Microsoft Event – News
Microsoft comes out swinging against Apple and Google
Microsoft held a press conference yesterday, January 21st, 2015, announcing many amazing things coming down the pipe this year. These are the 5 most important items of tech I have pulled from this event:
1. Windows 10 will be free to all those running windows 7 and above. Sorry Windows XP users…it is WAY past time to upgrade.
I have had the great experience of being apart of the test group for Windows 10 and I must say, it is leaps and bounds beyond what Windows 8 or 8.1 was/is. I think this is a great move by Microsoft and a way for them to regain market share where they have lost in the prior years to Apple and Google (Chromebooks). A free upgrade will be a welcome to everyone and should be standard across all platforms Tablets/Phones and Computers. Sorry Windows RT users, you will be left out in the cold….
2. Microsoft HoloLens – To boldly go where no man has gone before…Yes…a Star Trek pun, but you have to admit it does seem like the Holodeck used in the Star Trek series some years ago. This is a great innovation coming straight from the labs of Microsoft and coming to the public along with Windows 10. It is a Virtual Reality headset, much like the Oculus, that will fit over your head and a small computer running windows 10 on your chest or back. The capabilities of this set are amazing. Imagine creating something in 3D and then sending it to a printer like Microsoft did for the demo here. Or bringing up your Netflix anytime, anywhere that you are and watching it. Listening to music..fixing things around the house with professional help…..or playing games that are overlayed onto real items as shown in this demo.
This is amazing technology and from the reporters that got to try it out in the “no phones/cameras allowed” section of the Microsoft basement, they all gave raving reviews.
3. Cortana – For those that are unfamiliar with Cortana, which probably most of you are, due to the fact it is currently only on Windows Phone, (only used by like 10% of smartphone users) is Microsoft’s answer to Apple Siri and Google’s Now assistants. Cortana is promised to come to the Windows 10 desktop and be available across all of the devices come the end of the year. Does this finally mean that we’ll be able to have a smart houses like J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man. That much is unclear. Cortana appears to be very helpful in pulling up information on the web but as far as interfacing with lights and other items in your house the API still needs to be built for it, but I imagine it is only a matter of a few years. Very soon my friends, we’ll all be able to have our personal assistant everywhere that we go….
4. A final goodbye to Internet Explorer – Alright folks…this one is long overdue from Microsoft! Finally Internet Explorer, or as I like to refer to it internet exploder, is going by the wayside and project Spartan comes to life. Spartan is Microsoft’s new web browser coming to life along with Windows 10. Spartan will back a ton of new features incorporating things like Microsoft Silverlight and desktop-like power in the browser itself…sound familiar? Google Chromebooks have done this for the past few years and have become the #1 selling PC/Laptop/Desktop according to Amazon’s website.
5. Xbox One Streaming – It’s about time Microsoft came to the game. Sony can stream to the PS Vita. Steam can stream to “Steam Boxes” or other computers. Now Microsoft is promising that Xbox One owners will be able to stream their game play to their new Windows 10 OS. I don’t know if it would be beneficial to stream Xbox One to my desktop computer, however, if I were able to stream it to my Windows 10 tablet…it might be OK. I am hesitant with this technology as it has been my experience that if you are trying to stream ANYTHING over WIFI, the performance and latency is lacking! I hope to see Microsoft really refine this technology and be able to deliver. Can you imagine if they did this right, if you had a Windows 10 phone you could connect a controller to it, then connect to your local network (or VPN in) and then have full access to your Xbox One library. Of course then it raises the question of who will change out the game disc for you??? I foresee a great many games going digital only to help with this technology. FINALLY!
You can find all of this and more at Microsoft.com and see some amazing demos of this technology that is coming down the pipeline. It is pretty exciting and if Microsoft can deliver on all of their promises…I think they’ll re-gain their market share and then some…Until next time….