Windows 10: five key features

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Five new things about Windows 10. Here’s what to expect..

Earlier this year, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson announced an initiative called “Windows as a service plan” — which focuses on the operating system upgrades.Microsoft is set to report its second quarterly loss in three decades as a publicly traded company, the result of a $7.6 billion hit to the value of the Nokia phone unit the company purchased a year earlier.SAN FRANCISCO—Microsoft puts a bow on its fiscal year Tuesday, with the imminent rollout of Windows 10 about to offer investors a glimpse of the company’s financial future.Window 10 launches on July 29, and while the new Microsoft has been gaining praise for changing the way they do things, like opening up their apps to other platforms, the company knows it needs a big hit with the latest version of its operating system. 1.

On Tuesday, the company is scheduled to disclose its financial performance for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, as well as numbers for the full year. The Redmond, Wash-based company is expected to report adjusted fourth-quarter earnings per share of 56 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial Network. One OS to rule them all: Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 is to create an operating system that runs similarly across different devices and platforms, so your apps and programs move across PC, tablet and phones — wherever you are computing at the time.

Insiders who faithfully downloaded preview builds and provided feedback will get the best deals, but Microsoft also has some things in store for everyone else—at, you guessed it, Microsoft Stores. There’s a workflow tool called Continuum aimed at helping that and also if you buy apps at the online Windows Store, they will work across your various devices. 2. And Microsoft recently posted an update to the Windows Lifestyle Fact Sheet that describes how long the “supported lifetime” terms actually lasts. Although the one-time software titan’s stock (MSFT) has rebounded from a 52-week low of $40.12 in April —it closed at $46.92 Monday—it has yet to regain its $50-a-share form from last November. Nine additional stores will host special guests—the Santa Clara, Calif. store, for instance, will host NBA Finals MVP and Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, while the Seattle store will host Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks.

What makes “mainstream support” different from “extended support?” Here is a breakdown of the differences: The five-year difference in time between the “mainstream support” and “extended support” period is consistent with Microsoft’s previous operating systems. In addition, 16 Microsoft Stores in malls will host Windows 10 Experience Zones beginning July 29, giving people a chance to try the new operating system. After anchoring its business for decades to a PC-based software sales model, the company has been going through painful changes in order to reposition itself as a leader in a cloud- and mobile-first world. Actually Explorer isn’t totally dead, still sticking around for some compatibility issues, but the granddaddy of browsers is getting a bit of a rest, as the brand new Edge will take its place, with all the extension support, reading mode and fast new rendering engine required for all your surfing needs. 4. The company took a $6.2 billion charge to write down essentially the entire value of aQuantive, a Seattle digital advertising company Microsoft had acquired in 2007.

Snap, you’ve got the power: Multitasking and working with several apps at once is still fairly rudimentary on tablets, so Microsoft is beefing up Snap, its tool that allows multiple apps to run at the same time. As years go by, some machines won’t have the hardware necessary to work with the updates, as Microsoft noted in its blog post: A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period. You can also bring in your Windows tablet or PC to a Microsoft store for a free “upgrade assessment,” basically letting you know whether your device is ready to upgrade to Windows 10. So even though Microsoft is hoping you’ll still use Windows 10 in 10 years, it doesn’t mean the 2012 laptop you’re installing it on will still be compatible a decade from now. PC sales — which tend to drive purchases of both Windows and Office — fell 9.5 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, researcher Gartner estimates.

And maybe at some point you ask whether all hardware should be spun off.” Although Gillis says that Nadella risks “the bloom coming off the rose a bit in the second (fiscal) year,” the CEO likely will continue to be given leeway by Wall Street as he engineers what amounts to one of the biggest large-cap company pivots in recent memory. Microsoft’s “commercial cloud,” which includes Office 365 for business, the Azure cloud-computing platform, and online editions of Microsoft’s business management tools, has posted triple-digit year-over-year revenue gains for several quarters in a row. Analysts will be watching closely as Microsoft reports the fourth-quarter details of its cloud and commercial licensing businesses, which are both critical to its future growth. “We’re not expecting fireworks this quarter, but there’s definitely a feeling of a renaissance going on at Microsoft,” says Ives. “The next question is when can we maybe see a ‘5’ in front of the stock price.”

The currency is near multi-year highs against the likes of the Japanese yen and the euro, which means every product Microsoft sells in those markets translates to less profit when exchanged back into dollars at home. But every Windows 10 device — whether it is low-end or high-end – will download and install security updates. “The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. Interestingly enough, Microsoft released a critical patch for every version of Windows earlier today. “This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted document or visits an untrusted webpage that contains embedded OpenType fonts,” said Microsoft in a security bulletin. “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of the affected system.

An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.” I am sure that there are many Microsoft users that would have preferred the ability to disable automatic Windows 10 updates because they may not want some of the new features being pushed.

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