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Build Day 2: Hands on with Hololens

Day two of Microsoft Build conference didn’t have the some WOW factor as yesterday but we learned some important information about the release of Windows 10. We still don’t have an official date but it seems that the Desktop OS is on track for release in the June – July time frame that’s been thrown around for the last few months but it’s clear that it’s going to be a staggered release with Windows 10 for phones coming later. Personally I have never been a fan of Microsoft limited releases as it normally means that people like me in Australia generally have to wait or the launch loses momentum and sales steadily drop off. Maybe this will be different as a strong uptake for the desktop OS could lead to more developers jumping on board with universal apps and especially with yesterdays announcements make Windows 10 Phones more attractive to consumers. We will have to wait and see.

The main feature of the day was definitely the chance for developers to experience HoloLens and gives us their report on the technology away from the light show of the keynote address. So far the reviews I’ve read have been positive about the experience and real world application for HoloLens in the home and more importantly at work or school. The experience of reviewers was heavily controlled but sounds reasonably similar to what we saw in the demos and suggest that the technology might not be ready for market just yet but it should not be too long. Based on the three reviews below the main area that needs work is the initial setup process which required Microsoft staff to measure the distance between the eyes of the user. To get a more in depth look at where HoloLens is follow the links below:

TechRadar

Tom’s Hardware

TechCrunch

There are others out there but after reading a few they start to get a bit repetitive. Considering the similarity of these experiences I’m starting to get excited as both an everyday consumer and a History teacher I see endless possibilities for HoloLens to change the way we live. Stay tuned for tomorrow as I give a final look at Microsoft Build 2015.

Cheers

Jono

Building the future

Hi tech heads, it seems the boys at Redmond have been busy so here is a quick round up of all the news that matters from the build keynote.

Universal apps
We always knew that Microsoft were going to be pushing applications that worked across devices but until now its always been demoed using Microsoft own apps like office. However, now they have taken the next step by creating a version of Visual studios that works in  objective C, Java and C++ coding that will allow developers to easily port thier existing apps to Windows. Microsoft’s demoed version of candy crush from the iOS app store showed the potential of this mentality to finally conquer the app gap. This doesn’t mean that every iOS and Andriod app will be on Windows but with access to the PC marketshare and the Xbox One many develops will be attacted to make the small effort now required.

Continuum
Again this feature was introduced at the Windows event in January as it allows the OS to detect the type of device and change between the touch and desktop interfaces. Using a hybrid device like the Surface Pro this means that it detects when you are using the Keyboard and prompts you to enter desktop mode. The next step was always going to be multiple displays but rather than use a tablet, microsoft showed off how a phone can be used to run a full desktop interface. Its been years of people saying that mobile will kill off the PC but perhaps this new feature will lead to the future were less hardcore uses will only need a phone and a dock.

Microsoft Edge
Project Spartan’s offical name has a bit of a samsung ring to it and as a Halo fan I miss the link to the Master Chief but the times they are a changing. Other than the name the browser didn’t have any new features but did look more polished so I’m looking forward to testing it out in build 10074.

Hololens
Redmond’s new eye candy seems to have come a long way since January. This time the demo showed off a whole new range of apps including the everyday web browser, videos and Skype all of which can be controlled by your voice and resized to fit your walls. Yet, it didn’t stop there as Microsoft obviously wants to highlight the potential for their version of augmented reality in areas like medical education and robotics. If this wasn’t enough thier was something for the real tech nerds as we also learned a bit more about how this new device works and the internal components.

Final thought
I have had a good vibe about Windows 10 for some time but the possibilities show in the keynote suggest a bright future. A universal OS that can port apps from other popular ecosystems and react to way you are using your device may well be the future of mobile.

I would love to get your thoughts on windows 10, even the skeptics.

Cheers
Jono