back to article Windows 10: The Microsoft rule-o-three holds, THIS time it's looking DECENT

The old adage that you never install a Microsoft product until version three appears to be holding true in operating systems with Windows 10. Windows 8 was a disaster, Windows 8.1 a waystation, but Windows 10 is looking like a very solid system. "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella at …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read the whole thing...

    Big bag of upgraded nothingness...almost

    "..Microsoft claimed that this could lead to a 50 per cent performance boost for some games."

    Well, without further explanation I must assume the upgrade fixes hindering bugs and uses hardware features previously unused, not new magical coding practices. But then again it does state some games, so maybe Microsoft (TM) games like Halo or whatever get full features, while the others remain hindered for not signing the "Games For Windows" b.s.? I'm curious here because 50% is ridiculously huge unless they recoded from some C++/JAVA spaghetti mess (probable) to ASM or even C, so there has to be some reasoning behind the term "some" (faster unwinding, recursion, ???).

    Anyways, I don't think they'll get me on "Windows Free For a Year", because like anyone previously incarcerated, I prefer "Windows Free For Life".

    1. Ketlan
      Devil

      Re: Read the whole thing...

      Gotta say I agree with this. Windows 10 free for life - great, I'll take two. Windows 10 free for a year - they can shove it: I'll stick to 7, thank you.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Read the whole thing...

        > Gotta say I agree with this. Windows 10 free for life - great, I'll take two. Windows 10 free for a year - they can shove it: I'll stick to 7, thank you.

        +1

        Windows has two uses: work and games: Work Windows gets installed into a VM. Nice for moving it between hardware and, ahem, testing upgrades. Gaming Windows gets W7 or W8. It really doesn't matter two hoots, since Steam is set to start automatically.

        There will be consumers who upgrade because it looks like a free upgrade and support is being pulled. That won't be me. Even if MS drops security fixes, it doesn't really matter because I have golden images for Work Windows and Games Windows doesn't browse except to very well known sites, it doesn't deal with email, IM (except Skype). Games Windows can also be re-installed if required. It's no big deal. All my important stuff runs on Linux or OSX.

        For Small Biz it will be great to keep paying out for stuff they didn't upgrade for years. I'm sure they'll love it! Not. A lot of these places are not tied into the MS ecosystem. No Exchange or Lync to help drive upgrades. They use gmail and some Word/excel macros to generate invoices. Apps are the thing. Click on the "X" or the "W" or the "E" is all they need.

        Medium Biz is probably in the same boat, except that they do have windows server products which drive upgrades, because externally connected servers do need patching. I'm reasonably sure they don't like to upgrade so frequently though and they are price sensitive.

        Big biz will carry on as usual. There ain't no upgrades coming through until they've been tested. I'm pretty sure they'll resist because they never really did the 3-year windows-upgrade thing so they won't want a subscription model which is going to double their costs over 5-6 years. They still have to do all the testing so there is no pain-relief for them from MS here. Rolling upgrades won't fly. They won't want to move from 7 to 10 any time soon.

        The upshot is, no-one likes upgrades except the vendors. Users like features. Hey Cortana, why is voice control very cool but slower and less reliable than other UI's? Hey Cortana, why is MS tying application features like games streaming to an OS rather than keeping them layered as applications on top of the OS? Why do they think streaming is a killer feature when Steam has been doing it for a while now and, quite frankly, it isn't that useful. Hey Cortana, do most browser-users think browsing is too slow and the reason is their local software?

        Don't get me wrong, I suspect W10 will be better than 8.x and will have interesting things in it. I'm just not convinced that most users want to pay for their OS as a service, or indeed that it offers enough to make it worth paying for, again and again and again. Compute as service, storage as a service has had a difficult enough time with dirt-cheap providers. When compute as a service turns out to be more expensive than the other option, it will be a hard sell.

        That's assuming it is an option. If MS has saturated their market and looks to increase revenue by charging existing users more, the value proposition begins to look shaky. Upgrade every three years instead of six or nine or twelve and you are seriously increasing your desktop costs. Home users might start looking more seriously at Apple. Lovely to look at, lovely to hold, free upgrades. Hmmm. When great uncle Albert's PC stops working because he didn't know he had to keep paying, some little pip-squeak is going to either replace it with an old mac or a linux installation. Maybe linux running on an old mac.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Read the whole thing...

          "Cortana?"

          "Yes Dave?"

          "Go F**k yourself"

          "I'm sorry Dave I can't allow that."

          {in the background does the equivalent of 'cd /;rm -fr'} :)

          If there is one thing that is going to piss me off is an office where a dozen (or more) PC using Cortana are all babbling at the same time because the users have not figured out how to nuke it.

          MS have obviously not thought this through.

          1. returnmyjedi

            Re: Read the whole thing...

            If it means that office dwellers jabber insanely to a digital assistant rather than me, I'm one socially stunted weirdo that welcomes the inclusion of Cortana.

          2. Ian 7

            Re: Read the whole thing...

            Cortana isn't voice recognition - it can certainly use voice recognition as an interface, but it's just as capable of using a keyboard as an interface too. I was pretty impressed with Cortana on my old WinPhone - when I was alone I'd talk to it and it recognized my speech with spookily high accuracy, but when I was surrounded by people I'd type into it and it worked just as well without bothering everyone.

      2. FuzzyTheBear
        Stop

        Re: Read the whole thing...

        Yeah the first dose is free ..

        Nope no thanks this one wont fly .. win 7 is stable , does the job for the little i use windows wy should i go to 10 and pay and pay when the kit i have works perfectly well for the use i have ?

        Nope , the yearly subscription is just subscribing to misery and probably more expensive than an outright buy . I haven't seen numbers yet fee/year but the whole thing smells.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Read the whole thing...

          The upgrade is free for the first year. You only uprgade once!

          If you don't upgrade in the first year, you might have to pay the normal upgrade price - this is much like the upgrade offer Windows 8 had, you could get it for 25€ for the first 6 months or so, then it went up to full price.

          They have already said that the PC will be supported with new releases for "the supported lifetime of the PC".

          That bit is open to interpretation - until it dies? Or until Windows requires newer processors and peripherals?

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: Read the whole thing...

            "the supported lifetime of the PC" - one interpretation of device. I want to see the small print before upgrading to make sure I'm not giving up my ability to swap out mboard every couple of years. My PC is the collection of parts I'm currently using, not a specific device.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the whole thing...

        I'm already completely Windows-free and happy to remain so. But it does seem like Microsoft is making a very concerted effort to get to where OS X was two years ago.

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: Read the whole thing...

          It is almost worth getting Win10 just to see how well these things interlink and work. But, and its a big but, Microsoft are only going the way its two rivals have preceded it. And I'm not sure i want to go along for the ride.

          We do seem to be increasingly irritated by ads that have tried to read our minds and failed, by digital assistants who pop up to help and don't seem to understand "go away" in vernacular speak. If I want to ask a question I will ask but to get an answer to a question I have yet to ask and get it wrong is unforgivable.

          These are phones, tablets PERSONAL computers. I want them to do what I want them to do - not be sucked up into what the Borg has decided I should do.

          Perhaps that's why I finding command line operation increasingly satisfying when using a desktop ... Maybe the time has come for MS-DOS 10 ;-)

    2. glussier

      Re: Read the whole thing...

      The increase in performance comes from directx 12 which has more direct access to the hardware, but better use of the cpu cores than previous directx versions.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Read the whole thing...

      LOL, 50% speed boost. Microsoft hyperbole.

      I won't be upgrading. I'm perfectly happy on Windows 7, and Windows 10, even if it's free for 1 year (or even life), still looks far too much like Windows8 with a start button for my liking. Still got silly tiles, still got too much Metro.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Read the whole thing...

        "LOL, 50% speed boost. Microsoft hyperbole."

        No, the 50% speed boost comes from 50% more speed!

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Read the whole thing...

      >[ Microsoft claimed that this could lead to a 50 per cent performance boost for some games.] Well, without further explanation I must assume the upgrade fixes hindering bugs and uses hardware features previously unused

      Yeah, why use Google when you can just assume? Let's see what impressions professionals from the hardware and game engine industries have:

      "DX12 has the potential to be much more efficient than DX11 at the cost of some effort on the part of the developer."

      nVidia engineer Henry Moreton http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/09/19/maxwell-and-dx12-delivered/

      "Right now, it’s too early to discuss performance due to the alpha state of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 drivers, however we are happy with the numbers we’re seeing."

      Unity blog http://blogs.unity3d.com/2015/01/22/staying-ahead-with-directx-12/

      Sounds cautiously optimistic, no?

      The 50% claim is for games in which the bottleneck is the CPU (so generally not FPSs like Crysis, you mentioned Halo but there hasn't been a PC version for years).

  2. James 51 Silver badge

    My PC doesn't have a touch screen and I don't have a microphone either. How is it going to cope on low/mid level powered systems without those features.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Much like Windows 8.1 does today...

      I use it on an older laptop with multiple attached monitors, no touch. It works very nicely.

      Windows 10 should work even better.

      Windows 8.1 doesn't need touch and Windows 10 won't either, nor will a microphone an speakers be essential either - depending on what you want to use it for.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        I have used 8 and 8.1 without a touchscreen and DOS was less opaque and frustrating (and bloody stupid by design).

    2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: ...and I don't have a microphone either. How is it going to cope

      Cortana will think she's Helen Keller.

  3. Jonski
    Paris Hilton

    Oops, wonder how THAT got in there?!?

    All of the data in these applications will be switched between phones and PCs seamlessly, Microsoft promises, and users will be able to back up and sync their data to Azure. For example, pictures taken on the smartphone will be uploaded to Azure

    That'll be interesting. How to keep my family life, my personal life and my business life separate. Nothing worse than a <ahem> "bedroom" photo ending up in the middle of a work presentation, or worse, your partner seeing what really happened at that out-of-town conference.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Oops, wonder how THAT got in there?!?

      Different log-in accounts?

      But seriously, it is a point - I can imagine a lot of people not wanting all of their stuff in US clutches once they understand what this implies.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Oops, wonder how THAT got in there?!?

        I can imagine a lot of people not wanting all of their stuff in US clutches once they understand what this implies.

        I'm surprised you missed one of the biggest ongoing data-privacy cases of 2014, but here's a summary:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/23/microsoft_vs_the_long_arm_of_us_law/

        tl;dr = Microsoft won't store your private data on servers under US jurisdiction.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Oops, wonder how THAT got in there?!?

          The us gov don't believe there are any jurisdictions outside their reach when a us company is involved. The courts haven't told them they're wrong yet. Might want to hold off trusting them till that happens.

          Then decide if you really want your local authorities able to raid your data on Microsoft servers so easily.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Oops, wonder how THAT got in there?!?

      You just turn off syncing, just as you do now.

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    As much as it pains me to say this...

    I am actually looking forward to this :/ :/ :/

    1. Cliff

      Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

      Likewise. I keep my hardware broadly current, have a win8 --> 8.1 device I still find confusing and can't see the benefit of metro turning my laptop stupid and running single apps full screen like the Dos days. I use some legacy and oddball programmes so need Windows platform, and actually am very happy with Windows for most things I need to do. A new XP? Great, I'll take it.

      New browser, OK, why not? I'll give it a go. My browser preference is not as hard and fast as some zealots, so light weight IE might be alright.

      Cortana - I've played with MS various incarnations of voice recognition in the past, never loving any of them enough to actually use. Maybe this incarnation will be better - deep integration will make a difference to it's usefulness, and 'Cortana' sounds less shit than 'OK, Google'.

      So yeah, give me your best shot, Microsoft. You've got some great engineers and minds*, let them win me over. Over the top services - make the platform free and great and price them right and I can get my head around that. Please just don't fuck it up.

      *Seriously, there are some incredible people there, amazing research, quality engineers. There are also some complete twats who keep renaming products either to take advantage of a good brand or duck a sullied one, or just to irritate me. I think they're in marketing, and Microsoft is terrible at marketing.

      1. wowfood

        Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

        I tried windows 8 for a while and honestly didn't mesh with it. There were certain design choices with it that just didn't agree with me, much like I'm still not a fan of the ribbon etc.

        I will probably give win10 a try after it's been out for a few months. Don't want to be an 'early adopter' but at the same time I won't be installing it on my main PC straight away, I'll probably put it on my spare PC first and see how things go with that.

        Worst case scenario nothing lost and I can just reinstall win7 over the top without losing much, best case scenario it's some kind of miracle OS, I like it and I install it on my main PC. There's no harm in trying it at least, even if my spare PC is running on an e8400

      2. Spiracle
        Boffin

        Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

        'Cortana' sounds less shit than 'OK, Google'.

        I've been experimenting on my Nexus and it seems to me that it only listens for a series of four hard vowel sounds, so a chimp-like "oh ay ooh ooh" seems to work and you can even get away with "Ewah WooWoo" sometimes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Childcatcher

          Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

          I've been experimenting on my Nexus ... chimp-like "oh ay ooh ooh" seems to work and you can even get away with "Ewah WooWoo"

          Ah, so YOU where that weirdo on the train!

          1. Yugguy

            Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

            Superb - I'm going to have to renable Google Now on my phone just so I can try this.

            Obviously it will be disabled as soon as I get bored with gibbering.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

              "OK, Bilbo" works for me. Doesn't make me sound less of an idiot though....

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: As much as it pains me to say this...

          >you can even get away with "Ewah WooWoo" sometimes.

          +1 upvote for reminding me of the old "Why does Edward Woodward have so many D's in his name?" joke*, which still makes me snigger like an 8-year-old.

          *punchline: "Because if he didn't, he'd be E-wah Woo-Wah". I've never claimed to have a sophisticated sense of humor.

  5. pirithous

    Cortana and the back-end database will be a new spying tool used by NSA. Imagine all of the data collection that will be going on with it, not to mention that it's a "feature" that's always listening. We've had voice recognition on PC's for many years, and it only found a niche market. Most people don't like talking to their PC; let's not forget that Windows 7 had built-in voice recognition and nobody used it. Sure, it sucked, but it still did some things okay, and most people never knew it ever existed.

    All I see MS doing is slapping a bunch of unnecessary processes on top of the NT kernel, yet there's still the discombobulated registry which became its own filesystem a long time ago, and the slow performing NTFS filesystem and other bits of Windows which have fallen behind Linux in terms of features, security, and performance. So the point here, is that you have a bunch of useless doodads soaking up memory and CPU cycles, running on top of an architecture that pretty much stinks. Microsoft is putting more lipstick on the pig.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Yup, after all no one uses Siri do they?

  6. Greg J Preece

    Some interesting features. I'm optimistic, so long as:

    1) It doesn't track every last sodding thing you do.

    2) Where it does have info-hungry apps like Cortana and the like, there is an off switch. Remember that one, Microsoft? Not everyone hates Metro (I don't), but everyone hates that it was mandatory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Greg J Preece

      You're asking too much from Microsoft!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Well if it's like Windows phone, you just let me see...it's so difficult.....Hmmm how do you do it again...oh yeah, you click the slider to turn off Cortana.

      1. Greg J Preece

        That would be nice - let's hope Microsoft do that. In fairness to them, the various data reporting things in Windows 8.1 were mostly set to "off" by default, and there was a switch for each one. I'd be tempted by a Win10 phone, too. While I use Android, I have no particular affection for it, and the Windows phone I've used in the past was a pretty slick experience, even if the one I had at the time was very basic.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll let the consumer version of W10 pass

    Let's see what the professional/business version has to offer. Anyway contributing to insuring a healthy constant revenue stream for Microsoft is not among my favorites.

  8. zen1

    Loved?

    Seriously, did he say "The most 'loved' Windows, yet"? OK I think somebody is seriously high. Given that MS single handedly killed over 15% of the PC market by sticking us with 8 & 8.1, there's not a chance in hell that I'm going to touch another MS OS at least until it's second or third SP.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Loved?

      "here's not a chance in hell that I'm going to touch another MS OS at least until it's second or third SP."

      This *is* Windows 8 Service Pack 4-ish. In fact, if you can see your way past (or disable) Metro then it is Windows 7 Service Pack 6 or Windows Vista Service Pack 9. Under the hood, MS have done sweet FA for the best part of a decade, except slowly scrub out the warts in Vista that weren't intended.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Loved?

        Right, so the new network stuff and HyperV are just fluff?

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Loved?

      And here I thought M$ were through with Service Packs...

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Loved?

      "MS single handedly killed over 15% of the PC market"

      Perhaps they've given up on the PC market and hope to firm up the fake Viagra market - they do want people to _love_ Windows on a daily basis and Cortana's not bad looking...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortana_(Halo)

  9. Captain DaFt

    YOU WILL LOVE ME!!!

    "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis,"

    All these years, three different CEOs, and Microsoft still doesn't get it.

    Nobody gives a tinker's damn about the OS unless it keeps getting in the way of what they're trying to do, and then they HATE it.

    People buy computers to run software to do things, games to relax, and browsers to waste time educate themselves. The quicker and easier the OS lets them do what they want to do, without being a major pain, the better.

    "We will make Windows 10 the most loved version of Windows ever."

    Translation: Once we get Win 10 on your system, we will never let you forget, for a microsecond, that you are 'enjoying' the Microsoft experience, no matter what you're trying to do on your computer, and you'll never leave us again, because CLOUD!

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: YOU WILL LOVE ME!!!

      > We want people to love Windows on a daily basis,"

      I think someone is seriously misunderstanding when I scream "F*&^ YOU!" at my computer

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: YOU WILL LOVE ME!!!

      I just want a computer to do what I want. Different prettyness no problem, but completely methods aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      Basically Windows was very similar from the one after Program Manager (95) to 7, that is well over 15 years of the same style. Well guess what they got the basic idea right.

      I do not want confusing GUIs, as far as I am concerned ANY keyboard based GUI program should have a menu at the top. Basically the File Edit, so when non Windows OSes look more like Windows than Windows there is something wrong.

      All the ribbon applications should have had a proper menu as well, I needed a news group reader in Win 7 so took the easy choice of Thunderbird.

      MS Word I have to use addins with the file edit patch.

      So basically do not get in the way of me working.

      Oh and for anyone saying I could learn all the new features (which are just as likely to be rejected at a later date) of something I use when necessary I would rather use the time to improve my programming skills. (.NET is the next one).

      Look I am over 50 now, and the last thing I want to do is spend my own time working out how something should work, when it should just work. It was not hard to build two Win7/Mint 17 dual boot gaming PCs.

      I was fine in the DOS days, I loved Netware, Multiuser DOS was very good, I was OK with Windows. I even ran WFW on the Real32 server.

      I will have a play with 10, we have a 8.x PC at work everyone avoids, then we will see how annoying it is.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: YOU WILL LOVE ME!!!

        Can we get "completely methods aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" as the QOTW?

  10. gubbool

    Oh boy... imagine, an office full of talking people and talking computer.

    I can't see where ANY of the new features are going to sway the business environment - BIG or small. If user experience was a factor in the business world MS would be have years ago; especially considering its early BSOD reputation.

    I hope to be dead in 2020 which is the proposed end of life for Win7.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Hey, look on the bright side. It'll mean the end of cubicles!

  11. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
    Alert

    I'm waiting to see the pro/enterprise surprises, if any. Everything listed, I already have had for an awfully long time (years). The exception would be the fact that my CDP is encrypted with only my having the keys. The rest cost a pretty penny to do (Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking, SpiderOak unlimited, ...) but there I am. What is "nice" will be some of these features trickling down which is really the story of computing over the decades. So, this isn't me but not everything can be about me. [Yeah, right!]

    I do know what fangs will need to go on the list of things to pull though for my two internet facing computers which will probably see the upgrade. I do have to have exposure to what the clients pain points may be. But that's true of other services (looking at Google and my other hall monitors).

  12. Paul 129
    Joke

    "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

    OMG! What a line.

    Jokes only please. I'll start!

    1. Paul 129
      Joke

      Re: "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

      So THATS what I'm fixing, a well and truly loved windows!

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

        I bet he's only saying he loves it to get it into bed...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I bet he's only saying he loves it to get it into bed...

          Hey, it's Windows at least you know it will go down on you

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

      "Now 100% Ballmer-free!"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We want people to love Windows on a daily basis," said CEO Satya Nadella

      He said "Daily basis" ..... just lost interest.

  13. Inquisitive

    Apps

    One major complaint with Windows hardware is the lack of apps compared to other OS's well for me having just bought my first Windows 8 flavoured gadget, a tablet, I take a different aspect to this problem. The Windows store is sparse in comparison to my Android tablet and phone but having said that I have found that I have the apps I need on my new fangled Windows tablet to do what I want and I question all the apps I have downloaded on to my Android stuff but never use. I'm not a gamer or Facebook/Whatsapp or other social media junkie I like news and so have news apps, sport, I have sports apps and access to my One Drive for documents, photos and such, oh and I still take pictures mainly with a DSLR. I am now looking at the recently released Microsoft 535 phone which is on sale at Argos for £90 which I am lead to believe after yesterday's Microsoft presentation will be upgraded to Windows 10 for free, maybe just for one year but that is yet to confirmed at the moment I believe.

    Looking at my Android tablet, Galaxy, I have 12 apps there that I haven't used yet this year so I have to ask do I really need them but on the plus side I can move some apps to the memory card, on the Windows tablet I cannot, which is stupid. I hope Windows 10 rectifies that and I'm not sure if you can move apps to a memory card on Windows phone which will be a minus if you can't so will have to check that out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apps

      Stop it...don't you know you need 100,000 torch apps, each one needing access to your contacts and internet connection?

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Apps

      Err that is not an issue.

      I have access to millions of programs, from simple text editors to huge vertical market factory software.

      It is of a standard format usable by most PCs in the world.

      WIN32

  14. thondwe

    Voice?

    Cortina is a "Me Too" feature - how many people use Siri or Android Voice on a regular basis, if ever?

    Paul

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Voice?

      Cortana isn't just voice recognition. It's actually very smart at determining the context of your queries based on your previous questions.

      Also, and most important for a desktop/enterprise system, you can drive it entirely by text, where it becomes a kind of free-form CLI, for want of a better analogy.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Voice?

        A friend has just acquired a phone with Cortana. It's actually very impressive, but annoyingly it refuses to work without an internet connection. OK on a desktop PC, but a pain in the neck on a phone, tablet or laptop.

  15. BongoJoe

    This Outlook thingy

    Does this then assume we're using a different version of Outlook that I have installed here on my desktop from Office 2010 or is this going to be some web thingy which is going to be nothing but webHotmail again?

    I would be excited, well marginally interested, if MS made a desktop version of Outlook sort of work on a tablet and handled MAPI correctly.

    Otherwise this is all web stuff that I don't wish to have nor need. And, anyway, I have my Outlook crammed full of useful VBA and I wonder how that's going to work on the phone.

    But what does interest me is this mega screen display hologram thingummy jig. If this can work with Eve Online then I may just have to get one machine just for this. Otherwise I will happily stick with Win7/XP hereabouts because there's nothing here for me as we're seeming hell bent going down this "Everything is a tablet rather than a monster desktop and everything is an app and not an application" mindset.

  16. What was the question

    Hooks

    Just so long as it has the proper hooks so that Classic Shell (or your favourite alternative to Classic Shell) can still provide you with a bloat-free, high-quality, time-efficient interface which works the way you do.

    There doesn't seem to be anything new in Win 10 worth mentioning for most people (voice control might be handy for some, if it works properly, but most will play with it then switch it off inside the first day) - apart from the less-broken interface, which most sensible people replace anyway. Still, I'll have a look at it. Plenty of time to work out if it's an actual upgrade on Windows 8.1 and provides anything worth having before the one-year free upgrade period runs out. Given that 8.x runs fast and works better than any previous Windows version ever did (assuming, of course, that you have replaced the brain-dead Metro interface and tweaked it a bit), my fear is that Win 10 will be loaded down and bloated with all the new gimmicks and be a downgrade. We shall see how it turns out.

  17. poopypants

    I will keep pestering you

    until you love me.

    - MS

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: I will keep pestering you

      Seems to be the modus operandi of most men... : (

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: I will keep pestering you

        Some of us know its pointless...

  18. Kevin Johnston
    Joke

    Let me see

    Voice system called Cortana....browser called Spartan...Halo, is there a theme developing here? Just hope it is a Requiem for Windows

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Let me see

      Or old Fords and King Leonidas

  19. DrXym Silver badge

    There'd better be a pay version

    I really don't enjoy the idea of a subscription based Windows, if that's what they're hinting at.

  20. Tromos

    PDA Operating system

    I quite like the sound of this to use on a tablet for browsing, e-mail, calendar etc. As for using it on a desktop system, forget it, I'll stick with dual boot Win7/Mint.

    I also find the idea of baked-in Xbox support as idiotic as those vendors who supply Android devices with Facebook and other crap permanently embedded.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PDA Operating system

      Microsoft are just targeting the non-technical consumer now. They're a larger market, and have more money than sense. Business users either have more sense (and are moving away), or they're locked in.

      If I worked for a place where I'm responsible for 20+ computers, I couldn't imagine being able to justify the upgrade to Win10.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    The killer feature of Win10? It will be receiving updates for longer than Win7.

    Anything else is just bullshit that will be disabled.

  22. Magnus_Pym

    We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

    'The upgrade will only be free in the first 12 months after release and will last for the "supported lifetime of the device." '

    Translation. Unlike XP and win 7, This version will die when we tell it to die.

    1. BJC

      Re: We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

      Alternative translation:

      You can upgrade, for free, from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 within the first year of release. After those first 12 months, you need to pay to upgrade. Either way, once you're upgraded it's yours and you are supported. That is, it *doesn't* need license renewal - it is not a subscription.

      Take at look at http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/01/21/the-next-generation-of-windows-windows-10/. The key quote is "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost."

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

        The key quote is "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost."

        So for the warranty period (and extended warranty period where applicable), as that can can be considered the "supported" lifetime.

        I build and support my own devices, and I suspect that MS will class this collection of bits as "the same device" only until I change the motherboard. To be fair, mobo (and thus CPU + RAM) changes I always fresh reinstall for anyway, but I'd like to be sure that Win10 will actually let me reinstall onto "this PC but with different CPU/mobo/RAM in" and not require I buy a new copy of the OS to do so. All the previous OSs that have been installed on it (98 SE, XP, XP 64, Vista 64, Win7 64, Win 8.1 64) have allowed reinstalls after hardware updgrades, I'd want 10 to be no different.

        That integrated XBox app sounds intriguing as well; a lot of my Steam titles are multiplatform XBox titles, and it would be interesting to actually be able to play them in a XBox party with friends. I'll have to see if I can find out more info on what functionality it actually offers.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

          >>"I build and support my own devices, and I suspect that MS will class this collection of bits as "the same device" only until I change the motherboard. To be fair, mobo (and thus CPU + RAM) changes I always fresh reinstall for anyway, but I'd like to be sure that Win10 will actually let me reinstall onto "this PC but with different CPU/mobo/RAM in" and not require I buy a new copy of the OS to do so. "

          I'm going to make an educated guess and say you'll be out of luck. If you have the full-price version of Windows, you should be able to use that through as many rebuilds as you like. The cheaper OEM version is actually what is sold to resellers for putting on pre-built devices. It's just that many people buy those instead because they're cheaper. So if you get this upgrade and you're upgrading from a non-OEM version I expect that you'll be fine. But if, like most, you're upgrading from an OEM copy then the new version will be the same licence. Meaning you'll probably be able to get them to re-activate it by phone unless you're unlucky, but technically they might not and I wouldn't count on it.

          1. NumptyScrub

            Re: We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

            The Win8.1 it's currently running is Technet provenance, so volume licensing rather than OEM. I have no idea whether that would make me more of a pariah than an OEM customer, or less, when it comes to them letting me activate a reinstall ^^;

            I miss Technet, apparently MS want to make sure I consider alternative OS vendors (mmm... minty) when I need to spin up a new machine at home, rather than just install Windows by default. Net result, only the gaming machine(s) still run Windows. :'(

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: We will tell them it's free - Muuhahahha

        "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost."

        The problem with this should be obvious if you look at web sites which have introduced tiered service or paywalls. They begin gimping the free service to encourage people to pay for the ungimped service. LinkedIn for example started off free and then started crippling search and email to get people to pay.

        Or look at game consoles - if you want multiplayer or a smattering of other features like cloud save on your console then you have to pay a subscription.

        It's easy to envisage Windows going the same way. Maybe an ad tile starts appearing in your metro. Maybe backup/restore, antivirus, cloud storage, remote desktop etc. become "premium" features. Maybe the ability to have more than 4 users becomes a premium feature. Petty restrictions, adverts and limitations could peppered through the experience and only lifted for a low, low monthly price. Maybe they sweeten the deal by promising streaming music, apps or unlimited storage or whatnot but through a combination of carrot and stick they want your money.

        Now I doubt any of this would be tolerated in the enterprise world where I expect we'll see a "pro" Windows which is the same as always. But it may well be what MS have in store for consumers, particularly the free download and whatever surprise updates you get in perpetuity.

        I hope to be proven wrong, but Microsoft isn't a charity and it's clear from their statements where they see their money coming from.

  23. Joerg

    Windows10 just plain sucks. HoloLens are a useless crap.

    Really.. Windows10 is nothing more than a Windows8.2

    They are forcing users into upgrading to Windows10 by killing off Windows7 and not giving DirectX12 to Windows8.x

    The awful childish unusable Metro/ModernUI is still there.

    They are so desperate to give it away for free now but just for 1 year. Because they so much want to copy Apple but for no more than a year...

    And the HoloLens ? A very bad copy of the already failed Google Glass.

    Augmented reality is not holograms and it's not an holographic thing.

    This pair of glasses looks huge and silly. No one is going to use it other than a bunch of people paid by the Microsoft marketing machine just like Google paid people to show the Google Glass nonsense thing.

    The majority of people already rejected the useless glasses for fake 3D .. the industry all together along with Hollywood didn't manage to sell that crap again and it's now a dead technology...

    Google halted production of Google Glass because all surveys tell them that people would not buy any glasses to use a computer or for augmented reality. No one would go around wearing those.

    And Microsoft with its marketing machine is trying to sell a huge pair of glasses blabbing about holograms ? Seriously ?

    Please...

    What a failure !

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Windows10 just plain sucks. HoloLens are a useless crap.

      You have completely missed the point of the glasses. They're a tool, not a toy. Nobody will wear them outdoors ... unless they're doing work that requires them.

      I was sceptical about this when I saw the presentation, but today I can think of hundreds of applications for this in industry.

      What this can do is provide a standard interface and API for 3D visualisation, one that allows anyone (Autodesk, for example, or SolidWorks) to add holographic modelling and manipulation to their product. And there's a mass-produced client device to lower the cost of using the technology to the point where small practices can afford it. If that doesn't sound interesting to you, you're not in an industry where showing people things, in 3D, that don't actually exist yet, is important. Here are some examples:

      You're an architect, and you're trying to show a client what you mean about moving a ceiling, or you're a surveyor, and you're trying to perform an initial layout of a building site on the ground. Or you're a car designer, and you're trying to get a feel of your work in three dimensions. Using this is a hell of a lot cheaper than clay modelling, and your engineering department can see the changes you make, and can work remotely with you as if you're all standing around the same life-scale model. When you're done, your brand manager can have a look, and even if she's in Michigan, Turin or Paris she can see how the design is progressing, "walk" around it, and make informed comment.

      Outside of creative tasks, how about maintenance of industrial equipment: the glasses can provide you with annotations in real space showing you the assemblies that you need to repair, or an X-Ray view of the equipment you're servicing.

      Speaking of X-Rays, this kind of technology is already very useful in medical training: there are exisiting surgical training systems using VR; this product lowers the cost of delivery of these, allowing their use in teaching to be broadened.

      All of these applications are possible now, but the barrier has been that there's no common API or client device specification, so my 3D visualisation system might not work with your CAD package, for instance. More important, nobody mass-produces the equipment, so it's horrendously expensive. Microsoft's product and adding the APIs to Windows makes both of these adoption barriers smaller.

      (The iPhone did not create the idea of mobile applications, what it did was lower the barriers to developing and selling mobile applications)

      Google's failure was that there was no actual need for Glass - it basically gave you a smartphone that you didn't have to take out of your pocket. Glass was a consumption device, not creation. Glass was expected to be worn all the time, rather than when there was a need for it. Very different usage models, very different capabilites, and very different applications.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows10 just plain sucks. HoloLens are a useless crap.

      Augmented reality is not holograms and it's not an holographic thing.

      Yes, we know it's not holograms, but it probably is to the mass of ignoramuses that Windows targets.

    3. NumptyScrub

      Re: Windows10 just plain sucks. HoloLens are a useless crap.

      The Hololens is not a bad copy of Glass, it appears to be a see-through version of the Oculus Rift.

      Assuming that the MS promotional video I watched earlier is intended to be indicative of the user experience (items placed hovering over real world objects in a true perceived 3D environment), then it's a head mounted 3D display (check), with motion tracking (check), and gesture sensing input (unique to the hololens), which is transparent enough for the user to see through (unique to the hololens).

      I have seen more than one person post on the Elite: Dangerous forums about how they would want the Rift screen to either be transparent, or provide a video overlay of the real life scene, so they can accurately type / pick up a drink / make notes on a pad then go back to the flight controls without needing to remove the HMD. Potentially, the "hololens" could provide such a head mounted display option, although a lot depends on the actual hardware implementation.

  24. Andy Non

    I'll try the free upgrade from 8.1 to 10

    Windows 8.1 sits largely unused on a laptop here; I'll definitely upgrade it to 10 if its free. Assuming it will load... if it gets provided as an optional system update then I'm sunk as Windows 8.1 system update no longer works. It gives an obscure error message every time it tries to update. Hasn't applied any patches / updates since October last year!

    So, assuming I can upgrade to 10, I'll definitely have a play with it. If I don't like it or Microsoft hit me for subscription fees after the year then I'll overwrite it with Linux Mint - my currently preferred and most used OS.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cortana to do more than just answer questions

    waggle her (?) tail and yap like that f... office paperclip? :(

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    websites can be annotated and users can add comments

    with the Big Daddy taking a gentle peek over your shoulder, as those comments find their way into the Big Daddy's data centres, to be shared with "carefully chosen partners". What's not to like?

  27. 0laf Silver badge

    The versions of windows that people get as close to loving as I think is going to happen were the OSs that just worked, quietly got on with their job and let people do things on the computer that they wanted. I'm thinking Win 2000, XP and 7.

    If they get back to that then Win10 will be popular.

    Win8 wasn't bad, it was just touch focussed and therefore shit without touch. It was fast and secure, it they'd sorted the interface it would have done fine.

  28. bob, mon!
    Meh

    Will there be a real professional/enterprise version???

    I think there's a reason MS introduced the playsumer version of Win10 first - those rental fees are where they're looking for most of their revenue. Unless they do something truly OUTSTANDING for the pro/enterprise market, companies are going to hold onto Win7 until it goes end-of-life anyway - because there's no business case for replacing something that's working well, and testing/verifying a new OS with current business procedures is a pain to be put off until necessary.

    As for doing something truly outstanding, their track record at that can be seen in the evolution of MS Office (okay, I'm used to the ribbon now, but it still seems pointless to me). I have my own copy of Office 2010, work "had to" move on to Office 2013, so I can see its inferiority on a daily basis.

    <where's the "crusty curmedgeon" icon?>

    1. I don't have a handle

      Re: Will there be a real professional/enterprise version???

      "those rental fees are where they're looking for most of their revenue"

      What rental fees are those? You can't be referring to a Win 10 subscription model surely?

      http://www.pcgamer.com/microsoft-windows-10-will-not-be-sold-as-a-subscription/

  29. adnim Silver badge

    What does a ducked question indicate?

    "Once the offer period is over there may be upgrade charges – Microsoft ducked questions on this – but analysts don’t think this is likely."

    MS ducked the question, this leads me to believe such charges are likely.

    I am naturally suspicious, having seen many bait and switch tactics employed by so many companies over the years. I expect that Windows 10 will have some kind of fees attached, most certainly strings.

    Corporations never give anything for free, not without an ulterior motive. Corporations are not altruistic and anyone who believes they are, are naive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What does a ducked question indicate?

      > MS ducked the question, this leads me to believe such charges are likely.

      The question has been addressed. You just need to find the answer and believe it ;)

      Apparently "a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch. (Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1). Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.

      Seems pretty clear cut Enterprise/RT not free, otherwise free upgrade, no subscription. Attached strings and cynicism aside, that's the score.

  30. Palpy

    Security?

    Listening to the people in my social set -- most of them over 40, most on Win XP, 7, or OSX -- I hear a desire for better OS security, and a stable user experience. Nobody in my set is talking to Siri now, and I doubt they'll talk to Cortana. Most of us use laptops -- nobody cares about a 2-meter screen. Or holograms.

    If a Win 10 ISO could be used to install the OS on multiple PCs, even old ones; if it offered a choice of sensible GUIs; if it just did what I wanted it to and got the hell out of my way the rest of the time; and if MS addressed the looming security disaster in its OS with solid measures, and TIMELY patches ("We're no longer facing an evolution in security threats but a revolution..." -- Microsoft's Chris Hallum)... Well, then I might be more interested in Win 10.

    Instead, I use Linux. It installs easily on anything (well, all the PCs and old Macs I've tried, anyway), I choose the GUI, and it can be secured and maintained with a minimum of effort. And since I don't game and don't need MS Office at home, it does everything I want.

    Some people don't want frosting. They want potatoes.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Security?

      Listening to the people in my social set -- most of them over 40, most on Win XP, 7, or OSX -- I hear a desire for better OS security, and a stable user experience. Nobody in my set is talking to Siri now, and I doubt they'll talk to Cortana. Most of us use laptops -- nobody cares about a 2-meter screen. Or holograms.

      That's my feeling too. If I wanted Cortana, I'd write it myself - I already have the MEMM parser and related bits running under UIMA, and CMU Sphinx is right over there. I do all my real work on a laptop; don't want a huge screen, don't want a tablet, use my phone as a phone. I saw 3D displays at SIGGRAPH in '89, thought they were clever, never wanted to use them myself - and AR even less so.

      Certainly there are people who find these various doodads exciting - this forum alone is evidence of that. But they leave me cold.

      I'll have to upgrade to Win10 eventually. (IT insist on replacing my laptop every three years if it needs it or not, leading to days of lost productivity as I get everything moved over.) When they foist a Win10 box on me it'll be irritating, just because I'll have to spend a little more time poking around it disabling features I don't want and figuring out how to coax it into working more like my Win7 machine. (Of course the Linux VMs will move over and keep running the same way they always have. Some years back I had to make the switch from ksh to bash but that's about the extent of UI disruption I've ever had to put up with from a *ix OS.) In the end, though, it'll be Just Another Windows. I do as much work as possible with Cygwin and vim and command-line utilities, so once Windows is broken to the saddle they're all largely the same.

      1. JamesTQuirk

        Re: Security?

        Another thing which I find funny, is now, when I tell people I want to format & reinstall Linux, say NO, what about android ? .....

        One of the most secure OS out there, Linux, rewritten in the Holy JAVA .... you can't beat media hype sometimes ....

  31. Daz555

    Well I bought Windows 8 for about 14 quid due to the discount they offered for the first few months. Offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade for customers who upgrade early is a great idea.

    Worth getting the upgrade even if you don't plan on using it 'til SP1.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloat, Bloat and more Bloat,

    Bloat, Bloat and more Bloat,

    so i hope that there is a Default config (install all MS options and all Bloat) and a Custom config with LOTS of options, No Xbox, No Cortina, NO IE and / or Spartan, ability to not default to one drive or other CLOUD storage as a storage destination (Define only local or private or corporate storage locations), No needing to use a Microsoft login to install Window, Option to move the users and program data folders to a separate partition / drive.

    Spartan maybe, IE i can do without.....(Chrome probably)

    Cortina - no not on the desktop machines in the office environment

    XBOX compatibility - not on the office machines and for me i dont play any games, (even remove the windows installed ones at work and home) so no need for this either.

    Slim down the OS make it small and fast and SECURE, then layer the other components on top as install "OPTIONS" so each system gets what it needs not what someone at MS "thinks" you want.

    If Free Ill try it but if they start being stupid about "software as a service" costs or using their CLOUD then back to WIN 7 and i have till 2020 to workout what other OS i will use at home and roll out to users in the corporate environment.(Office, Desk Phone integration, and Finance software being the only sticking points)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    future life cycles

    I wouldn't put it past MS to shorten future life cycles and support like Apple. Any previous OS life is "X" from date of new version release or becomes retired after two new versions whichever is shorter.

    Quickly halt old OS sales (according to MS http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/lifecycle WIN 7 Premium is still available pre-installed on machines at least for another year even though mainstream support has ended.) even though its replacement has been out for over 2 years.

    Only corporate licencing Programs / Subscriptions would get downgrade rights and again restricted time (longer costs exponentially more model).

  34. John Sanders
    Holmes

    Xbox App

    Which looks suspiciously like the Steam client...

  35. JamesTQuirk

    Pity This is my last "windoze" pc, all others here run xubuntu, which works, for free NOW .... 365 days a year, until crack of doom .... (or icebergs)

    Last 3 "windoze" brought here by people, had 1500 virus/malware hits each, @ the point I formatted the crap & installed Xubuntu on them for those people,

    The "bum" from downstairs, who hasn't payed for the work I did, in 18 months, has still a working PC, it has not been scanned 4 virus for at least 18 months now, it is still running fine, which only really annoys me a little ....

    Libre Office does all office needs, and works MS-Offall files, with no issues, Xubuntu runs 99% of games in Wine, & I can VM the rest ...

    I have long ago installed dos 2.11, windoze 2.0, 3.1,3.1.1,95,98se,xpsp3, win7, They have lost the plot, MY PC works for me, NOT THEM !!!!

    Let windoze die ....

    1. NumptyScrub

      Pity This is my last "windoze" pc, all others here run xubuntu, which works, for free NOW .... 365 days a year, until crack of doom .... (or icebergs)

      I'm pretty sure that 5 years (for the current LTS version) is not "the crack of doom". 5 years from now (or less) you will have to install a new version if you wan to continue to run a supported operating system.

      You probably want the Mint Debian rolling distro if you don't want to have to install new versions every so often, that what I switched to ^^;

      Last 3 "windoze" brought here by people, had 1500 virus/malware hits each, @ the point I formatted the crap & installed Xubuntu on them for those people,

      Yeah ok you are a massively opinionated person. I support a few thousand Windows boxes for a living and if you set them up right they work fine and do the job they need to. It sounds like you have never experienced that, so I can only assume you have never seen them set up right in the first place.

      If you want to talk about exploitable code that can get new users screwed over by malware, shall we start with a discussion on how Ubuntu (and thus Mint) now come with Flash Player as standard? o.O

      1. JamesTQuirk

        I am retired, I use to build server farms, 30 Boxes a day, own my own PC store, and be responsible for $500K of gov funding to provide training, so i Know a little, I have running debian on my amiga since 94, it is still running that same OS, newer machines here, are as of the weekend, ALL Linux (xubuntu), I have removed windows from all of them, So enjoy enjoy your 3d rendered dancing paperclip with Tits, you obviously need it ....

        I can remove software like Flash or Tumblr @ my whim, you should read the manuals .....

        I VM's back to Dos2.11 here, I have DOS 5.0 boot so I can play SWOTL still, because they tell you it's over, doesn't mean it is ...

      2. JamesTQuirk

        & PS, I am not saying Windoze never worked, it is just drowning in virus NOW & MS spying crap, last few years, When I used to teach, I had to learn to embrace change, People and software, have moved on, I have taught Office & Wordperfect & Wordstar on PC & Zardax WP on a Apple 2e, My Kaypro CPM box had Wordstar also, But none of these old OS, where NOT working for somebody else, all CPU to project @ hand, Not a dancing dolly ....

        MY PC works for me, NOT them !!

  36. Spudgun3K

    Trying out the Tech Preview now

    I've got Cortana working now on Windows 10 Tech preview 9926; if set up as UK you have to install the US language as default to get it to work, so I will have a play and see what all the fuss is about.

    I used to have speech recognition on my old Commodore Amiga 1200, very basic recognition but it allowed me to run any program by just saying a word.

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