Microsoft Shows Off Windows 10, HoloLens, Cortana On PC & More… [Tech News Digest]
Microsoft reveals the future, with Windows 10, HoloLens, Cortana, and Spartan, BlackBerry wants app neutrality, Twitter launches While You Were Away, The Elder Scrolls Online is set free, and LittleBigPlanet does Game Of Thrones.
Microsoft Reveals The Future
Microsoft has revealed a host of details regarding its plans for the future. With this being billed as a Windows 10 event, Microsoft’s next operating system took center stage, but several other exciting products and services were also unveiled for the first time.
About Windows 10
Today made all MSFT employees proud, customers excited and shareholders salivate. The wave of windows 10 hw, services OS rocks I love MSFT
— Steve Ballmer (@stevebmicrosoft) January 22, 2015
Windows 10 is, as expected, a hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8. It is designed to work across a range of devices, working with rather than against users of PCs, tablets, and smartphones. And in a quest to tempt people to upgrade, Windows 10 will be free for the first year for anyone currently using Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Phone.
Cortana On Desktop
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) January 21, 2015
As rumored, Cortana is coming to the desktop in a big way. Microsoft’s personal assistant, which has been helping users of Windows Phone for some time, will have a permanent home on Windows 10. Cortana will act as both the spoken interface and a personal assistant able to answer questions and suggest which apps to obtain.
This Is Spartan
The Spartan Web Browser has me skeptical though. I love IE. You’ll need to pry it from my tiny man-child, cheese covered fingers.
— Trav Pope (@travpope) January 21, 2015
After leaking early, Project Spartan is now official. Spartan is a new Web browser designed to replace the much-maligned Internet Explorer. Early sightings suggest Spartan is cleaner and less bloated than IE, with a host of new features including integration with other Microsoft services and a “note-taking mode” which lets you add comments and draw all over Web pages.
Xbox One Integration
Windows 10 and the Xbox One will be integrated in a number of innovative ways. A dedicated Xbox app for Windows 10 will let you view your games collection, chat with friends on Xbox Live, and even share clips. Xbox One owners will also be able to stream games to their Windows 10 devices, which may just be another reason to choose the Xbox One over the PlayStation 4 .
Holy HoloLens Headsets
Last but certainly not least is HoloLens, an augmented reality headset which projects holograms onto the real world around you. Microsoft showed off the power of HoloLens using four demos which you can see glimpses of in the video above.
While this is very much future technology, all Windows 10 devices have Holographic APIs built into them, suggesting Microsoft is keen to push HoloLens through from being a development unit to a finished product sooner rather than later.
Keep your browsers aimed at MakeUseOf for more detailed breakdowns of Windows 10, Cortana on desktops, Project Spartan, and HoloLens in the following days, weeks, and months.
BlackBerry Boss Wants App Neutrality
BlackBerry is confusing neutrality with ubiquity. Neutrality: force gatekeepers to be neutral. Ubiquity: force devs to go through all gates.
— David Meyer (@superglaze) January 22, 2015
The CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen, is calling for “application neutrality,” which would ensure companies have to create apps for all operating systems rather than just Android and iOS. Chen seems to suggest this would be an obvious extension to the principles of net neutrality .
In a blog post adapted from the letter Chen sent to several important members of Congress, the BlackBerry boss suggests,”all wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose, and applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.”
It’s a nice idea but it twists the logic behind net neutrality into something completely different. Forcing ISPs to remain neutral in how they deliver content to their users isn’t the same as forcing companies to develop apps for every operating system that exists. The former is positive, the latter is, well, a little deluded.
Twitter Launches While You Were Away
New today for iOS users: a recap of some top Tweets you might have missed from accounts you follow. https://t.co/mpsJLZYiBU
— Twitter (@twitter) January 22, 2015
Twitter has officially begun rolling out its new ‘While You Were Away’ feature, starting with iOS, and adding Android and the website in the near future. In essence, ‘While You Were Away ‘ will show irregular users the best tweets that have surfaced since the last time they checked their feed. While “best” is obviously a subjective term, Twitter suggests this will be “determined by engagement and other factors.”
The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Free
The Elder Scrolls Online is launching on PS4 and Xbox One in June, and in preparation for the switch to consoles, Bethesda is ditching mandatory monthly subscription fees. Instead, ESO will be re-released as Tamriel Unlimited, a free-to-play title with an optional premium package and a host of available micro-transactions.
LittleBigPlanet Does Game Of Thrones
And finally, proof that some people have too much time on their hands, with a video showing the Game Of Thrones title sequence as recreated using LittleBigPlanet 3. This game, along with its predecessors, allows players to create their own levels , although few are as detailed or impressive as this particular one.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What do you think about the slew of announcements Microsoft made yesterday? Is the idea of “app neutrality” nothing but wishful thinking? Will you be trying The Elder Scrolls Online once it’s free?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
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