2Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade
Over the years, Microsoft has made a boatload of cash on Windows. But as Windows 8 sales slowed to a crawl, the company’s business model changed. That’s why Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for customers currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Microsoft won’t try to treat Windows 10 as a software product cash cow. Instead, it wants to make its money elsewhere, like in the cloud.
3Even Pirates Will Be Able to Get Into the Mix
In an interesting twist, Microsoft has decided that rather than try to fight the pirates that have been using copies of Windows without paying for them, it’s going to play nice. All pirated copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be eligible for the free upgrade just like all the individuals and organization that have been paying for Windows over the past 25 years. It’s a surprising move, but a smart one that could pay dividends for Microsoft in the long run.
4There’s an Interesting Xiaomi Deal in the Works
Xiaomi is one of the most popular China-based smartphone makers. And now, it’s inked a deal with Microsoft that could see the company adopt Windows 10 in at least some of its smartphones. Xiaomi has agreed to a deal with Microsoft that will see the company bundle Windows 10 Technical Preview into its handsets, enabling users to see how the operating system fares on a smartphone. Xiaomi says it’s just an “experimental program.” But it looks like Microsoft hopes to cut into Android’s use with one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world.
5Project Spartan to Replace Internet Explorer
The days of the venerable Internet Explorer are numbered. Microsoft will bundle a new browser called Spartan with Windows 10. Although Microsoft says it’s built from the ground up, the company has recently acknowledged that it has some Internet Explorer components built-in. Either way, Spartan is designed to be leaner and faster, adhere to the latest Web standards and remove some of the annoyances of Internet Explorer’s design. Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype.
6Cortana Will Be Everywhere
Microsoft’s Cortana, the personal virtual assistant originally built into Windows Phone, will be coming to Windows 10. According to Microsoft, it’s working on an update to Cortana that will be available in about the same timeframe as Windows 10. That update will add more features and make the personal virtual assistant far more useful to desktop users. For now, it’s geared only toward mobile users, but that will soon change with Windows 10.
7Windows 10 Will Have a More Familiar Look and Feel
One of the main things Microsoft did to Windows 10’s design was make it feel more familiar to people who had trouble with the idea of Charms and the Start menu that showed apps in a different way. The familiar Start menu is back to the way it once was and should help reduce the time it takes for users to get used to working with Windows 10.
8Microsoft Is Boosting Support for Multiple Platforms
As noted, Microsoft is partnering with Xiaomi to bring Windows 10 to smartphones. The company has also indicated that Windows 10 will run well on tablets, and it will of course work as prescribed on desktops and notebooks. That’s a key feature. No other company has crossed the mobile divide so significantly. That could result in more apps and more interconnectivity between devices.
9China Matters, Lenovo Deal Illustrates
Microsoft has inked a deal with Lenovo that will essentially center on one goal: bringing Windows 10 to millions of China’s PC users. Lenovo is a Chinese company that sells its computers and mobile devices around the world as well as to China’s domestic market. But Windows has also been widely pirated in China and in the rest of Asia. So not only could Microsoft’s Lenovo deal bring more people into the Windows 10 fold, but it could also help reduce piracy.
10Biometric Support Will Play a Significant Role
Biometrics will be a major selling point for Windows 10, according to reports. Although Microsoft has supported biometrics in the past, the company is planning to dramatically expand its investment in that area, ensuring that Windows 10 works well with iris scanners and other biometric devices. Windows 10 could be the most advanced operating system in the world when it comes to supporting the latest biometric technology.
11Hardware Requirements Are Not So Troubling
Would-be Windows 10 users will likely find that they can keep their current computers without fear of being unable to take full advantage of all Windows 10 features. Windows 10 will require just a 1GHz or faster processor, 16GB of data storage capacity, 1GB of RAM for the 32-bit option and a Microsoft account. A graphics card with DirectX 9 will also be required. In other words, a computer that was purchased years ago will handle Windows 10 just fine.