Late 2015 has witnessed baffling re-inventions of Microsoft’s strategy for Windows. This re-invention has been marked by Microsoft announcing a shift from Windows as an Operating System to Windows as a Service (WaaS), which is an addition to the stack of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), through Microsoft Azure.
The motto of Microsoft through its Windows 10 has been “Unification” running on devices from Surface to PC to mobiles to Xbox One. The message, “Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10”, coming from Microsoft Developer, Jerry Nixon, has sent everybody in a frenzy that Microsoft will now be concentrating on builds than just OS names.
Understanding Windows 10 is now crucial to understanding the contemporary Windows ecosystem and to keep pace with its trend in the coming future. This article will help you in understanding this very ecosystem with both its advantages and disadvantages.
Windows as an OS vs Windows as a Service
Windows as an OS has been the strategy of Microsoft from the beginning. It is commendable how Microsoft is shifting to WaaS model which has long-term benefits. Recently the Apple’s declining revenue from iPhone sales made news, shocking many from the company to its shareholders. This called for Apple to look into the problem. Such a situation is expected to be experienced in the coming years until the IT industry brings out revolutionary hardware and software that people would want to switch to.
WaaS strategy of Microsoft will allow it to focus on the already established user base and improve revenue-generation through its services. WaaS allows for unification and inter-connection between various devices that run windows 10. Being a Windows 10 user, allows us to have our settings, files, photos synced on various devices with the help of cloud. The WaaS nature of Windows 10 will allow Microsoft to push new features and functionalities in Windows immediately and not wait for the subsequent Windows release. So, you probably can understand that Windows 10 uses the power of cloud and hence is a cloud-based OS.
Microsoft really wants to update Windows, and you should let it.
Some of you will agree with me while some might disagree that Microsoft’s way of pushing Windows devices to Windows 10 has been wrong, with devices updating to the new OS on their own without consent while owners were sleeping or not keeping an eye. That’s not the way it should work, and Microsoft needs to be careful in order to keep an angry few from becoming an angry everyone, even though Microsoft really wants you to update to its latest operating system.
With Windows 10, things have changed. It has made everything dramatically better. It’s faster, smoother, and that dippy tiled interface no longer takes over the system. There are hardcore features for power users, but it’s better at ordinary stuff too. It’s great. To echo Satya Nadella, “I’ve gone from using Windows to wanting Windows.”
Windows 10 on Xbox and what it means to Gamers
The best part that I would say is the power that the universal Xbox app gives you so that you can connect with your Xbox Live network not only through your Xbox One but your laptop, your surface and even mobile.
The next awesome feature: Windows 10 allows you to stream your games from your Xbox One to any PC or tablet remotely running Windows 10. What it means is I can play my favorite game not only at my home on my Xbox but I can carry my laptop around to my university or a cafe and stream the game on it and play the very same way I would on my Xbox.
The next awesome feature: Windows 10 comes bundled with DirectX 12 and game developers have already started working on using the full power of DirectX 12 in the future release and improvements of games. For those of you who don’t know what DirectX means, it a software package that simply overclocks your hardware capabilities in video and multimedia. So you get more detailed, immersive games and still maintain the needed fps to play games free of lag.
Windows 10 on smartphones and what it means to smartphone users
In 2016, we can wave goodbye to Windows Phone, as the Windows 10 arrives on smartphones. The update, which offers features like Continuum and Windows Hello, is officially rolling out to select Windows Phone 8.1 devices.
You get Windows Hello, the biometric authentication system that authenticates you as the owner of the device through the device sensors and unlocks the phone. From improved and more personalized Windows Live Tiles to instant reply, to messages through notification panel. Improved UI for Outlook to Microsoft Office package and Edge browser to cloud connectivity and unification, Windows 10 has a lot to offer to phones.
With Windows 10, Microsoft has turned away from the completely closed app store model pioneered by Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Windows 10 allows you to side-load apps. On which so ever device you’re using Windows 10, you have the ability to install any apps you like. All it takes is an easy-to-access setting – just like on Android.
With Cortana, the voice-activated virtual assistant in Windows 10, you get weather forecasts, set reminders, listen to jokes, send emails, find files, search the Internet and so on. Cortana gives you the capability to control your smartphone with just your voice.
With the introduction of Microsoft Display Dock, you can now connect your windows phone to your PC or tablet and can multitask hassle free. The videos run smoothly. You can work on documents, presentations on-the-go. Above all, you can even connect an external storage device to your PC through the Dock and use them all simultaneously.
Are you an IOS or Windows app Developer? You’ll love Windows 10
First of all, with Microsoft pulling the plug on Project Astoria, the company’s effort to easily bring Android apps to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) has been a bad news. Yet, if you’re a Windows app Developer, the unification of Windows 10 allows you to make universal apps. What this means is that the app you made for PC works on tablets, smartphones and Xbox.
“Code once, run everywhere”
Project Islandwood, the Windows bridge to IOS, allows you as an iOS developer to port your apps to Windows app store benefiting you both, as a developer to gather more audience and as Microsoft, with increase in number of apps to app store.
User Privacy on Windows 10
Though Windows 10 is a secure OS in comparison to previous release, it collects a lot of data and telemetry. Some of them include:
- What you browse through the Edge browser
- The time duration for which you browse a website
- Time spent on app store
- The apps you’re browsing on app store
- App usage
- The questions you put across Cortana
- The app you use to open a particular file
- The file details you opened
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the kind of information that is sent back to Microsoft. This is what allows Microsoft to utilize the power of WaaS to create patterns, learn your habits, always connect to the cloud, sync your settings across devices. Though it does not identify you but your device. With advancement in processing data and big data analytics, it’s not too difficult to do that. While there is room for disagreement and many may argue. But if that kind of data is necessary to Microsoft to personalize our computing experience. While for the users who love their privacy should either not use Windows 10 or use it with telemetry disabled.
Spybot Anti-Beacon is a standalone tool which was designed to block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 10. It has been made by the respected privacy-concerned Spybot team. The program is small, portable and allows you to block tracking through a single click “Immunize” button. Overall Windows 10 is an amazing operating system.
Let me know about your views and experiences with Windows 10 and Windows devices in comments section below.