Windows 10 Day is Upon Us

Here are my hopes for what comes out of the Microsoft announcement…

big-windows-logo-wallpaper-100256988-primary.idgeI’ve been part of the Windows 10 Insider Program from the beginning. I’ve put every released build of Windows 10 on a Surface Pro and have been relatively pleased with its performance. While others have been less than happy with it, my experience has been ok.

It may be because of the way I use my Surface Pro – it’s really nothing more than an electronic note pad. I use it to take meeting notes with its stylus in OneNote. While I do occasionally use other productivity apps on it – mostly Office 2013 apps – I tend not to push it too hard. I’m the same way with my Surface Pro 3, especially since it’s only a 1.8gHz i3 with 4GB of RAM… but that’s another story.

So, 2015-01-21 is the big Windows 10 Consumer announcement. You can check the Next Chapter page for the webcast starting at Noon EST, 11am CST, 10am MST and 9am PST. Many things are anticipated. More is hoped for. Here’s what I want from Microsoft at the end of the day.

A New Build of Windows 10 Consumer/Enterprise
Let’s face it. The last couple releases of Windows 10 haven’t been quite up to snuff. The first few weren’t bad; but the last one totally sucked. I expect a new build to be released on 2015-01-21, and available for download immediately.

The new version is supposed to have a few new, highly anticipated features including Continuum, OneDrive improvements, Cortana integration and a refreshed UI. Up to now, many of these have been nothing more than hot air (I don’t want to say vapor, as Microsoft IS supposed to deliver on these, and they (the company) are too big, and this new OS release is too big for them to swing and miss on any of them, given the amount of press they’ve been given.

A few other places are also predicting this – ComputerWorld has a great article that consolidates most of them.

Talking Up the Consolidation
Windows 10 brings Windows under a single roof. My good friend, Mary Jo Foley references the Microsoft label, “OneCore.” Windows 10 contains a single core that recognizes the hardware you’re using and then displays the appropriate UI and only uses the appropriate libraries, platform layers, etc. it needs to support the hardware pushing it. This means that the same version of Windows you’re [hoping to] download today is the same version that’s going to run on phones, tablets, as well as desktop and notebook PC’s, Perceptive Pixel AND Xbox.

We’ll see how clean and lean it is over time. If Microsoft isn’t careful, it can get awfully bloated in there.

Talking Up the Hardware
I’m also certain that there’s going to be a lot of hardware talk. While I don’t expect Microsoft to announce a new Surface Pro 4, I wouldn’t be surprised if they refreshed the hardware with the latest Intel processor chip set. You should also see them announce and/ or speak to a couple, new Windows Phone devices, though any new and real mobile hardware announcements will likely be saved for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, later this Spring.

However, the item that I would like Microsoft to speak to is tablets.

Surface Pro is nice, but it’s really an ultrabook, and the world understand that now. I don’t want them to dust off Surface RT devices, because Intel’s Broadwell has [seems to have] finally cracked the mobile nut and should be able to push a better and more appropriate mobile experience without all of the bulk and bloat of a full desktop OS.

Since Windows 10 runs on phones, it should run on a tablet and provide a tablet experience that can more appropriately compete with the iPad. Since Microsoft is pushing “universal” apps – i.e. the same app downloaded from the Windows Store can run on a phone, a tablet or a desktop, again, detecting the hardware its running on and displaying the proper UI experience – developers shouldn’t have issues making apps that run on tablets. Since its really just the same app, the data that’s created and used in the app doesn’t have to be converted, transformed, transported or otherwise coaxed on to the device that’s running the app and using the data. It’s all just supposed to work. I’d expect Microsoft to really try to talk this up at the announcement.

We’ll see what happens during the announcement. I hope my predictions are accurate, as some of this would be very cool to see happen AND be successful. Lord knows, Microsoft needs a break. This year is a pivotal year for them. If Windows 10 doesn’t play to their bad version/ good version release cycle, (2006 – Windows Vista: BAD; 2009 – Windows 7: GOOD; 2012 – Windows 8: TRAIN WRECK), they’re due for a good one, then this could be problematic for them. They may begin to have relevancy issues (though in truth, they wouldn’t become totally irrelevant for a number of years… Windows runs nearly every businesses on the planet).

So, what do YOU think Microsoft will announce and speak to on 2015-01-21? Will a new version of Windows 10 be available for users to download? Will (some of) the new features that are supposed to be revealed be once that you might find valuable and use? While we may see some, we might not see everything that has been talked up. It’s very possible that items like Continuum may not be totally ready for prime time, and may come later this year or be totally held until final release.

Will we see a new class of Windows devices in true tablets to replace Surface RT and Surface 2 devices; or has that ship truly sailed and Microsoft can’t ever, EVER hope to compete in the mobile tablet market? If they make it, how will that effect BYOD and CoIT trends? Will bringing your own stuff to work be easier now, or still a huge issue for both users struggling to adapt consumer devices to a corporate world and IT professionals desperately trying to keep their enterprise malware free?

Is Windows 10 going to be a hit, a mediocre thud, or a total dud? Will Microsoft be able to phoenix up from the ashes of Windows 8.x and be a huge success with the enterprise and in consumer circles again, or will they just maintain the status quo?

I’d love to hear what YOU have to say on all of this. Why don’t you join me in the discussion area below and give me your thoughts?

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