Microsoft unveils Windows 10: A list of features

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On Wednesday, tech giant Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 which boasts a cross-platform operating system for its desktops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. If you didn’t have a chance to tune in live to the event, here is a list of the most important features that were unveiled yesterday.

Cortana moves to desktop

Cortana is Microsoft’s response to Apple’s Siri, a personal assistant à la AI-like voice command technology. While Cortana has been readily available for Windows Phone platforms, its appearance on desktop marks a strategy shift for the PC. Its arrival to the desktop means that you can now access all of Windows on the PC through voice command.

Free for Windows 7 and 8 users after the first year

While Microsoft will be offering Windows 7 and 8 users its new OS for free, they will unfortunately have to wait for a year. While in the world of tech giants this is unheard of, it seems like a win-win for them since the company’s largest client base are enterprises, who surely fork over the cash to be in on what’s new.

Xbox One integration

Starting this year, Xbox One subscribers will be able to stream their games to any Windows 10 device. This shows a widening of the Xbox video game market while showing off a unified vision of Microsoft devices. It looks more like a lesson learned from Apple and taken up through the video game console. Our suspicion is that this strategy developed out of lower sales rates by the Xbox One compared to its arch nemesis Sony’s Playstation 4, which outsold the former by quite a noticeable margin in 2014.

Project Spartan and the death of Internet Explorer

Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its new default browser, Project Spartan, which borrows many features used in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. What this also means is that Internet Explorer is part and parcel dead to the digital age. While we doubt many will mourn the loss, it does mark a new era for the company. Project Spartan offers Cortana integration, a Reading List for offline viewing, and the ability to annotate pages and send them off to friends, family, and colleagues alike.

Bonus: HoloLens

While this may not fall into the category of Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled a new platform: the Hololens. Instead of playing catch up to tech developers in the field of VR or AR technologies, they have decided to work with portable holographic technologies. Words do not suffice so we present to you a demo video:

Waiting for the beginning of an era

Even if Microsoft did unveil the new platform yesterday, it won’t be available on the company’s devices for a few more months. And if you’re a Windows 7 or 8 user and aren’t willing to pay up for the Microsoft’s latest OS, well then you’ll just have to another year. Which might be a good thing since the company will likely workout all the bugs by then. At least that’s what we’re hoping for.

Oh yeah, did we forget to mention that the Start button is back? We hope you’re as excited as we are.