It’s been little over a week since Microsoft’s Windows 10 event where they unveiled many of the consumer features headed to the next major iteration of Windows. Redmond gave us many cool new features for PC’s as well as the first look at what to expect for tablets and mobile devices. And while it seems that Microsoft isn’t quite ready to unveil everything they may have planned for Windows 10, we at OneTechStop thought we would take a chance to point out our favorite features that were announced last week.
Finally Sense & Order
My Favorite announcements from the Windows 10 event for me relate directly to my mobile device, I love the actionable notifications, I had this feature on my LGG3 and it was very useful I love being able to respond directly to a sms right from the notification bar. I am glad Microsoft is listening to its users. I also love that the settings seem to have gotten cleaned up a bit, it would feel like I was scrolling forever to go down that list, now it looks like they added some sense and order. I am also very excited for there new outlook app, this also has a sense of order. I love the fact to swipe to left to delete , swipe to right to flag & just the over all layout is just much more pleasing to me.
Small UI additions make a big difference
It’s really hard to choose one. I would have to say my favorite features are the actionable notifications and the new settings layout (I’m referring mainly to Windows 10 for mobile). Fairly small editions, yes, but they make quite the difference. I pointed out in a previous post that I wanted actionable notification, as it’s a much easier way to reply to a text or respond to a request without having to actually open an application. And as far as Microsoft’s original selling point for Windows Phone goes, this definitely helps achieve the goal of looking down less at your phone. It’s one of my favorite features on iOS8, and even though it wasn’t really talked about on stage, it was demoed with the messaging app and hopefully this is open to other apps as well. As for the new settings layout, it’s a nice change from the current mess we have. There seems to be not much logic to the current settings list, but Microsoft has not only condensed it so it makes more sense, but it’s also the exact same as the PC settings, being both functionality and familiarity to Windows phones.
Developers, developers, developers
Well for me it has to be that Microsoft is finally addressing the ‘app gap’ with a tangible solution, which is to have apps across the major PC platform and the phone platform. If developers are keen to reach all of those PC users around the world, it seems as if it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch at all for that app to become available on the phones too. Saying that though, I’m a little hesitant, after using a Lumia 2520 tablet and seeing just how few decent apps were available for it in the RT world, and also using Windows 8.1 on a laptop, and seeing, again, not that many apps in the ‘Metro’ style store. Hopefully, Windows 10 shakes things up for developers so that they actually want to produce and promote their apps for Windows 10 PCs, and that will spill over into our phones too. At least that is what I am excited about if it comes to fruition. The other smaller tweaks in the phone UI are awesome, and I’m glad that Windows on phones actually has a future. All that nonsense about Microsoft ditching the platform and going Android now seem totally unfounded. The whole Windows ecosystem from phones to tablets to PCs just looks great to me. 2015 should be an exciting year! :^)
The Value of Free
Out of all the impressive announcements during the Windows 10 event the one that I was most impressed with was the fact Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all devices running Windows 7 and above. This could well be a crucial move in keeping Windows market share from ebbing away to the competition and at the same time encourage those more used to the traditional desktop to take up the Modern UI. And getting people familiar with Live Tiles and Cortana also means getting people familiar with Windows Phone.
You don’t have to think back far to when Windows cost in the hundreds of pounds/dollars, so to give this upgrade away for free to devices perhaps brought as far back as 2009 is a big step forward and demonstrates the change of thinking going on in Redmond these days.
Move over VR, the holograms are coming
Microsoft announced a lot of great and exciting new features for the upcoming Windows 10 release, but I think my favorite, or at least the one I’m most anticipating, is integration with Microsoft’s new “Hololens” headset. I’ve been a strong advocate for Virtual Reality in the past, but as far as practical applications go, VR falls a little short. Products like the Oculus Rift seem to be the future of gaming, but where’s the practicality of it all? The point of a product like Google’s “Glass” is to make your life simpler and more productive, and I really feel that Microsoft hit the nail on the head with this one. I’ve been a freelance 3D Modeler and Designer for a couple years now, but It was hard to imagine practical applications besides the up and coming functionality of 3D printing, which is still a bit away from a total consumer release. If Microsoft’s Hololens ends up working as well as we saw in the demo, the functionality of the technology nearly endless. Imagine a world where engineering lessons are essentially hands on (although not physically there, but that’s the point, right?). Even without access to a physical mechanism for each student to work with, one 3D model will be just fine for as many number of students that need it. The usage of such a device has in my opinion nearly unlimited potential, especially as far as education is concerned. With a free upgrade to Windows 10, I don’t see a reason why anyone wouldn’t use those dollars they saved to pick one of these up.
A bright future for Windows 10…
After the Microsoft event last week, it is pretty clear it got us all drooling about what the future holds. And that’s what I loved most about the event. Followed by the message from Microsoft that they were indeed listening to us, the consumer.
The future is bright, very BRIGHT for Windows.
But if I was to choose what I loved most from the event I would have to say it was the suite of universal apps coming to mobile, from a new Calendar, Office suite of apps, photo hub, people hub and for me especially, the new Mail app. The current mail app is just awful and seeing Joe B. demo the new revamped universal Mail app on the Lumia 1520 was like a breathe of fresh air.
The favorite feature I loved was the action center on Windows 10 on PC. Really gave it that modern look.
We haven’t even seen half of what is to come and that’s the best part of the event.
One Browser to rule them all
Well Microsoft presented a whole lot of things on its event in Redmond on January 21st like you may have read about on our website already. Since I have been asked to choose my most favorite feature which is Microsoft currently working on I have to say that it is hard to pick only one but I finally decided to choose Project Spartan.
Spartan provides a better UI which fits to the Modern UI Design Language, is more reliable, and brings a better discoverable experience with advanced features. It will have a build in Reading Mode, like Internet Explorer for Windows Phone currently already has, this allows you to read long and challenging articles without distractions and in a more practical way.
Furthermore the Spartan browser gives you the ability to freeze a whole website add comments, especially helpful on a Surface Tablet with a Stylus, but also on Desktop Systems this is a great feature. Once you have added your comments it is possible to share your notes you made. This makes life a lot easier, I could imagine to use this feature also with my colleagues from OneTechStop when it is time to write another article.
When I am talking about the upcoming new browser from Microsoft I also have to mention Cortana. The personal assistant which debuted on Windows Phone some time ago and is now available in several languages already, comes also to the Windows OS for Desktop. So while Cortana can remind you of your meetings and things like that, it will also be built in, in the Spartan Browser. This brings an awesome user experience to the new browser and is the first browser ever with a built in Personal Assistant.
Not only Windows Users but also Windows for Phone Users will profit from Spartan because like currently Internet Explorer, also Spartan will come to Windows for Phones as a Universal App and with it also the great user experience.
So this is my favorite new Project of Microsoft and I am looking forward to test it. Maybe we will see Spartan debuting in the next Build of Windows 10 already.
Synchronization, Personal Assistance and Browsing Experience
Windows 10 is a unified platform which could offer seamless crossover across devices however Windows 10 has differing personalities too for each device types.
Windows 10 on a Mobile device VS Windows 10 on a PC will have considerable modifications but as I always say, we are in the age of PC/Tablet-Mobile convergence and soon we would have unified integration across devices. My favorite feature is Project Spartan, CORTANA for PC’s and XBOX Gaming!
Project Spartan is one of the new addition to the Windows 10 platform. This brings a whole new web browsing experience for Windows 10. With this, we could add footnotes or highlight things that we want to using a Stylus or just with your hands! The best part is, you could share them through various bases! This has also got a built-in reading list with PDF support that marks your favorites available to be read offline. This can also be synced across various devices too. This has CORTANA in-built helping you to make your web browsing even more stress-free!
Talking about CORTANA, She has always been my favorite on the Windows Phones and now it is exciting to know that MS is working on bringing CORTANA to PC’s and Tablets too! I started liking CORTANA when it understood my Afro-Indian-British-Tamil-American Accent. Microsoft has actually gone deep into phonetics and that unfathomable labor fascinated me!
Not just that
It is now possible to play games that are on my XBOX Console using just your computer screen and a XBOX Controller. You could turn any of your PCs into a XBOX Console anytime! Also, with the Direct X 12, this could support realistic gaming.
These are my favorite features, though as Izzi pointed out, we still have lots to see!
So now that you’ve heard from the team, sound off below and let us know what your favorite Windows 10 features are!