More Windows 10 News During The Last Week
Last week Microsoft released more news about the impending release of Windows 10. Let’s recap, review and embrace the return of Redmond’s mojo.
To recap what we heard late last year, Windows 10 will include: –
- Cross device support: phone, tablet and PC. That’s right one OS, no more fragmentation or confusion.
- Support for Universal Apps: one app that is designed and coded to work across all these devices.
- Cortana onboard: following the success of Cortana on Windows Phone, she is making the leap onto the desktop as an integrated part of Windows 10.
- Spartan: not just a rebranding but a total reimagining of Microsoft’s browser where the name says it all. Lean, stripped down and fast, but have no fear government sites etc. Windows 10 will still have Internet Explorer to support you existing web apps and sites designed for IE
- Return of the Start Menu: all the die-hard Start Menu fans get their wish. That said, Microsoft wasn’t happy to simply return the Start Menu. Windows 10 will combine Metro New Windows UI Apps into the Start Menu with one location for the Live Tile and conventional icon apps.
- Windows 10 Upgrade for FREE: Windows 7 and 8.x owners will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for absolutely no charge at all.
Then Things Got A Little Crazy
Last week Microsoft announced even more details and the crazy, well it’s of the epic, good kind: –
- Windows 10 Upgrade for Free is not just for Genuine Windows owners. It’s for everyone. Microsoft announced that even non-genuine Windows owners would be able to upgrade. Yes that’s right, it seems Redmond declared amnesty for every pirate out there.
- Windows 10 will combine new compression technology and (allegedly) no recovery image to reduce the disk footprint of the Operating System.
- Windows Update is dead. Long live Windows Update: the familiar and often frustrating way that Windows Update works is going the way of the dodo and dinosaur to be replaced with faster, more efficient Peer 2 Peer technology. In short a better Windows Update.
- I hope there are no classic Control Panel fans out there. Yes, the familiar Control Panel will be replaced over time by the Windows 8.x Settings app.
- Windows Hello: say Hello to biometric login.
- Windows 10 on Android phones. Okay now breathe into that paper bag for a few seconds, that’s right. Microsoft have made a strategic alliance with Chinese colossus Xiaomi to provide a Windows 10 phone ROM for their flagship Android phone.
- The Windows 10 UI. Redmond took the incredible flat design of Windows 8 and streamlined it even more.
Perhaps the most important announcement came yesterday with the release of the Windows 10 Technical Preview Tools. Developers now have a version of Visual Studio (and other tools) to allow them to begin creating Universal Apps for Windows 10.
The Warptest POV
As part of the Windows Insider Program I’ve been using the Windows 10 preview as a Virtual Machine. Microsoft are iterating the features and UI of the operating system remarkably fast and that phrase seems to sum up one of the fundamental ideas behind Windows 10, remarkably fast. Everything seems designed to give the consumer the best Operating System possible; an OS that works well, intuitively and works fast.
The UX is a definite improvement on Windows 8.x and even as someone who likes Windows 8.1 and doesn’t feel the lack of the Start Menu I find the experience a good one.
Some of these new changes will be radical departures but consumers need not be scared of them. Biometric login will rely on onboard hardware for fingerprint scanning, optical or facial recognition. The settings app is a worthy inheritor for the Control Panel and is easy to navigate.
As for an “amnesty” for all pirates. There are a slew of good reasons for Microsoft to allow upgrade to Windows 10: –
- If Windows 10 will use Peer 2 Peer for Updates then logically the more peers, the merrier.
- Free upgrades for everyone including the pirates is a strong hook to encourage users to upgrade. After the challenges of making users go cold turkey on Windows XP Microsoft will be interested in finding ways of reducing numbers on older versions of Windows.
- Microsoft seems to be moving to a strategy of “if you love it, you’ll choose to pay for it and related items”. The lesson is a simple one that many businesses miss, “You lure more flies with honey than vinegar“.
- One of the unconfirmed ideas about this is that the pirates will be able to upgrade but their version of Windows will be treated as non-genuine with the occasional reminder to upgrade and the possibility of only receiving critical security updates.
By reducing the footprint of Windows through compression algorithms and a more efficient alternative to the recovery image the SSD will maximize its potential and consumers won’t feel like they are compromising newer hard disk technology for onboard storage capacity.
Ok, Windows on Android phones as a ROM, do I even need to go into the ramifications? In a nutshell, if this takes off beyond Xiaomi then you will be able to pick the phone you want and choose to either make it Android or Windows. Now let’s really go wild, using an app like Multiboot Manager imagine having a phone that can boot to either Android or Windows. (I don’t know if this is feasible but I dare to dream)
Windows 10 spans devices and with Cortana, the Spartan browser and a slew of other features offers the promise of a robust ecosystem that will tie together with Microsoft Band and Hololens technology.
Finally a prediction: I expect to see Microsoft release a high-end, Windows flagship phone with Windows 10 preinstalled either with or after release of the OS.