7 Key Takeaways From Microsoft's Windows 10 Event
For some time Microsoft Corporation did not play up its hardware side. At yesterday’s Windows 10 devices event however Microsoft did put on a good show. Microsoft opened its Windows 10 Devices event with the news that Windows 10 has been installed on around 110 million devices. Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, the company debuted two new high-end Lumia smartphones, a redesigned Microsoft Band, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, alongside Cortana enhancements.
1. Users unlimited
Users have been flocking to the new operating system for their machines and with Microsoft’s strategy of a free upgrade to eligible Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 systems it seemed a good deal to let go off. The last time Microsoft announced its official figures was back in August. It announced that more than 75 million devices were up and running Windows 10, just four weeks after its launch on July 29.
The new figure adds 35 million users in the last month, a pretty respectable number. However, the goal Microsoft has set out for Windows 10 is to have a billion devices running the new OS with two to three years. The ultimate goal will only be achieved if the proliferation of Lumia devices capable of Windows 10 is rapid. The goal is not limited to just PCs or laptops but smartphones, tablets, and even its console, Xbox.
2. The Lumias
Microsoft newly debut Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. These new Windows smartphones for a niche of high-end, business-focused customers. Both phones will be the first to feature Microsoft’s Continuum technology, which will allow users to plug their handsets into a palm-sized cube called the Microsoft Display Dock. From that dock accessory, the phones can be connected to a computer monitor and used essentially as a Windows PC. The dock will feature HDMI, DisplayPort and USB ports.
Microsoft’s focus in the budget phone market with the new Lumia 550. The 5-inch device is meant to replace the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL as Microsoft’s budget phone for developing countries, as well as cost-conscious consumers in the US and Europe.
3. The Surface
With Apple’s recent iPad Pro announcement, analysts were keen on Microsoft for the Surface Pro 4, and the tech major didn’t disappoint. With a 12.3-inch display it comes with a bigger screen and it’s available with up to 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM. Microsoft highlighted that the Surface Pro 4 is 50% faster than the MacBook Air and will be available October 26th, starting at $899.
The company also came up with the Surface Book, a convertible laptop version of the Surface. It has a 13.5-inch display that supports both stylus and touch input, along with 12-hour battery life, a Microsoft-designed keyboard, and a glass trackpad. The Redmond call it is the first ever laptop built by Microsoft which will be released on October 26th, starting at $1,499.
4. Universal Apps
Microsoft’s selling point for Windows 10 are its universal apps - that are compatible with the tablet, mobile, and desktop version, and one app for all and one OS to rule them all. The idea would be enticing for developers who usually neglected the Windows platform for development purposes and usually addressed those devices with apps way after their Android and iOS counterparts. New partners joining the Windows 10 universal apps bandwagon include Facebook, Box, Netflix, Twitter, and Candy Crush Saga to name a few.
5. Edge Browser
As Windows 10 debuted a new browser that Microsoft has been working on with a lot of enthusiam: the Edge Browser. The browser is the staple browser for Windows 10 and analysts believe its lightning fast and utilized less resources.
6. The Band
Microsoft positioned the new Band as the “ultimate fitness device.” The an array of sensors and a barometer to track elevation, all of them feeding information to the Microsoft Health app. It’s also got an OLED screen in a curved Gorilla Glass display, with an aluminum color scheme. There’s also a number of third-party partners mentioned such as, Subway, Starbucks, Twitter, and Uber. The device will be released on 30 October for $249.
7. The hololens
An exciting part of Microsoft’s release was the HoloLens augmented reality headset. While the actual implementation of HoloLens hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, Microsoft is bullish on its new launch. The company said, for $3,000, developers will be able to get their own HoloLens kit in the first quarter of next year. Microsoft promises these kits will be “fully untethered” — meaning no connection to a PC required once apps are loaded onto it.
According to a Verge report, “After years of confusing strategic decisions, canceled products, and embarrassing mobile miscues, Microsoft is clearly reinvigorated and focused under CEO Satya Nadella. It’s making some big moves with exciting products, and isn’t afraid to throw punches or draw stark comparisons with competitors. Most importantly, after today’s presentation it’s also clear Microsoft has a charismatic stage presence to communicate those messages to the public in the form of VP Panos Panay.”
Instead of just banking on Windows, Microsoft is currently integrating its software and hardware that looks ahead to a future where users can productively leverage the power of technology.
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