Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Microsoft is updating Windows 10 again

A new update to Microsoft's Windows 10 is coming, but you're forgiven if you didn't know. It turns out not many people are going to tell you.
Admittedly, there's not much to talk about. The list of refinements for Microsoft's free paper-anniversary update to Win 10 can fit on a small sheet with about a dozen bullet points. The changes boil down to features like making the digital pen more useful, new technology to detect hacking attacks and the ability to log into a computer with a wearable device instead of a password.

The company's Cortana voice-activated assistant will gain new features too, each of which was designed to bring the technology closer to, as Microsoft spokeswoman Laura Jones put it, "the same features of a real-life personal assistant."
With this in mind, Microsoft and the PC industry are largely treating the August 2 launch as just another Tuesday.

That's just fine to Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates, who said Microsoft is better off focusing its efforts on convincing businesses to upgrade than teaching consumers -- who largely don't know what version of Windows they're running anyway -- about an incremental upgrade. "People are probably not very excited by it," he said.
This is not the Microsoft you might remember from days of old, when the company and its partners would plow considerable resources into informing the world that a new version of Windows has arrived. In the years since Windows 8's debut in 2012, when the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars telling the world about it, Microsoft has signaled change.

Satya Nadella took the reins as Microsoft's new CEO two years ago, the Windows leadership team has changed, and the company is now releasing its widely used Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office software for phones and tablets, not just PCs. It's even begun releasing new pet projects first, like a computer intelligence-powered camera app for Apple's iPhone.
Windows is changing as well. The software behemoth is making good on its promise to run Windows "as a service," meaning it will send refinements and new features to PCs a couple of times a year. The result is our PCs get new features quicker, and regular refinements of existing ones.
Microsoft also offered its Windows 10 software for free to nearly everyone who bought a PC in the past decade, a break with its tradition of charging hundreds of dollars for upgrades. That offer ended Friday.

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