The upcoming Windows 10 release is just around the corner. I have been following Windows 10 since its first build was made public and my enthusiasm for it continues to grow with each new build. As I wrote back in May, Microsoft is getting its shop in order on all fronts and Windows 10 is looking very promising.
Microsoft is changing the game in a good way. First, the delivery: Windows will now be a service. More importantly, it will be a free service for a significant number of Windows users out there. To me, this means that a huge number of people (one billion, according to Microsoft) will upgrade quickly and create a wave of interest in the product. For you, this means one billion sets of eyeballs that will be open to updating the products they use every day to see how they take advantage of this new platform. Don’t miss this opportunity!
Microsoft is changing the game with Windows 10 and making it much more compelling for product developers to integrate naturally with Windows. Here are four things to keep on your radar.
All apps with Windows 10 will be downloadable from the store. Gone are the days of downloading from the company-specific sites. If a search is done for your product and it is not found in the store, it is a lost opportunity for you and an opportunity for your competition if their product is there. This approach will streamline distribution and make it easy to get updates – just like we do with our phones.
Cortana Voice Interaction
Whether we are ready or not, we will be talking to our computer. And with Cortana, we will be happy to. The virtual assistant is both useful and smart. It tracks flights and anything I ask it to, provides reminders, and updates me when I need to know. Now with Windows 10, Microsoft is empowering product developers to integrate with Cortana even further and tap into its potential to send voice commands to their products.
Win32, Web, Android, iOS: Bring it on!
Microsoft is aware of what has been going on in the world. With Windows 10, Microsoft is making it easy to get code from other platforms running Windows 10. When I say “running,” I really mean “integrated with.”
For example, with a Win32 application, getting it into the store is one thing, but it’s also important that it integrates with the tile system so product users can be updated with important information. Microsoft makes this easy and ties together the old with the new so older apps look no different from the other and newer apps. The same can be said about Web, Android, and iOS apps.
Think of work as a series of interactions with a machine. Microsoft is betting that productivity is about doing what needs to be done in the current context and with the available device. With Continuum, Microsoft is making it seamless to switch from tablet mode to desktop mode to complete the task at hand in the way makes most sense. I’ll be discussing more about the Windows phone in a future post. For a product builder, this is a whole lot of contextual interactions that you don’t need to care about because they are handled under the hood of Windows 10. This requires you to be thinking of “universal applications” in building your product. For successful software, this is a must.
Since Windows is now a service, some of the highlights above are slated for later this fall, so there is still time. And remember, 1 Billion upgrades over the next little while means a lot of folks taking a first and second look at your product!