Rollup: Microsoft HoloLens, Surface Hub, Windows 10, Xbox One game streaming and more.
Disclaimer: I currently work for Microsoft, but this blog, and the words within are all my opinion. Mistakes and dumb ideas are mine. My impartiality or lack thereof stands on its own.
I just got done watching the Windows 10: The Next Chapter live video stream. There's the Windows 10 news, updated interface, and more. As I get new Windows 10 builds I will go over them on my YouTube Channel. Please do subscribe. But let's talk about the truly magical stuff first.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.
Wow, an augmented virtual reality headset from Microsoft? Is this Oculus? Or Google Glass? It's something else. It's clear so you see the projected images as if they are in front of you. It's not a tiny screen like Glass or a screen that blinds/immerses you like Oculus (I have an Oculus).
This reveal totally puts the Microsoft purchase of Minecraft in context. We'll surely see Minecraft for Windows 10 and HoloLens in the future.
Yeah, my kid can never find out about a holographic 3D Minecraft. Cannot ever happen.— Copy McPasty, Writer (@KashannKilson) January 21, 2015
My first impression was, oh, Glass? Then, oh, Oculus. But this is more like immersive augmented reality. The real question is going to be, how smooth can they get the interactions? Will it be like Kinect or LeapMotion? Truly amazing. This could be the future of Windows itself.
This is clearly not something for wearing as you walk down the street (yet). Amazing.
The first step is allowing one person to see a hologram. The challenge is then letting everyone in the room seem them. I'm looking at you, Tony Stark.
Microsoft Surface Hub
It looks like the Microsoft acquisition of Perceptive Pixel has culminated in a new brand for Surface - The Microsoft Surface Hub. It's a 80" 4K 100 touch points touchscreen display that runs Windows 10, a special OneNote, and includes cameras, microphones and Skype for Business (Lync/UC), and Office. Will it be priced within a small office's budget, or are we talking Tesla money here?
I gotta say, I'm surprised and impressed. Satya's vision is definitely clear.
We also learned a lot about Windows 10, including this slide that I didn't feel really HIT hard enough. I read this to say that you can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10...basically everyone gets to go to Windows 10 for free and keep it. You own the license.
It says "Free upgrade for the first year" which I think is confusing because it is implying some kind of subscription or at least yearly license.
But if you read the details here it seems like you have a year to upgrade and if you/we do (from 7/8/8.1) then we get Windows 10 free and it's supported for the lifetime of the device. We all get free upgrades and they will be supported, is how I read it. But we have a year to get the free upgrade, and after that it costs.
We saw lots of Windows 10 features and things including:
- Windows 10 is for PC, Xbox, Phone and Tablets
- All new Web Browser codenamed "Spartan."'
- Office Universal apps - Phone, Tablet, or PC, Office runs on every platform.
- You can stream/play Xbox One games from your Xbox One to your PC.
- "Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within their home"
- Surface and "2in1" devices will switch between desktop mode and tablet mode depending on the presence of a keyboard.
- The Cortana personal assistant comes to Windows. This includes dictation as well!
- Shameless plug, you can do amazing dictation today on Windows with my app and your iPhone.
So all these devices will run Windows 10.
The Satya quotes that stuck out to me where very declarative and aspirational.
"We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows and loving Windows. That is our bold goal with Windows." - Satya Nadella
Now it's time to watch it all happen. 2015 could be a big year for Microsoft.
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