Windows 10 Consumer Event Thoughts

Thursday , 22, January 2015 Leave a comment

Just quickly jotting down some thoughts on the Win10 event yesterday.

Continuum

This is the reason I’ve not put the Win10 tech preview on my Surface Pro 3 – the current tech preview is not designed for touch, and works really poorly. With Continuum, it should detect whether it’s got a keyboard attached or not, and flip between touch and desktop mode automatically. This is a good thing for me. It also further builds the case for IT departments to deploy hybrid or convertible devices to staff in place of the laptop/tablet combo. This is a good thing for the enterprise.

Spartan

New rendering engine is good. Not based on WebKit is probably bad – that was an opportunity to unify the web experience. Oh well. Having Cortana built in is awesome, after all what’s a Spartan without his AI? The socialisation stuff I’m not really fussed about – I can’t see myself annotating a webpage with pen and sharing it around.

Cortana on Desktop

The context aware surfacing of information is very cool. The voice command stuff is not useful in an office environment, but built into the Xbox One with Kinect for voice input? That could be useful. That makes your Xbox the equivalent of the computer interface in crew quarters in Star Trek TNG et al, in terms of information gathering, and even potential for home automation and control.

Windows 10 on Phone

We all knew this was coming, and it’s excellent – I want more unification for consumer as well as developer. This is a very positive step forward. A lot of fuss was made over having the Word rendering engine in the mail app on Windows Phone 10 – I don’t care about that. I want my mail app on my phone to be as lightweight, rapid and responsive as possible. I can only see the Word engine slowing that process down. Who cares about formatting from phone? It’s for rapid consumption and delivery of information, it’s not a device to work from.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade

Upgrade from Win7 – 8.1 in year one, and your upgrade cost is waived. That’s cool, I would have been upgrading anyway, but nice to get it for free. Not sure how this translates to the workplace, I assume it’s not for Enterprise Editions and there will still be upgrade costs for businesses. If not, holy hell that’s awesome.

Free Office (not desktop) on Windows 10

This is awesome, not sure how it’ll be licensed for the workplace though. Office desktop on RT was free for consumer use, but not licensed for the workplace. I’m hopeful that the touch-first versions of Office will be free across the board, with the desktop versions still licensable.

Xbox Streaming

I will now be setting off Dragon Age Inquisition war table missions on my home Xbox from my SP3 while at work :/ Needless to say this is an awesome feature for me, it won’t have much of an impact on the opinions of the pig-headed ‘PC Master Race’ gaming sorts though. They should find value in the new Game DVR features of the Xbox App though, as well as the built-in party chat features. It looks like Steam needn’t worry for now as well, as it seems the Xbox App will be a store for Win10 style games, rather than traditional desktop-based ones. DirectX 12 looks great, time to hold off getting a new graphics card until more info there is available…

Surface Hub

On the face of it this is ridiculous, and just another way of justifying some of the Perceptive Pixel stuff. The Skype for Business and OneNote integration is cool. It’s also available on any existing Win8/8.1 machine. Writing on a screen that size is a terrible experience, regardless of input resolution. Outstretched arms, out of FOV of the cameras – awful. You could literally get the same features today out of a Surface Pro 3 embedded in a conference table, wired into a large TV and webcam, but with the ability to draw on-screen without having to get up. I guess it’s not about features though, it’s about looking cool. Which it does. It’s still ridiculous though.

HoloLens

I don’t know where to start here – I want one. I actually need it now. I was sceptical until I realised that it’s not just transparent LCDs overlaying data AR style, it’s literally f*cking with photon direction, intensity and wavelength en route to your eye to make your brain think there are objects in the real world that aren’t there. Incredible curveball, massive talking point, if it achieves 50% of what it claims I will still want one.

 

 

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