Microsoft: Tech giant unveils Windows 10 software and new 3D gadget

January 24, 2015 2:38 pm

Microsoft has taken the wraps off a new version of Windows – and a new wearable 3D gadget it calls the HoloLens.
company showed the new headset, which lets users view and interact with
three-dimensional images, at an event where it also revealed new
features coming to the company’s flagship operating software.
said Windows 10 is designed to embrace the way people use computers
today – offering a familiar experience as they switch between personal
computers to tablets, smartphones and other gadgets such as gaming
consoles or even holographic projectors.
While it’s designed to
let apps work in similar fashion on all those devices, Windows 10 will
also come with a new web browser that will be closely integrated with
Cortana, the company’s voice-activated answer to Siri.

Microsoft is aiming its Hololens 3D device at many fields, from gamers to surgeons. Photo / AP

is expanding Cortana to serve as a search engine and personal assistant,
capable of answering questions and responding to commands such as “Play
music” on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile devices.

And in a break from past practice, Microsoft announced that
Windows 10 will be released later this year as a free upgrade for anyone
owning a computer or gadget that’s running Windows 8.1 or 7, the two
previous versions of the software.
Microsoft is making a big bet that Windows 10 will help it regain ground the company has lost to the mobile computing boom.
has long been the dominating operating software for desktop and laptop
computers, but that business has suffered as more people have begun
using smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft tried to reach those
users by emphasising touch-screen features in its last update, Windows
8, but many traditional PC users found it jarring and difficult to
Hoping to win back a larger audience, Microsoft is
promising Windows 10 will provide a familiar experience to users across
devices, and a common platform for software developers to create apps
that work on all of them.
“Windows 10 is built for a world in
which there are going to be more devices on the planet than people,”
said chief executive Satya Nadella. He said Microsoft wants to “enable
that seamless cross-over, across devices as you move around at home and
at work”.
Rivals including Apple and Google have also been
working towards that goal, by making apps that, for example, save files
or photos created on a PC and let the user retrieve them on a
smartphone. But analysts say new features in Windows 10 could give
Microsoft an edge. For example, Microsoft executives showed new versions
of the company’s Word app, its Outlook email service and a
photo-storage app that look and act similarly on different screen sizes.
They also promise to synchronise files so that changes made on one device would appear when the app is opened on another gadget.
Windows 10 will be used in Microsoft’s Xbox gaming systems as well.
new Xbox app for computers running Windows 10 will give gamers one
place to find messages, video clips and games they have played on
multiple devices.
Microsoft gaming executive Phil Spencer also
suggested programmers may eventually use Windows 10 to create other apps
for TVs tied to an Xbox console.
As for the company’s new hologram device, executives did not say when it will be available for sale.
they talked about using it for games as well as more serious purposes,
such as helping a surgeon visualise a new operating technique or showing
someone how to perform plumbing repairs. Nadella said it will be priced
to appeal to consumers and businesses.
And there won’t be a
Windows 9. Microsoft has skipped ahead in naming the next version, from
Windows 8 to Windows 10, as though to put more distance between them.
Geek peek
• New wearable 3D gadget.
• Headset enables users to view and interact with three-dimensional images.
• Aimed at gamers and more serious purposes such as surgery.
• Will be priced to appeal to both consumers and businesses.
Windows 10

Will offer a familiar experience across personal computers, tablets,
smartphones and gadgets such as gaming consoles or holographic
• Will comes with a new web browser integrated with voice-activated assistant Cortana.
• Cortana will serve as a search engine and assistant, answering questions and responding to commands.

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