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1/22/2015
05:38 PM
Kelly Sheridan
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Windows 10: 9 Killer Features

Microsoft's Windows 10 is in the tech spotlight. Here's what we learned about each feature released during its Jan. 21 event.
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(Image credit: Microsoft)
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft did not fail to impress during its Jan. 21 Windows 10 event, during which the company showcased further details on its operating system set for full release later in 2015. While many announcements confirmed early rumors, the tech giant also had a few surprises up its sleeve.

Windows 10 was designed with the help of 1.7 million Windows insiders, who were responsible for reviewing various builds of the OS. Insiders provided 800,000 pieces of feedback on more than 200,000 topics regarding Windows 10 -- and the system is still in the works.

The day's announcements revolved around the central idea of moving from enabling single-device interaction to providing a more personalized computing experience to individuals and corporations. Microsoft's Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of the company's Operating System Group (OSG), described 3 areas of innovation that took priority throughout Windows 10 development:

  • Mobility of experience: With the number of devices exploding all around us, it should be easy to put down one device and pick up the other where you left off.
  • Trust: People care more about their privacy, and the new OS gives the user greater control. 
  • Natural interaction: "Interacting with technology should be as natural as interacting with people," said Myerson.

[Missed the Windows 10 event? Read our recap.]

A key priority moving forward will be the seamless integration of Windows devices. Users will be able to transition from PC to tablet mode on hybrid devices by removing the keyboard and mouse. 

Microsoft seems to be pushing the importance of security, a growing priority for both consumers and businesses. "It's important that our customers' privacy is protected, and they trust the devices and their experiences," Myerson said, also noting that Windows 10 will "protect corporate data" better than ever.

To attract new users to Windows 10, Microsoft is offering free upgrades. Users with devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1,or Windows Phone 8.1 will receive the new OS at no charge for the first year it is available. Further, Windows 10 will be available as a service, and Microsoft will keep the experience current for the supported lifetime of the device.

Microsoft will release a new build of Windows 10 for desktops to its insiders within a week of the Jan. 21 event. Myerson also confirmed earlier predictions that the first build for the mobile version of Windows 10 will debut in February.  

Click through the gallery to learn more about what's coming to Windows desktops and phones.

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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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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/22/2015 | 11:33:37 PM
First
I can't believe I'm the first to post. Aren't people interested?
From Cortana to Universal Apps and to the magic of Windows Holographic. I think there are many things to get excited about Windows 10. It's even free!!
GaryB790
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GaryB790,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 9:30:34 AM
Data Security and data usage across apps.
It bothers me that I can put down one device, pick up another and continue working.  This implys data sharing somewhere.  I downloaded the new Office 365 and I suddenly have a "One Drive" that obviously puts data in the cloud. 

This only means that my data is now easier for someone else to access.  I am glad that MS claims to have increased it's security in the OS and the software but it bothers me greatly that my data could be accessed elsewhere.   If cloud data access isn't bad enough, what if the access is used to store a virus or trojan app also??

Overall, I am very wary of using the "One Drive" feature of the software because of the above.  There are NO Assurances that any data will be protected or not tampered with.  It seems to me that private data is now becoming public data.   It also reminds me of how (and I am dating myself here) that the servers in the '60s and '70s were the data storage devices which were accessed by terminals which went to private data with PCs and is now going back to centralized data storage with this new OS.

Color me not impressed.  This is a regressive action.

 
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 9:39:28 AM
The business case for Win10
...

...

...

...

I know something will come to me. 

...

...

...

Oh yeah, SHINY!
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 9:47:20 AM
Re: First
Completely agree! I think Microsoft has given us a lot to be excited about with this new batch of announcements - I'm pretty excited about the new browser as well. It'll be interesting to watch as Windows 10 is refined over the next few months.
rjones2818
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rjones2818,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 10:34:18 AM
I'm sure someone will like all of this...
A reimagined VR helmet (maybe the tech has caught up with the idea), a start button on the front, more push stuff and an assistant to gather your personal info.

 

Sounds like the same old same old.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Moderator
1/23/2015 | 11:43:36 AM
Re: I'm sure someone will like all of this...
once again, its all about gaming and tablets - nothing at all about productivity. Notice there was mention of how important security is, but nothing actually definite. No announcements on UAC improvements, nothing about registry replacements/modifications, nothing about hardening to prevent viruses, nothing about Group Policy, nothing about improvements to imaging. Not even about being able to save apps to something other than the C: drive (a massive pain for people with small SSD's) no mention of improving full-screen apps ability to access networked drives, etc.

Cortana and Spartan are great examples. The percentage of desktops with a microphone is pretty low, so what is front and center of the new desktop OS? microphone-required help system. I had great hopes for Spartan but instead of a rock-solid browser that can't be hacked, it is all about cross-platform reading-modes and tablet-style drawing pictures on top of a web-page....sigh

To be fair, those types of things do not sell to anyone but IT departments, still it is frustrating to see a focus solely on the casual consumer and sexy but useless features like the ability to move a live app from the desktop to a tablet in midstream taking front and center.

 
tigger2
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tigger2,
User Rank: Strategist
1/23/2015 | 12:03:16 PM
Re: I'm sure someone will like all of this...
I totally agree with you Mark532010. Nothing for business productivity - quite the opposite. Touch is inimical to heads down data entry or coding.

I'm also skeptical of the O/S as a Service. Remember when Amazon pulled a book off people's e-readers that they paid for? What's to stop MS from pulling software off your machine that they don't like when they have that kind of access to your machine.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/23/2015 | 3:43:15 PM
Re: The business case for Win10
@UberGoober

I thought Microsoft revealed the new features for the consumer preview. Well, anyway, the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build is out today. I'm sure you're eager to try it lol
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
1/25/2015 | 3:14:32 AM
Re: The business case for Win10
One word from an enterprise pov: meh.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 12:41:59 PM
Re: Data Security and data usage across apps.

@gnaggett75002     I am with you.  I don't like this apparently chic concept that our data should be available on every device. 

So in the case we are compromised everything is affected.   MS has improved security ?  

Ok, fine.   I still don't want it.

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