Microsoft’s Windows 10 reboots connections

25 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Windows down the years.

MICROSOFT is aiming to build lasting relationships with Windows 10, the operating system seen as critical to reviving the fortunes of the once-dominant tech giant. A lot has changed since Windows dominated the OS space, Google’s Android is now the world’s most popular Operating System as smart phones continue to outsell desktops and laptops. When it’s launched on Wednesday, Microsoft for the first time is making a major new version of Windows available free as an upgrade to anyone using either of the prior two generations of the system.

The goal is to swiftly have Windows 10 powering a billion devices, creating a gigantic audience to induce developers to crank out must-have apps for the platform. As Microsoft gets set to unveil its most ambitious iteration of Windows – Windows 10, it’s time to roll back the years and map the fascinating Windows journey. With just a week left before Microsoft launches Windows 10, as it embarks on its quest to reach a billion customers, a lot’s been spoken about Windows 10 already. Microsoft hopes to break the cycle in which consumers shun Windows for mobile because it lacks the large catalogue of applications found on rival platforms, thus discouraging app makers from creating Windows versions.

As far as I can tell, though, that won’t be a big deal: I activated Cortana—complete with the always-on “Hey Cortana” voice recognition command—on my personal desktop and laptop, and I’m having no issues yet. Hit apps could ramp up popularity of Windows-driven hardware made by Microsoft and its partners, and increase opportunities for the company to make money from online activities such as search, shopping and software as services in the internet cloud. “They make it free so developers make good stuff. And then create an ongoing relationship instead of just a transaction, which is how Microsoft has operated in the past.” Windows remains the leading operating system for personal computers but has failed to gain traction on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, dominated by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. So far, I’ve tried with my Logitech G930 wireless headset, my Blue Snowball microphone, and—hey, why not—a Blue Icicle plugged into an XLR-equipped analog microphone too. Special events are planned in 13 cities around the world in tribute to the more than five million “insiders” who took part in a Windows 10 test period.

Cortana definitely seemed to interpret my commands a little faster with the higher-quality mics, but all of them seemed to launch Cortana, and issue a variety of voice commands, just fine. Using Windows 8 now feels like using an early build of Windows 10 when they has just started putting in a touch interface, but hadn’t integrated it just yet.

A better modern control panel that doesn’t have you constantly switching needing to access the old control panel because things you want to configure are missing. Gone is the charms bar that would suddenly pop out from the left edge of the screen, except if you wanted it to of course; and gone are the convoluted gestures for switching between apps.

The Intel 386 processor speeds things up while a new wave of programs – Program manager, file manager and print manager make their appearance and so does Solitaire! Aside from the first appearance of the Start menu, Windows 95 also finds room for the taskbar, minimize and maximize and close buttons on each window.

It’s also the first Windows version that is ready to plug into the Internet era (with dial-up networking) spawning the debut of the Internet Explorer browser a few months later and also comes with easy hardware and software installation options. Desktop applications running in a window isn’t a fresh concept, especially in an operating system called Windows, that launched with support for running apps in a window nearly 30 years ago. One Billion PCs later: Windows XP arrives as all-time PC sales cross the 1 billion mark in 2001 and is compiled using a whopping 45 million lines of code. Many geeks think so; a few million beta tested Windows 7 before its commercial launch at a time when laptops have overtaken desktops and tablets are slowly signaling their intentions.

This might not mean much for users now, but it expands the reach of Windows and makes it easier for developers to create applications that run on all versions of Windows whether it is mobile, desktop or XBox. A new interface that resurrects the Start Key, a cool new browser (Microsoft Edge), better gaming integration and the Mobile Voice assistant Cortana’s desktop debut will be some of the key improvements in this iteration. The new virtual desktops feature in Windows 10, called Task View has been talked about a lot, but it isn’t the only improvement to window management that you will see in Windows 10. DirectX12 improves the performance and fidelity of games built using it, while the XBox app integrates with existing games expanding what’s possible with them. Finally we have Continuum, an exciting new feature that allows Windows to smoothly adapt the user experience based on a device’s use as a desktop, tablet or phone.

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