Curious about the new Windows operating system? Then you're in luck. Microsoft has a big event planned around the OS on Wednesday, and you will likely get to finally see some of the details of the long-awaited update to the world’s most commonly use operating system.
The biggest news to come out of tomorrow's event might be the introduction of a version of Windows designed to run on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. The move would essentially combine Windows RT, which is designed for use on larger devices, and Windows Phone. The move would bring Microsoft in line with companies like Apple and Google, whose mobile operating systems run on both smartphones and tablets or e-reader devices.
The all-day event is set to be live-streamed from the company’s Redmond, Wash. headquarters, starting at 9 a.m. Pacific time, with an on-demand version available shortly thereafter. Speakers will include CEO Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore, and head of Xbox and Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer.
First Preview for Consumers
Wednesday will actually be the second unveiling if Windows 10, which is the successor to the much-maligned Windows 8. Users got the first glimpse of the new operating system in September, when Microsoft announced the arrival of the update along with a technical preview aimed at CTOs, enterprise users and other experts.
This will be the first time consumers can get their hands on a pre-release version of Windows 10. But thanks to September’s technical preview, much of what Microsoft will be introducing at the event is already known.
One of the biggest improvements Windows 10 promises to bring to Windows 8 users is less of an innovation and more of a return to form: the much-loved Start menu will, most likely, be back. The menu has been part of the operating system since Windows 95, and was heavily mourned when it went missing in Windows 8.
Cortana Taking Center Stage?
Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s voice-enabled assistant, Siri, is also set to make an appearance. The intelligent personal assistant was first unveiled as part of the Windows Phone platform, but is expected to make the jump over to the laptop and desktop environment once Windows 10 is released.
In fact, Cortana could potentially become much more central to the Windows experience. Although Microsoft has an existing search service, Bing, it is considered a poor substitute for Google’s near-ubiquitous search tool. Voice-assisted Cortana, however, could give Microsoft a way to leapfrog over Google, particularly if Windows 10 users can initiate verbal Web searches without having to launch their Web browsers.
Another trick Microsoft appears to be stealing from Apple is its Continuum feature, also likely to get a fair amount of coverage this week. Continuum lets a user begin a task on a mobile device and continue it on a desktop or laptop, similar to the Continuity feature Apple introduced with the latest version of its Mac operating system.
Belfiore’s participation in the event, meanwhile, suggests the company will be introducing some sort of tie-in between Windows 10 and the Xbox ecosystem. That could mean some sort of Xbox app gamers can use to manage their accounts from their Windows machines, or possibly game store apps.
Posted: 2015-01-21 @ 12:18am PT
Yet we still see Microsoft stubbornly sticking to the idea that one operating system can work a number of devices without impacting the performance. It'll be interesting to see if they can do it. They don't want a repeat performance of W8.x