Early yesterday morning many Windows users were greeted by a surprise icon in the notification area of their Windows task bar. The icon greeted them with the news that Windows 10 is coming soon and they can get it for free. Many users around the globe posted this news and one of the good things about the upcoming Windows 10 update is that it’s a release which is intended to be almost same across multiple platforms. Windows 10 aims to unify Mobile, Desktop Computing, consoles (think Xbox) and tablets etc. all under it’s own platform. It is being offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 as well as Windows 8 users for the first year. During this period if they fail to upgrade they would need to buy a paid upgrade later on.
Microsoft has already started a notification based reservation system which gives users the opportunity to sign up for being notified about the availability of the update.
One of the big features being touted by Microsoft is Cortana, the voice based assistant which has been present since quite some time on the Windows Phone platform. Apart from Cortana Windows 10 will have the following salient features:
- Windows Continuum: It allows you to switch between different devices running Windows 10 and carry on whatever you were doing on the previous device from the same point on the other device. It also gives you the capability to use your phone like a computer with the help of external input accessories.
- New browser, Microsoft Edge which was earlier code named ‘Project Spartan‘. It is the next iteration in Microsoft’s browser lineup as Internet Explorer has gathered years of bad reputation and they desperately needed a refresh. It would feature a minimalistic design, Cortana integration as well as various collaboration tools.
- Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel would come as built in components of the operating system.
- Windows Hello is a new login mechanism which can use face recognition, fingerprint recognition or even iris recognition so as to allow a user to log in without a password. This would depend upon external hardware support.
- Xbox capabilities will be enhanced with the Xbox Live as well as the Xbox app which can now allow the users to record game play, allow them to interact with their Xbox friends and will also allow players to stream Xbox games to their PC.
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