Microsoft has an event scheduled for later tonight where it will be discussing the “next chapter” of Windows. This is Microsoft’s second event after September 30 where it unveiled the Windows 10 operating system. The company has since also released a Technical Preview of Windows 10 to give users an idea of what the next iteration of its desktop operating system will look like.
In the event, Microsoft also announced Windows Insider program, a new initiative by the company wherein it seeks feedback from consumers and pushes the most demanded features to the next build releases. The idea is to let consumers be a part of the software development process so that the final version of its product reflects the changes people want in the software.
Since the event, lots of new things have leaked, giving us an idea of what to expect from Microsoft later tonight. Without further ado, let’s look at those features.
Consumer-oriented features in Windows 10
Microsoft unveiled the technical preview of Windows 10 last year. The build marked the return of Start menu to the desktop operating system and also revealed several features including Virtual Desktop, Task View, Snap Assist, and support for Universal Apps among others.
At the event, the company is expected to reveal some consumer-focused features. It is expected that the company will showcase new features for the laptops, desktop and gaming systems lined up to release this year. Here are the features the company is expected to reveal today.
Cortana for desktop: Few previous builds have shown the existence and placement of Cortana in the Windows 10 Technical Preview. But so far, we haven’t seen the voice assistant service fully functional in the system. That may happen tonight. Cortana is expected to have deep integration with other built-in Windows 10 services and act as the primary search interface.
New UI: The company confirmed with the Windows 10 Technical Preview that it is going back to the basics with its user interface – ditching the Modern UI in desktops in favor of traditional interface. However, the company has been reportedly working on an attractive interface for the desktop platform, with dark elements which is expected to resemble the user interface of its mobile operating system.
Continuum: The company unveiled the Continuum feature in September but didn’t include it in the Technical Preview of Windows 10 last year. This will be a good chance for Microsoft to showcase the feature in its entirety. For those who are unfamiliar, Continuum is an interface for 2-in-1 laptops (touchscreen enabled) and convertible tablets.
Windows 10 Mobile
We are most excited about the Windows 10 mobile SKU the company is reportedly going to showcase today. It will be of utmost importance as the mobile operating system of Microsoft is still struggling to make any substantial dent in the Android and iOS dominated mobile market. It will be important for the company to set the tone right with Windows 10 as this might be its last chance to lure in customers to use its mobile operating system. As per a report from last month, the company was contemplating over introducing support for Android apps on Windows Phone.
From what we have heard so far, Windows 10 Mobile will merge support for Windows RT and Windows Phone. The operating system is also expected to come with support for multitasking.
New browser Spartan
Microsoft is working on a new web browser for desktop platform that resembles the Chrome and Firefox. Codenamed Spartan, the browser is expected to have Cortana integration which will deliver information on bookings, flights, hotel, package tracking, and other data in within the browser.
The Spartan will allow users to annotate web page with a stylus and give an option to quickly share notes and annotations with a friend or colleague. It will be powered by Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive.
The other interesting feature is a new way Spartan will group together the tabs. The company has plans to de-clutter the messy interface as number of tabs increase. The browser will allow users to group together and separate work tabs from personal tabs.
Windows 10 for Xbox
Xbox Chief Phil Spencer will also be among the attendees today. His presence signifies that the company has plans to discuss how Windows 10 would work on the gaming platform. While nothing about it is known as of now, Microsoft could announce better integration between Xbox One, Windows 10-powered systems and Windows 10 mobile handsets.
According to report on The Information, Microsoft is planning to introduce a new handset which will be a hybrid of a phone as well as laptop.