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More Windows 10 development highlights from BUILD 2015

by Mark Tyson on 30 April 2015, 11:19

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

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Microsoft let loose a tidal wave of information about Windows 10 at the first day of its BUILD 2015 event. Some key new developments such as the Microsoft Edge browser and Continuum for Phones have already been detailed here on HEXUS, so now I aim to round up all the other interesting titbits for you.


Microsoft voiced its ambitions to have 1 billion active Windows 10 devices in circulation by the end of 2018. This number includes all the devices it is now catering for including; PCs, games consoles, smartphones and IoT devices. With the free upgrade to Windows 10 available for many and the buzz concerning DirectX 12 it should be able to entice quite a large wedge of Windows 7 PC sticklers to upgrade.

Universal Windows Platform Bridge – classic, iOS and Android apps for Windows

Getting its universal app store bulging at the seams and competitive with Google Play and the Apple App Store seems like a priority for Microsoft. In order to help boost the app store and make it more universal and meaningful Microsoft is providing developer toolkits "which enable developers to bring existing .NET, Win32, Javascript, Cordova, iOS and Android apps to Windows 10 devices with minimal code modifications".

With Win32 apps brought into the Microsoft Store users will enjoy the streamlined install, update and removal features of the current modern apps. Microsoft also aims to make Windows app monetisation easier, add video adverts and IAP subscription options and carrier billing options.

Windows 10 preview 10074 released with Aero Glass, Cortana visual refresh

A new build of Windows 10 was launched to coincide with the first day of the developer event. Among the back end, technical tweaks and bug fixing Microsoft reintroduced some Aero Glass UI frivolity for Microsoft Insiders. According to Venture Beat, "Microsoft is running an A/B test with this build." It goes on to explain, "Half of Windows 10 testers will see normal transparency on the Start menu and taskbar while the other half will see a blur effect." The default option in the final Windows 10 release will depend on the feedback it gets from Insiders.

Cortana is now more tightly integrated into the Start Menu. The Cortana experience is more consistent with other Windows apps' look and feel. Furthermore she has been plugged in to Bing Instant Answers to add eleven new capabilities including; weather, finance, dictionary, calculator, flight status, reference info, cinema show times, tech help, time zone, unit conversion and chit chat.


Microsoft showed us some more of the HoloLens project. It released a video which details the hardware the project required to fit in with its holographic use ambitions. Windows 10 universal apps are shown to be really versatile as they work in the holographic computing environment. Your apps can run on walls and on furniture, the whole holographic UI is very flexible.

Microsoft's Alex Kipman described the HoloLens UI as "embracing this notion of experiencing life in three dimensions by mixing digital content right into your world, right into your life, with more reality than ever before." HoloLens capabilities have excited developers and we hope to see some stunning, imaginative uses for this technology over the coming months.

HEXUS Forums :: 30 Comments

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Well, Windows 10 still has some big, unanswered questions as far as I'm concerned.

First, can Cortana be truly, thoroughly and utterly disabled?

Second, is it snooping in MY data and uploading to the cloud in ANY other way? If it is, MS can stick it.

Third, are local accounts still available, because I DO NOT want an MS account?

Fourth, can I completely disable ALL cloud uploading/integration?

Because otherwise, “free” or not, I ain't interested. Not even if they pay me to use it.

And as for
Microsoft also aims to make Windows app monetisation easier, add video adverts and IAP subscription options and carrier billing options.
…. oh, do they?

I'm happy to pay for software, be it apps or traditional packages, that are useful, and work well. I'm NOT using apps with video adverts in them. And if those apps were ‘targetted’ then …. how? Data nosy little Cortana has sniffed out?

I'm not making any decision on W10 until these things become much clearer, one way or the other, but I'm not liking the mood music from MS. Not one little bit. Only time will tell quite how W10 handles these things, but …. :(

If MS are going where I suspect they are, then they can shove Win10 right where the sun don't shine, and push it firmly there with a broom handle.
I've said it before and I'll say it again…

GIVE US A VANILLA WINDOWS 10! No Cortana, no bloatware, no MS account. Let us decide if we want to install these features if and when we need them. If Microsoft did this then everyone would be happy to upgrade and pay for it.
My guess, going on past version of Windows, is that you'll probably be able to turn off some features like Cortina and One Drive or just not use them, but I highly doubt they can be removed. :(

Personally i would love to see a more modular version of Windows that had the ability to remove unneeded/unwanted features, sadly I don't think the code base could be unpicked or that Microsoft even considers that not everyone may want such great features.
I hate adverts with a passion and it's bad enough getting the ‘image’ adverts in windows 8 apps but if I start getting video adverts the app will be uninstalled and rated 0.

I'd rather pay a small price for a decent app (I'm sorry but most apps are not fully featured programs so don't warrant the same price) and do without the adverts.
A vanilla or modular Windows would indeed be nice. I've favoured that for, oh, since before HEXUS started, at least. One example was not having things like defraggers, AV software, firewalls, etc built-in as standard because I used full-blown standalone versions of such tools, so they should be deselectable, on install.

But for things like Cortana, cloud integration, etc, an acceptable (to me) minimum is for them to be absolutely, incontrovertibly and easily turned off. Better yet, off by default and enabled by those that want them, but at a minimum, easy to completely disable.

I want to be sure, certain beyond doubt, that such features absolutely ARE NOT passing data about me, my files, browsing habits, let alone voice samples, back to MS without my specific, knowing and explicit consent …. which won't be forthcoming.

And absent that certainty, a red line has been crossed and I won't be using Win10. And that, to be honest, is where I expect to end up …. little absolute clarity or certainty of control.