real promise for some interesting options. Secondary to this the XboxOne is going to be running Windows 10 as a part of getting the one Windows experience across all of the Microsoft devices. This has the potential to meet the gaming threat of the SteamBox head on while making the Playstation 4 look a little less capable as an all-round entertainment center.
  • A BIG hardware announcement, an 84 inch Surface device called the Surface Hub designed to act as a smart whiteboard with all the usual features including touch-input and pen-based input. This will allow notes and drawings to be emailed after work has been done.
  • The feature that caused the most interest however was the announcement of the Microsoft Holographic engine, a suite of programming tools that will be built into Windows 10. This will allow developers to create software that is completely capable of conceptualizing and rendering 3D objects natively in the system. This means faster and more flexible of 3D design right down to printing these 3D designs directly to 3D printers. To demonstrate it, Microsoft revealed hardware dubbed the HoloLens an Augmented Reality device that recognizes your environment and superimposes video on the surfaces around you. This could be something as simple as a virtual video display on a wall to life-size 3D design schematics and even the ability to play one of Microsoft’s recent acquisitions, Minecraft using the surfaces and space around you. Part of the demonstration even put wearers on the surface of Mars using data from NASA’s Mars Rover Program.
  • This announcement puts Microsoft back on the map when it comes to innovation and will be providing the tech industry plenty to look forward to late this year when we can expect to see Windows 10 make retail release.