Windows 10 (Win10) has now overtaken Win7 in the US and UK in the number of users—personal and corporate. Currently, Win10 is currently being used by close to 30 percent of the total global market. As everyone knows, Win10 is now the final Windows operating system version—there will be no Windows 11 or 12 or any such thing. So, what can we expect from Win10 in 2017.
The first exciting update that is eagerly awaited is the Win10 Continuum feature. What is it? Very simply, it seeks to make your smartphone your desktop—a PC in your pocket as it were. This simply means that you can dock your smartphone to a screen, keyboard and mouse and have a fully-fledged desktop.
Still at early stages—it is currently available with the Windows Lumia 950 phone, bit with limitations. Microsoft are looking to iron these out and give a user the full desktop experience via a phone early in the year. There will still be some limitations with regard to storage space – hence the dependency on cloud services, and probable frustrations with regard to gamers requiring large dedicated graphic functionality.
But a great way to fully utilise a smartphone as a PC with reduced costs all around. This is especially true in countries like Malawi, where the first “computer” purchased by many users is a smartphone.
Win10 PCs and tablets should also have better battery life in March, thanks to changes to how the OS is patched. Updates will use up less bandwidth and reduce strain on phone and laptop batteries, and they say that download sizes for major updates will be cut by about 35 percent and battery life of Windows 10 mobile devices will improve, due to each device spending less time checking for updates, and prioritised updates.
The Win10 Creators update—released in March—is placing great emphasis on 3D and virtual reality. Win10 Pro already comes with a 3D builder function which allows you to design an object in 3D and then mail it off to be produced by a 3D services company. However, there is a host of virtual reality head mounted displays planned to be released at the same time as this update—these include Microsoft’s very own HoloLens.
Many of these were demo’ed at CES 2017 this year and has raised market interest. Will this see the demise of monitor screens as we know them? Not yet—but I am sure this will be on the cards. This functionality is provided by Windows Holographic. A really big change is the enabling of Linux tools and applications to be run on Win10. This was initially introduced late in 2016. Ubuntu/Linux software runs on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Users can run Linux software and issue commands at the command line via the Bash shell. There will no doubt be many other updates that we will see. Some of these include, blue light reduction, which seeks to reduce blue light from monitors, which, it has been discovered, can disrupt the users sleep cycle. It will also seek to make simpler to stay in touch and share content with friends and family.
This is done by the Windows My People feature, that will allow users to pin their favourite contacts to the Windows taskbar. Clicking on a pinned contact’s face brings up email or Skype messages from only that person and files can be dragged to that person’s face for quick sharing. Enterprise version users will also benefit from increased Windows Defender security designed to reduce online threats.
It does this by ensuing applications run from untrusted websites are managed using container based isolation in the Edge browser. In my opinion Microsoft are moving steadily with the times and using the Win10 platform to make new technology accessible to users at all levels on any device currently on the market and soon to be released. I shall report back on the efficiency of these applications later in the year.
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