THE FUTURE OF WINDOWS
June 8th, 2015
As the release date nears for Windows 10, more people are wondering how Microsoft is shaping Windows for the future. A lot of changes have been instated since Satya Nadella has taken over as CEO of Microsoft a year ago. He has made it his mission statement to further Microsoft into the future with a mobile and cloud focus.
Microsoft is transitioning from a software engineering company to becoming a software as a service provider. This means that Microsoft is moving away from selling their traditional boxed software in stores to now doing subscription based services that are paid for annually or monthly. These offerings and more will be explained further in the following paragraphs.
Some of Microsoft’s subscription based services include Azure Cloud Computing, Skype and Office 365. Azure is a platform that allows businesses to do the work needed without having to purchase on-site hardware. Skype is Microsoft’s communication platform for video and voice. Office 365 is the new subscription based way to be able to use Microsoft office. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars to outright own the product you pay much smaller amounts of money monthly to gain access to it. Office 365 for Businesses focuses on providing business products such as Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint.
Microsoft is embracing competitor’s platforms instead of treating them as pariahs as well as welcoming the open source community. Microsoft is making the source code of the .net framework open to the public so that developers have a say in what happens with the framework. The .net framework is what powers a lot of sites and services that you use every day. Netflix is a great example of this. They have also released many of their applications to its competitors’ platforms. One of the biggest examples of this is the availability of Microsoft Office on IOS and Android. Soon, Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, will also be available on IOS and Android.
At Microsoft’s developer conference this year, they introduced four “bridges” for assisting in cross compatibility between various platforms. One bridge is for making it possible to bring over applications from iOS. The second bridge allows for Android applications to be submitted to the Windows Store with little to no modifications. The third bridge is to take classic windows applications and make them available in the Windows Store. The fourth bridge is to create web apps for the Windows Store. Web apps are an easy way for businesses to create an app for the store based on their website with little coding. One example of these bridges in use is Candy Crush Saga. The version that is now available for Windows is primarily the code from the iOS version. Hardly any modification was needed to make it available on Windows devices. Additionally, Microsoft is making better tools available to the general public in order to assist in application development. Last month Microsoft released a free slim down version of its Visual Studio for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.
The “One Microsoft” concept is another example of changes initiated in recent years. One Microsoft is the idea of unification of brands inside the company. One Windows is the project that is leading the way. With Windows 10, the same operating system is in use no matter what Microsoft device you’re on. This means that Windows 10 computers, Windows Phone devices, Xbox One, IoT devices (Such as Raspberry Pi 2), and Microsoft’s new HoloLens all run Windows 10. Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free for the first year in order to help reach their goal of 1 billion devices on the new operating system in a year.
Another reason why Microsoft is pushing so aggressively to get people to embrace Windows 10 is to decrease complexity and eliminate Patch Tuesday nightmares. In order to do this, as part of your agreement to take the update for free, you are agreeing to take all patches deployed thereafter on update day. Users with Windows 10 Pro will be able to defer updates for a time, but ultimately will have to take them. However, there are people who will be on the front lines testing these patches before release day. They are a group of volunteers called “Windows Insiders”. Windows Insiders are currently testing Windows 10 before it gets released to the general public.
Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows released. After this point, all updates will be released through Windows Update. This includes both patches and new features. To ensure that Windows is what the customer wants, a user feedback app has been added to Windows 10. Also, Microsoft has worked closely with enterprises to ensure that Windows 10 meets all their needs.
So many changes have been made for the better with the help of the general public. They have made their platform with the ability to keep up with an ever changing technological world. Microsoft is taking a leap into the future and hoping to take more consumers with them.
The ASON TEAM