Microsoft: Windows 10 will become one of the largest internet services on the planet

21 Jan 2015

Microsoft said Windows 10 won’t be just an operating system but one of the largest internet services on the planet. A year after release it will be free as an upgrade for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users.

Windows 10 is shaping up to be Microsoft’s most ambitious operating system release in the company’s history. The OS will work across all device types from smartphones to tablets and desktops.

Microsoft’s executive president of Operating Systems Terry Myerson said that the OS will also be designed to work with the internet of things (IoT) device revolution.

He said that the new OS will be the most secure Windows OS ever created and is designed to support universal apps that work with all devices, including Xbox One games consoles.

More than 1.7m software developers have signed up to help shape the new OS in the coming months and collectively insiders have shared 800,000 pieces of feedback on 200,000 topics as part of what Myerson calls an “open development process.”

“I am very excited to announce that for the first year after Windows 10 is available we will be making it available as a free upgrade to Windows 10 to all devices running Windows 8.1,” Myerson said, adding the same option will be available to users still running Windows 7.

The operating system will be completely integrated with the internet and is being touted by the software giant as Windows as a Service, not just an operating sstem.

“Windows has always been grounded in the idea that technology should help individuals and organisations do great things,” he said.

“In the next few years think of windows as one of the largest internet services on the planet.

“What version you are running will cease to make sense and developers can create apps that can target any Windows device. It will be one of the most attractive Windows platforms ever.

Windows as a Service will be great for consumers and the security of the enterprise. Windows 10 changes the rules of the game and redefines the relationship between us and our customers.

The OS will have three values: integration with the explosion in smart devices; trust and security; and interacting with technology should be as natural as interacting with people.

Cortana is coming to the PC and the browser

The corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems group Joe Belfiore revealed how the Start button will be back on Windows 10 but can be expanded to include real-time views of the Start menu and can even be expanded to full screen.

Belfiore also revealed a Continuum feature that enables a two-in-one device like the Surface can be transformed elegantly into a table form factor.

Significantly he revealed that Cortana, the artificial intelligence personal assistant currently on Windows 8.1 devices will be native to Windows 10 on both smartphones and on the desktop.

Cortana will have a permanent home on the task bar and users just interact with her and ask questions by saying “Hey Cortana …”

Belfiore also revealed how Windows 10 will have sophisticated speech recognition to allow users to dictate everything from emails to texts and tweets and it is smart enough to recognise when a user wants to hashtag a term.

Windows 10 devices will be optimised for mirror casting content like PowerPoints, video and more to other screens as well as wireless printing.

Belfiore also reveald the new Microsoft internet browser currently code-named ‘Spartan’

The browser comes with a new rendering engine as well as a note-taking ability that allows users to scribble or type notes directly onto a web page, keep the links alive and share the page with the notes with other intenet users.

“This will become a rich canvas for expressing your thoughts and sharing on the web.

“We have also built Cortana directly in to Spartan and she will show up at the right moments to help you. In the background she will be scouring the internet learning about you, places and things you are interested in all the time.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years