Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.
There's a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding Windows 10 at the moment, which is understandable since Microsoft just finished revealing a bunch of extra details at a scheduled press event. However, if you direct your attention to Microsoft's Lumia Conversations blog, there's a bit of a buzz-kill for Windows Phone owners. Specifically, Microsoft said that not all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices will see an upgrade to Windows 10, even though it previously said they would.
Microsoft made a handful of revelations during its press event yesterday, such as that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year, and that Cortana is headed to the desktop. But one of the most intriguing things Microsoft talked about was HoloLens, essentially a head mounted display that splatters holograms all over your living room, or wherever you happen to be wearing it. There are several potentially viable applications for this kind of technology, though the one I'm most curious about is gaming.
We tried Microsoft's augmented reality demo and couldn’t stop smiling
Many suspected that Microsoft would toss its hat into the virtual reality headset game. After all, Oculus VR was successful enough with its Kickstarter campaign that Facebook ended up purchasing it for $two billion, and longtime console rival Sony jumped into the fray not long ago with its Project Morpheus. While Microsoft did reveal its own head-mounted display, the HoloLens isn’t competing in the VR space, but is instead paving new paths for augmented realities. We got a chance to try it ourselves and you’re probably wondering, “Is it any good?” Simply put, if it's executed correctly, it has the potential to be transformative.
UPDATE: We've updated the story to include more info on Microsoft's PC gaming initiative and talked more about the tweaks to Windows 10.
Microsoft held a Windows 10 press conference today and revealed a massive amount of details from the upcoming OS and much more. After many rumors, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 will be free to Windows 8, 7, and Windows Phone users...for the first year, at least. The company views it as an incentive for users to quickly jump on board to the Windows 10 platform. Beyond the year, however, Microsoft hasn’t revealed any pricing details for how much the OS will cost.
Stop whatever it is you're doing and make a fist. Make sure there isn't a living creature within arm's length, and when the coast is clear, pump your fist in the air in celebration. What are we celebrating? The fact that Microsoft today confirmed plans to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users! This is exactly the type of announcement we were hoping for, but didn't really think would happen.
Weeks after Google's Gmail service was blocked in China, Microsoft's Outlook email service was the target of a cyberattack over the weekend, with fingers once again pointing to Chinese authorities. Online censorship watchdog Greatfire.org said that China initiated what's known as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack, affecting people using email clients like Outlook, Mozilla's Thunderbird, and smartphone apps using the SMTP and IMAP protocols.
During the holiday break, Google's Project Zero team disclosed a vulnerability in Windows 8.1 after Microsoft failed to issue a patch within the 90-day deadline that Google gives vendors. That sparked a debate on whether or not Google did the right thing, and while many (not all) of our readers sided with Google, Microsoft has some information that warrants asking the question again. Specifically, Microsoft says it was scheduled to patch the vulnerability on Patch Tuesday, two days after Google's deadline, and that Google ignored its request to withhold details until that time.
Company trying to get rid of multiple sync engines
Microsoft drew the ire of many Windows 10 Technical Preview testers when Build 9879, which was released in November, was found to be missing a key OneDrive functionality: “smart files”, which are offline placeholders containing thumbnails and metadata of OneDrive files. At the time, the company said the feature had been withdrawn in response to consumer feedback and some key parts of placeholders could return once it was done making “fundamental improvements to how Sync works.” A few days back, the company outlined its OneDrive improvement plans much more clearly.
Rumored features include digital inking support and tab grouping
Microsoft has a special press event scheduled for January 21, when it will finally turn the spotlight on Windows 10’s consumer-specific features. Chances are Microsoft could end up formally announcing the new "Spartan" browser, which we first heard about late last month, at the upcoming event, though it’s hard to say anything with certainty at this stage. Well, it may or may not figure on the upcoming company’s agenda for the event, but Spartan has already gotten the tech media buzzing.