Windows 10, HoloLens, Office: Microsoft Details Its Vision - InformationWeek
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5/10/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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Windows 10, HoloLens, Office: Microsoft Details Its Vision

Key takeaways from Microsoft's Ignite and Build events offer a peek at the company's broader vision for enterprise apps.
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft's back-to-back conferences, Build and Ignite -- which took place over the past two weeks in San Francisco and Chicago, respectively -- offered updates on Windows 10, HoloLens, and Microsoft Office that provide insight into the company's vision for the future of enterprise apps.

Build, one of Microsoft’s most popular annual events, is typically geared towards developers, but usually proves a hotspot for consumer news as well. With Windows 10 arriving later this year, it was predicted that the new OS would take the spotlight at Build.

Indeed, those predictions came to light during Microsoft’s time in San Francisco. Updates on the new OS poured out of Build, ranging from advancements in HoloLens to the Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview. Now, developers can start building projects based on Windows 10.

During the Build conference, we also learned about Windows Phone support for Android apps and the availability of Visual Studio for OS X and Linux users. We found out that we should start calling "Project Spartan" Microsoft Edge. We saw a killer demonstration of Continuum, which automatically adjusts the Windows 10 interface according to the device at hand.

[ Do your business colleagues trust you? Read: 4 Ways IT Can Inspire Business Confidence. ]

Between demonstrations of the new Continuum feature and views of an enhanced Cortana, it seemed as though Microsoft might be ready to head back to Redmond after Build commenced. Far from finished, executives packed their bags and set out for Chicago to get started with Ignite.

Ignite is a new event hosted by Microsoft and designed "for big thinkers looking for an edge," including enterprise developers and architects, as well as senior business tech decision-makers who are pursuing innovation. The event is a combination of various smaller conferences, including Microsoft TechEd, MMS, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Exchange events.

What Windows 10 was to Build's keynote, Microsoft Office was to Ignite's. During the kickoff, Microsoft executives discussed the many changes coming to the desktop and cloud versions of Office later this year. Productivity and collaboration were the focal points of the Ignite keynote and announcements throughout the week.

We got a snapshot of how productivity will look on devices running Office 2016, which will range from Microsoft's Surface Hub to iPhone. We saw how OneDrive for Business will be integrated with Office 2016 to streamline the process of attaching emails and granting permissions. We learned that Skype for Business will become the go-to platform for Office 365 meetings to enable video chat and content co-creation across Office apps.

It has been an exciting two weeks for Microsoft, the developer community, and enterprise tech professionals -- but all that news is a lot to take in. Here, we spotlight the key takeaways from Microsoft Build and Ignite. Which announcement did you find the most exciting, and what are you looking forward to seeing in coming months? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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JosephL257
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JosephL257,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2015 | 7:10:48 PM
Re: Cost
You have to remember that the Oculus is only the display and a few sensors, it will not work without a computer, while the Hololens is a full system running windows 10.

If you are going to compare the prices of these devices then you might as well compare the prices of a monitor and an AIO device.

I am expecting a price range similar to the Surface Pro range, and would hope for similar performance.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/12/2015 | 8:35:42 AM
Re: Cost
I've thought a lot about Cortana and how it will play into Windows 10.  While I have moments where I think it will be very useful I have other moments where I wonder if people will think I'm crazy and talking to myself.  It will take a lot of getting used to for me to use Cortana so it would have to be something very compelling there to get me to start using it.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
5/11/2015 | 12:50:00 PM
Re: Cost
Probably I'm not mistaken when I say that hololenses is the star of the show, especially when I read things like: "Windows 10 universal apps can be developed as holograms." Nonetheless, I'm very excited about Cortana. I wanted something like that since the time of Microsoft Agent. Anyone remembers Merlin and Genie?
Cortana will be a very important reason to upgrade to 10, at least for me.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
5/11/2015 | 9:55:58 AM
Re: Cost
I can understand why people would want to get their hands on HoloLens. The tech looks incredible, and it seems to have tremendous potential. Unfortunately, I agree that the market is too young for low prices right now and it'll be some time before we see discounted headsets. In terms of more accessible technology, I'm excited about universal apps and also thought Microsoft's demo of the Surface Hub at Ignite was cool. I could see how business pros would be excited about putting that in a conference room.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/11/2015 | 8:22:20 AM
Re: Cost
I know we all want things like the Hololens, Glass and Oculus Rift to be much more affordable.  In most cases people think they should be priced like peripherals or game controllers since we're used to things like inexpensive displays but the market is so young that it's going to take some patience before we get to that point.  I'm excited to see how they imagining its use as well as the virtual room demonstrations I've seen using Kinect and some projectors.  

Cool new toys aside though I'm probably more excited that we may get universal apps soon and that the merging of mobile and desktop OSes is coming faster than I expected.  

 

 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
5/11/2015 | 7:34:55 AM
Cost
As excited as I am for Hololens however, a rumoured $400+ rice tag is going to put off a lot of first time buyers. Oculus is expected to run into some issues with its sub $300 headset, so if Microsoft wants to make a big splash with its augmented reality tech, it's going to have a long road of impressing end users first, before it can really hope to sell any units in large numbers. 
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