By George Rosenthal
Microsoft has just revealed a deeper look at its new futuristic operating system, Windows 10.
Attempting to gain momentum after the disappointment of Windows 8, the company is launching a new OS and returning to more familiar user friendly applications. Included are new inventive features like a souped-up start menu and multiple virtual desktops.
While no firm date has been set for its release (probably this fall) the company is promising this flagship version of its operating software will work across computers, tablets and even smartphones. Many of the same apps will work on all devices.
Among the many features of Windows 10 is a new web browser called Project Spartan. Users will be able to take notes with a stylus and easily share it with others. You can comment right on the page as you share it. The layout will be streamlined for easier reading.
A big hit in the making could be Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant, also a part of the system. If you’re a fan of Apple’s Siri you may really love Cortana.
Similar to Siri it responds to spoken commands but is also highly personalized, adjusting to your habits as you search the web and visit various sites. After a while it could make suggestions on which sites you might enjoy. It has already been available on some smartphones.
Those wishing to dive in can get upgraded to Windows 10 for, providing they already use Windows 7 or a more recent version.
Windows 10 is not all Microsoft plans to offer. The company also introduced a new device called Surface Hub. Targeted for the workplace this is a big 84 inch touch-screen computer with large features to boot, such as a stylus white board, shared web browser and video conferencing.
The tech giant is also showcasing a bit of the future with Windows Holographic, their vision for hologram computing. They created a headset called HoloLens. Wearers can view and interact with augmented reality holograms that could take place in a natural environment like an office or a kitchen. The hologram system was demonstrated as both a work/play product to be used for designing 3D objects, video chat and even playing games.
One goal for Microsoft with Windows 10 is to establish a common software foundation for PCs, tablets, smartphones and Xbox. One currently needs four distinct operating systems to run them. Some unification could allow users to shift seamlessly from a game on Xbox to a work project on a Windows PC.
Microsoft is hoping a unified platform will appeal to more software developers. Windows Phone software is rarely used and the lack of apps is said to hurt sales of the Microsoft mobile product. Just 3% of all new smartphones sold are Windows Phones. The appeal is that apps created for the phone will also be used on hundreds of millions of PCs.
While many of the company’s new product offerings may be years away, the soon to be released Windows 10 appears to be a giant step forward. The unified platform approach, across PCs, tablets, and smartphones can only boost productivity and help Microsoft fortify its role as the leader in workplace solutions.