Windows 10 is coming. This is what you need to know.
It really seems like Microsoft is trying to shake it’s old image of being slow to change. They’re taking drastic measures like getting rid of Internet Explorer and even skipping Windows 9! Hopefully this means that this new release is going to be a big departure from the older operating systems, but the more I look at the press releases, the more I’m beginning to realize that not much is new. There seems to be a new focus on the gaming community, which is Microsoft’s strong suit. The acquisition of Minecraft may lead to some really cool applications of Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens, but really that’s tough to say. We’re not even sure when Hololens is being released. To me, it looks like Hololens could be Microsoft’s ace in the hole, allowing you to bring Windows 10 around with you.
Really, it seems like Microsoft is making it’s products look and feel more like Apple products. The “seamless integration” of the same operating system from your phone to your tablet to your desktop (and also your gaming console)? Classic Apple. Even the new web browser looks way too much like Safari. But, hey, maybe this is a good thing? What do you think?
In any case, here’s what you need to know.
Already a Windows user? Guess what? It’s FREE!
You heard me. Windows 10 is free upgrade if you already own Windows 7, 8.1 or 9. (Joke’s on you. There is no Windows 9)
Now, if you don’t already own Windows, it’s going to run you $120-$200 depending on the version that you buy.
What’s going to happen to Internet Explorer?
Gone. At least, the name is. Microsoft is releasing a brand new browser called Microsoft Edge in an attempt to shy away from all the horrible publicity that Internet Explorer has garnered of the years. We don’t know much about this new browser yet, but to me it looks strikingly similar to Safari. My bet is that it won’t be much better than good old IE, but I guess we’ll just have to find out. Even the “reader” view that Microsoft demoed looks exactly like the same feature on Safari.
Cortana is your new personal assistant
Not much different from Apple’s Siri, Cortana seems to be nothing new besides the fact that Siri doesn’t run on Apple computers, only on phones. No big breakthroughs here, but Cortana will surely be useful nonetheless. You can use Cortana to send messages, launch apps, and set reminders just like Siri. No word yet on whether you need an internet connection to operate Cortana, but many features will likely be dependent on web searches (again, just like Siri).
You will be able to stream games from your Xbox to your computer, capture game footage and edit it through an integrated Xbox app on your desktop. This is actually a pretty big move, with the popularity of new game streaming services like Twitch and soon to be Youtube Gaming.
The PC master race will now be able to play with their lesser console friends
At least, that’s what Microsoft says. I’ll bet that this is a feature that most games will not support. But for the few games that do take advantage of this feature, the gaming communities on the PC and Xbox will be united, which is surely a good thing. This does, however, bring to light the issue of fairness. For twitchy shooter games like Call of Duty, for example, having a mouse is going to be a HUGE advantage over a player with a controller. Maybe some games will require you to plug in an Xbox controller?
Featured photo credit: Mike Mozart via flickr.com