Friday, January 23, 2015

Windows 10: Microsoft Strategic Plays hidden in its free OS upgrade!

In a previous post, we posted the integration of Cortana into the upcoming release of Windows 10. Well, the excitement continues - Joe Belfiore walks us through a number of features:

This includes:

  • Continuum: Not only is the start menu back, but the start menu adjusts for desktop mode and (touch) tablet mode. 
  • Cortana: He confirms what we saw last time, but he couldn't risk a dig at Siri. But to be fair, Cortana has more of the "virtual digital assistant" features which incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to, as he shows, book appointments and reminders. 
  • Built-in Apps: Microsoft is offering calendar, photo, maps, video, mail and xbox apps. 

Although these key features are exciting, the bigger deal is how Microsoft is working to recapture market share from its competitors. 
  • Free upgrade if you have Win7, 8, or 8.1! Yes, that's right for a year people upgrade for free to W10! This obviously good news for consumers. However, it appears that businesses can also upgrade which could be the real benefit: Microsoft effectively is facilitating the move to the next version thereby reducing the risk that companies will stick with an OS for decade (i.e. like they did with XP). The free upgrade also will go a long way to build bridges with customers who were unhappy with start menu disappearing in Win 8. 
  • Windows Phone and XBox integration: The apps mentioned work across devices. Although it is not clear, it appears that to get the most out of the W10 features, you need to get a W10 phone. Although this seems like a long shot, it shows that Microsoft is not giving up anytime soon on the mobile phone space. XBox integration enables Microsoft to further capture space within the living room entertainment space, competing with the likes of Roku, Apple TV and the Google Chromecast. 
  • Bringing social to the web browser:  Losing market share to Google Chrome over the past few years, Microsoft appears to be striking back with Project Spartan, The browser offers enhanced usability features (tabs, reading,etc), but also has a a productivity play where users can annotate websites and then share their annotations via social apps.    
The new Windows 10 looks pretty amazing and now that it's free I really can't wait to try it! 

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