Today is January 21st, the big day of the Windows 10 unveiling, that had both Joe Belfiore and Satya Nadella on stage, ready to talk about innovation and about an unified experience of Win 10 on tablets, phones and the PC. We also got word of the Office suite, its new version, that will be bundled with Windows 10 for free on tablets and phones.
Windows insiders will gain access to the latest build of Windows 10 starting next week, while Windows 10 for phones will be available in the same way in February. The OS is available for free for owners of Windows 7 or Windows 8, but only for a year, then you have to pay. Windows 10 gets new icons, with less chromed edges and a flatter look, plus Cortana integrated into the taskbar.
The voice assistant offers a more natural experience and keeps the same usage patterns on mobile, tablets and the PC. It’s present as a search bar on the taskbar of your PC and it’s able to look stuff on both the web and your device. There are also popup notifications available with Cortana on the desktop. Windows 10 for phones brings drag and drop-able and resizable keyboards and support for Cortana voice input.
The background image in this version of Win 10 is kept behind the tiles and the settings are now totally cleaned up and aired out. Action Center notifications will appear on both the PC and mobile and the desktop’s settings area has also been made more compact and intuitive. On mobile Action Center is more bright, faster and more fluid and you can now reply to messages from notifications like in iOS 8.
Microsoft has created a cross platorm Photos app, backed by OneDrive and speaking of OneDrive, it’s meant to get music support later in the year. The Redmond giant also showcased Project Spartan, its latest browser for mobile and PC, with Cortana included, touch and keyboard input, Reading List option, page saving as a note to read later, comments and drawings available in the page and more.
Sharing is also integrated in the browser, that comes with PDF support and a much faster experience than its rivals. The event included some talk about DirectX 12 and a brand new Xbox app, that brings cross platform play between PC and Xbox One, as well as a special game streaming option from the Xbox to a Windows 10 tablet or PC. Finally, Microsoft unveiled two hardware products, a pair of holographic glasses called Hololens and the Surface Hub, a touchscreen-based 84 inch 4K display, used for working environments as a digital whiteboard.
A thing worth mentioning is that Windows 10 does get the Start button included and a Start Menu filled with tiles, that can be expanded. What do you think of the OS so far?