Scott Hanselman

Rollup: Microsoft HoloLens, Surface Hub, Windows 10, Xbox One game streaming and more.

January 22, 2015 Comment on this post [38] Posted in Musings | Win10
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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.

Microsoft HoloLens

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.

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.

Holy Crap It's VR Minecraft

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.

Virtual stuff floating in front of a HoloLens

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?

Two people working on a Microsoft Surface Hub

I gotta say, I'm surprised and impressed. Satya's vision is definitely clear.

Windows 10

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.

Windows 10 upgrade will be free

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!

So all these devices will run Windows 10.

Windows 10 runs everywhere

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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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 22, 2015 0:40
January 22, 2015 0:48
Us RSS feed folks know you stealth edited Tony Stack.
January 22, 2015 1:07
I stopped thinking at 'free upgrade.' It's no longer a question of whether I will upgrade my Surface from 8 to 10 but merely when I will be allowed to. (I'm not the type to go with preview versions :) )
January 22, 2015 1:16
There were some seriously awkward disasters in that conference. The glitching stream didn't help. Please take over for some of these nerds and do the presentation for them. Scott, please, please save us from those terrible presenters! Surely they've asked you.
January 22, 2015 1:21
Really excited to read reviews of the HoloLens. I think the 1-year to upgrade to Windows 10 offer is really smart. It strongly incentives businesses and consumers alike to upgrade to the latest and greatest. That will hopefully go a long way towards dispelling the idea in popular culture that Windows is for your dorky father while Macs are where all the cool kids are at.

How much of this was announcement a surprise to you, Scott? I assume you must have been aware of Spartan at the very least.
January 22, 2015 1:24
If you look at how much an 84" 4K television (that is not a touchscreen) currently costs (about $25K), you might get a lower end for where the Surface Hub might start at.
January 22, 2015 1:33
The HOUSE is getting 10. Nothing is safe. Not my wife's Surface RT, not my next laptop (either 5th-gen X1C or SP3), not my current laptop, not the all-in-one with the touchscreen. I really appreciate that MSFT quit charging for operating systems. This is how you win.
January 22, 2015 1:42
Thinking I'll probably need a second mortgage to get a Hub. The WFA on that is going to be vanishingly small.
January 22, 2015 1:42
I hoped they would offer a free upgrade for windows 7 users, this is a big deal. Hopefully it will be pushed out in a way to get most users to upgrade.

If that happens we will see more modern apps as there won't be a requirement to also develop a desktop equivalent for Windows 7 users. Hopefully this means rolling updates for windows from now on too, so you only pay when you buy new hardware.
January 22, 2015 1:44
I knew about Spartan, I had hunches about the Xbox stuff, but the holograph stuff was almost a complete surprise.
January 22, 2015 1:51
The wording on the "Free upgrade" was definitely confusing. I got the gist of the time limit being how long you have to make the upgrade but a lot of people definitely read that as a subscription like you initially did.

For something that important to the company's revenue streams wouldn't you think someone would have nailed the wording on that to make it clear to everyone?
January 22, 2015 2:34
Great stuff, Scott. Thanks for the clarifications!
January 22, 2015 3:23
I want my dev tools, desktop apps supported in HaloLens! I can ditch my clunky laptop and 3 monitor setup to have as many windows as I want w/in my field of view! Can you picture coding with this setup?: keyboard, mouse, and HaloLens

I understand HaloLens was meant for more, but I think it would be Awesome! :-)
January 22, 2015 6:20
Agreed with Bryan. There are some people who shouldn't be up on that stage. I've seen better speakers in TechEds, PDCs and Build.
January 22, 2015 8:10
Satya's vision is definitely clear.
What is that vision and how is it clear?
January 22, 2015 13:30
Just pitched my boss 12 things I want to build using Hololens. Its the middle of the night and I'm away on holiday. I'm ludicrously excited.
January 22, 2015 15:45
Great to see Microsoft giving the free upgrade license from 7 to 10, this is a move of generosity beyond what I expected - I had expected 8 to 10 to be free, but 7 was a rock hard OS, nothing to apologize for.
January 22, 2015 17:17
Awesome. Just awesome.
January 22, 2015 18:02
The year to upgrade for free is *very* savvy.
Holographic Minecraft = "Aha..." moment :)

I'm not sure how Cortana will work in an open plan office but I'm keeping an open mind :)
January 22, 2015 18:46
Still light years behind Mac OS X Yosemite.
Microsoft should be split in 2 companies: the Server and tools (.NET core 5, and stuff) is clearly disconnected from Windows division.
How WinRT is related to .NET? Nobody mentioned .net, and 2 months ago at the Connect() conference nobody mentioned WinRT.
Apple is united and its path towards the future is well defined and understood by users&developers.
Microsoft userbase (users & developers) are being completely fooled for years in many ways.
January 22, 2015 19:14
I've been pondering on how savvy it would be to also give XP users a year to upgrade for free...
I'm sure it would have come up in discussions...
January 22, 2015 20:45
Free Windows 10 for only first year. Microsoft should give people use it for free forever like what Google's Android does.
January 22, 2015 20:49
Windows Media Center is free with Windows 7, is an extra (big) cost with Windows 8. Would like to know WMC fits in with Windows 10.
January 22, 2015 21:25
Free upgrades as long as you upgrade within the first year. Sounds fantastic. Almost too good to be true, since Microsoft doesn't tend to give stuff away. Makes me wonder what the catch is? Obviously, MS wants everybody to be running Windows 10 asap. You could say that is to make support easier, but most folks that are running it at home don't call MS ever, so that's not it. Being the suspicious type that I am, a few things come to mind:

MS wants this code base in place globally so they can push out updates and so forth. Why would this be important? Well, if I were MS and I wanted to switch everyone to a subscription model (which is clearly their direction on everything else they are doing), I'd give them a free upgrade (can you say "trojan horse"), and after a while, I'd push out an update which enables subscription mode and requires you to send them $$ on an annual basis to keep your machine alive. This is speculation, but certainly seems plausible (not to mention Evil).

Do they have stuff in this new release that benefits THEM if everybody has it installed? Maybe it reports back software installs for licensing purposes, or DRM enforcement, or other big-brother type activities. Call me paranoid, but MS is a business and they are in this to make money, not to make people happy.

So... I'd like to know why they are doing this for free, and what are the future plans.
January 22, 2015 21:35
I initially thought HoloLens was goofy, like Google glass, but bigger and uglier. But you helped me to see the light. This isn't about walking around town, it is about immersing yourself in your other world, i.e. work, games, entertainment, when you are at home. In that context, it makes perfect sense.
January 22, 2015 22:42
@Tim: There are other, non-big-brothery-type, scenarios that make sense to a business. We know that MSFT is stretching its legs so to speak - trying different business models out.

So this isn't a new concept. You offer the software for free to drive sales of a) other software and b) hardware.

Other software is their Office platform for now. I'm sure other program suites will emerge soon enough.

Hardware is obvious as well: Surface tablets and HoloLens.

You probably won't get the home user to shell out $99 for Win10 (on the back of the, arguably, failed Win8). But you will get them to spend $99-$150 on Office, and another $200 on HoloLens - especially if Office works with HoloLens.
January 22, 2015 23:03
Wow, if this is any indication of what's in store for 2015, we may still get hoverboards after all.
January 23, 2015 2:23
Streaming from Xbox to PC is great. Streaming from PC to Xbox would be sublime. Phil Spencer says they are looking at it. Scott, can you use your silver tongue to make it so?
January 23, 2015 2:25
@Jason seen this? Hoverboard kickstarter
January 23, 2015 2:40
Hope we'll be able to try a demo of the hologlasses at Build.
January 23, 2015 3:39
January 23, 2015 3:41
@Bryan I didn't see any glitch on streaming games, so stop making FUD BS up. Please Its ok that your jealous because of your inferior products and system by Apple and Google and Sony fanboy.
January 23, 2015 6:15
I would like to see Cortana inside my HoloLens *aha
January 24, 2015 1:46
I'm definitely excited to be able to dev for HoloLens! I have no idea what I'm going to build but I'll think of something until it's released. :P

On another note, when Satya said that he wants people to choose and love Windows, that really makes me happy. For years, I felt constrained by Windows because most businesses ran Windows. That meant that .net was my future. I had a functional relationship with Windows in that I used it because I needed to pay my bills.

The latest slew of announcements from free Visual Studio Community to Windows 10 is making me actually like Microsoft again. I do love my Mac, I do love OS X but apart from my iPhone I have no need for an iPad. The Surface, to me, is a far more logical step than the iPad. Now that Windows 10 is going to arrive, I'll most likely transition from my iPad to the Surface Pro 3.
January 24, 2015 2:37
Awesome information Scott!
Do you know if Microsoft will be doing an early release for developers for the HoloLens? If so is there a sign up for it?

It would be great to begin trying to develop apps to support it and see how I could build off of my existing projects.

Thanks again for all you bring the community.
January 26, 2015 21:20
Scott, you say Windows 7/8/8.1 for free upgrade to Windows 10, but the Microsoft site says Windows 7/8.1. I would like to upgrade from Windows 8 to 10. I was never able to update from 8 to 8.1 successfully, and barely made it back to 8.
January 28, 2015 19:16
These all sound pretty neat!
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.