Windows 10 aims to be core of connected devices (Update 2)

Microsoft executive Terry Myerson describes features being built into coming Windows 10 software at a press event in Redmond, Wa
Microsoft executive Terry Myerson describes features being built into coming Windows 10 software at a press event in Redmond, Washington, on January 21, 2015

Microsoft pulled back the curtain Wednesday on the upcoming Windows 10 operating system focused on bringing harmony to the diverse array of Internet gadgets in people's lives.

As it previewed the new operating system, Microsoft also unexpectedly added to the roster of modern gadgets with the unveiling of headgear that overlays holograms on the real world and lets wearers use their hands to interact with virtual objects.

By allowing users to work seamlessly over devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones, Microsoft hopes Windows 10 will renew its relevance in an age of mobile computing dominated by Apple and Google-backed Android software.

And in order to boost its takeup by the approximately 1.5 billion people around the world who use Windows-powered computers, in a change of policy Microsoft will allow free upgrades.

Microsoft also hopes to lure users with stunning new technology.

Chief executive Satya Nadella touted HoloLens capabilities that will debut with Windows 10 later this year as the next generation of computing.

The US technology titan is also trying to make it more natural to interact with devices, such as conversational-style speaking with the company's virtual assistant Cortana.

"The number of devices is just exploding around us," Microsoft's Terry Myerson said during a presentation to press and analysts at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

"It should be easy to put one device down and pick up another where you left off; technology needs to get out of the way."

HoloLens was touted as an entry to "the world's first holographic computing platform" which enables users to place three-dimensional holograms in the physical world.

"Until now, we've immersed ourselves in the world of technology," Microsoft's Alex Kipman said while introducing HoloLens.

"But, what if we could take technology and immerse it in our world?"

Walking on Mars

Windows Holographic creates three-dimensional images in the real world, then lets people wearing the headgear reach out and manipulate virtual objects.

Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore (L), Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman pose wearing HoloLens eyewear that overlays 3D images on th
Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore (L), Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman pose wearing HoloLens eyewear that overlays 3D images on the real world, at a press event in Redmond, Washington on January 21, 2015

Examples shown during the event ranged from someone getting visual prompts during a routine home plumbing repair to being able to virtually walk on Mars and control a rover lander actually on that planet's surface.

Kipman said he invited virtual reality innovators, including Facebook-owned Oculus VR, to explore adapting different applications for the goggles.

"Holograms can become part of our everyday life," he said.

Nadella called HoloLens and Windows 10 a "mind-blowing" experience that will open a new type of computing.

"Today is a big day for Windows," Nadella said as Microsoft provided a look at its latest operating system at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

"We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows; that is our bold goal for Windows."

Windows 10 is being designed with feedback from millions of "insiders" testing early versions of the operating system, Myerson said.

IE cedes to Spartan

Microsoft is so intent on distancing Windows 10 from its predecessors that it skipped directly from Windows 8, which failed to deliver on its promise as a platform for a variety of devices.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella touts Windows 10 and HoloLens capabilities at a press event in Redmond, Washington on Ja
Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella touts Windows 10 and HoloLens capabilities at a press event in Redmond, Washington on January 21, 2015

The Windows 10 design creates a foundation on which developers can build applications for smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and Xbox One video game consoles, he said.

During the first year after the release of Windows 10, the operating system will be available as a free upgrade for computers running prior generation Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 software.

Microsoft said it will also keep Windows 10 upgraded during the lifetime of devices.

Personalized virtual assistant Cortana, and its touted ability to answer questions conversationally, will be now available on personal computers. Cortana made her debut on Windows-powered mobile devices.

Microsoft also unveiled a new Web browser code-named Spartan, which will have Cortana built in and ready to chime in at presumably helpful moments.

Spartan is poised to be the successor to Internet Explorer.

"Project Spartan is a new browsing experience tuned for being mobile and working across this family of devices," said Microsoft's Joe Belfiore.

Windows 10 is also designed to hook gamers, according to Xbox team leader Phil Spencer.

Along with modifications that allow for more sophisticated play on smartphones, an application for Xbox will let people use Windows 10-powered computers or tablets at home to play games with or against friends using one of the Microsoft consoles, Spencer demonstrated.

"I think there are lots of developers who want to bring their experiences to the Xbox," Spencer said.


Explore further

Microsoft to offer up peek behind curtain of new Windows

© 2015 AFP

Citation: Windows 10 aims to be core of connected devices (Update 2) (2015, January 21) retrieved 21 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-windows-microsoft-powered-devices.html
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User comments

Jan 21, 2015
Just fix the start menu and desktop to make it like Windows 7. Microsoft needs to realize that desktop PCs are not used the same way as we use tiny little tablets and phones. Windows 8 is a disaster with its ugly and counter-intuitive UI changes, and I am skeptical that they will fix it in Windows 10.

Jan 21, 2015
When Service Pack 3 is expected to be released?

Jan 21, 2015
Free upgrade the first year it's out for users of Windows 7 and 8.1. Interesting. Someone is finally figuring out that it is an operating system, not an application. Operating systems should be unintrusive and not be a concern for the end user. Since the operating system determines the programming of applications, let the application developers pay for the operating system through the SDK license and leave the end user out of it.

Jan 22, 2015
Unless the boffins at M$oft have had a major breakthrough: "HOLOGRAPHIC" is an invitation to a lawsuit if you buy into their stereoscopic eyewear.
Their concept video actually has the nerve to portray their virtual objects as solid and opaque.
Their marketing department needs sending back to school if they think they can project a black object in front of a light background.

Jan 22, 2015
FREE is a scary concept. It means that YOU are the real product.
Its the reverse of everything M$oft used to stand for.
I would rather pay a sensible price and be free of crapware, adware, marketing, pay-for add-ons and Bing searches biased by a profit motive.
I want my OS to play DVD's, Blu-rays and include Div-X, pdf and numerous other popular file formats straight out of the box and NOT NAG me to upgrade to 'pro' every time I use it.

Cortana is already less than useful because her Bing searches prioritise irritation over thoughtful useful results.

Google and Amazon have gone the same way. They choose to ignore some of the words in your search so they can give you preferred merchandise above your required selective results.

Jan 22, 2015
When Service Pack 3 is expected to be released?

Win 7 has gone out of that kind of support now.
No new features: Only security fixes.

Jan 22, 2015
By the time I'd sanitised my distress-purchased PC's 8.1 unto desktop use, culling umpteen phone apps, adding short-cuts to replace those M$ had dropped, etc etc, the result held a remarkable resemblance to XP.

Just much, much bigger, much slower, and #64, so a raft of legacy stuff no longer ran...

I have 'Open Office' instead of 'Office', Chrome + Google instead of IE + Bing, Thunderbird instead of my beloved Outlook Express.

Oddly enough, I *like* M$' 'Notepad' for its simplicity and tiny files.

So, I want a 10" Android tablet with 8 hour battery life (at 12 months) and a 'Notepad' clone. Like an Apple iPad which drove me to distraction until given away, I DO NOT want any 'Windows' OS on a portable device...

Jan 22, 2015
Sorry, MS, but the computing industry has moved on, and Redmond is now home of the "PC Rust Belt".

Your products are no longer interesting. I can install a free Ubuntu Linux on any PC and get daily updates, with new versions every 6 months, if I want them. How can you compete with that?

Jan 22, 2015
M$ jumped from v8 to v10 because the odd versions ought to fix all the bugs of the even version and actually be productive. Obviously v10 will be more toywhere while M$ does soulsearching for a few more years

Jan 23, 2015
It's hard to compete against free. If Microsoft had a time machine and could go back and make a second run, I wonder what they might do differently, in designing a revenue model.

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