During a press conference held on Wednesday, Microsoft announced their most anticipated product - Windows 10. The new version of world's most popular desktop operating system has been rebuilt from scratch to keep up with growing customer expectations and quickly evolving hardware.
We could talk about Windows 10 for hours but with convenience in mind, we've compiled a handy list of 10 most important things you should know about Microsoft's latest offering. From design to applications to availability, we hope that the list will help you learn everything there's to know about the exciting new Windows 10.
Windows 10 is hardware-indifferent
Different versions of Windows for different platforms are a thing of the past - now there's just Windows 10. The software was designed to work on any hardware, no matter if it is a PC, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Thanks to a number of improvements in its core, Windows 10 will look the same across all your screens. You can obviously expect some minor usability tweaks to take advantage of hardware-specific features, but they will not affect the way it will work and feel.
Cortana - your virtual assistant
If you've ever played with any of the newer Windows Phone devices, you know how cool Cortana is. Now the virtual assistant is coming to desktop, equipped with all the features Windows Phone users know and love. It will let you ask a question, perform a web search, and trigger various functions. Cortana will live in a small box in the taskbar, where you can type in your question or pop it out by saying "Hi Cortana".
Spartan As An Alternative To Internet Explorer
You've probably heard the rumours about Microsoft finally getting rid of Internet Explorer. The world's most-hated web browser is not going anywhere at the moment, but Microsoft will no longer rely on it so heavily. The company is going to equip Windows 10 with a brand new Internet browser named Spartan.
Spartan will be a lighter and faster version of Internet Explorer. It will offer a variety of features, including Reader mode for distraction-free reading, and Cortana integration.
All Apps In One Place
Like Apple and Google before, Microsoft is finally making universal apps available to everyone. With Windows 10, you will be able to download an application on your phone and install it on your desktop or tablet in the blink of an eye. Pay once, use everywhere.
Xbox Live on Windows 10
Microsoft is taking gaming very seriously, which is why the company is bringing some of Xbox's most beloved features to Windows 10. Those include an ability to play Xbox Live content on the desktop, compete with other players online (even those who play on consoles), capture your epic gameplay, and take a screenshot.
Photos in the Cloud
In Windows 10, the official Photos app will show photos stored on all your connected devices. Take a picture on your phone, launch the app and voilà! The photo is already there. The service will use your OneDrive account as a backup, which should deliver the best experience possible.
Microsoft looks beyond plastic screens and pixels. The company is exploring other options and holography appears to be its best bet. Microsoft is showing its own idea of augmented reality in the form of Windows-based HoloLens goggles. They allow you to see a virtual 3D environment and interact with it in basically every way possible. The concept has a lot of potential and we will follow it closely.
Surface Hub for business
Microsoft announced their new solution for enterprise - the Surface Hub. It's a 84-inch touch screen monitor designed to take over your office. Through a plethora of work-specific features, it can make giving presentations and collaborating on documents a real pleasure. Thanks to built-in Skype integration, the Surface Hub makes big-screen conference calls possible.
Windows 10 for everyone
Windows 10 and all the goodness it comes with, will be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.
Fall, probably. Microsoft did not say when exactly Windows 10 will be released, but we hope to see it on shelves by the end of the year. As for the HoloLens and Surface Hub - we have no idea.