Microsoft has introduced a number of new features to Windows 10 to make the experience of using a desktop or smartphone as seamless as possible.
Doing away with Windows Phone, Microsoft has made it so that users of any type of device will now be using one single Windows 10 operating system.
“Windows 10 will support the broadest device family ever,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group. “Windows 10 will inspire new scenarios across the broadest range of devices, from big screens to small screens to no screens at all.”
On stage, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, vice president of the Operating Systems group, demonstrated some new tweaks to Windows 10, including its Continuum feature, which gives users the ability to easily switch between desktop and tablet mode.
The feature means that the operating system now works better with devices that support both a mouse and keyboard, and touch input, such as Microsoft Surface. When the keyboard is connected, Windows 10 stays in desktop mode, and once the keyboard is removed the user is prompted to switch to the touch-first, tablet mode.
Microsoft has also developed a version of Windows 10 that is optimised for devices that are smaller than 8-inches, such as smartphones, phablets and small tablets. This mobile version still includes all the functionality of Windows 10, but is presented in a format optimised for smaller screens.
“It’s designed to go with your PC as a great companion,” said Belfiore.
Windows Phone 8.1 users will be able to get their hands on Windows 10 for free. They will also have access to free ‘universal’ versions of Microsoft applications, including Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, which are designed to run on PCs, tablets and small devices.
“Office universal apps on Windows 10 offer a consistent, touch-first experience across phone, tablet and PC with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook,” said Myerson. “Designed from the ground up to run on Windows, you can easily create and edit Word documents, annotate slides in real time with new inking features or easily present PowerPoint presentations, and with new touch-first controls in Excel you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development, more on this in the coming months.”
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