Microsoft held a pretty major unveiling event on January 21st. Not only did they introduce new features of Windows 10 as anticipated, but they also revealed that the new OS will be a free upgrade for all Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and – wait for it – Windows Phone 8.1 users. New Office features were also demoed, as well as the “whiteboard-killer” Surface Hub (all-in-one PC with 84” 4K touch screen) and the magical HoloLens. Seriously, check that last one out, it will blow your mind! The whole webcast of the event can be watched here: http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/index.html
I’m really excited about all of those things, but this in this post I focus on the new features of Windows 10 Technical Preview that became available after the event. I did write about my first impressions of the preview OS earlier, so now it’s time for a follow-up. All screenshots are again taken from my Lenovo T430u ultrabook, in which I have installed the Technical Preview as primary OS. First I’d like to show you how the default universal search works:
You can access the search by clicking the magnifying glass or when Start menu is opened, by simply starting to type. As you can see, it searches a lot more than just your apps! However, one big thing introduced in the Microsoft’s event was the Cortana’s debut on PC platform. Cortana is a digital assistant that has been available on Windows Phone 8.1 devices for a while, but only on selected regions. So as a default it didn’t work on my ultrabook, but after switching region setting from Finland to United States, it started to work immediately.
In the setup phase, Cortana fetched all my personal settings from the cloud (the ones I use it with on my phone). I tried the voice recognition too, and it worked like a charm. In the essence, Cortana still works like the regular search (as described above), but it also gets to know you and your personal preferences. Here’s CNET’s short demo about it:
Notification Center got some updates as well, you can also now switch to tablet mode (handy for all of those hybrid devices. The four buttons on the bottom can be changed to whatever you want to be accessed quickly. All in all the Preview seems to be very stable and fast, and I am definitely looking forward for the actual release of Windows 10 so I can upgrade my other PCs too!
Want more? Windows VP Joe Belfiore gives you more detailed look on Windows 10 and its new features: