Microsoft’s event, Windows 10: The Next Chapter, showcased an impressive vision.
In the eyes of Frank Gillett, analyst, Forrester Research, Redmond documented its plan for:
1) transforming Windows, including free upgrades
2) gaining relevance in mobile
3) launching a new computing experience with HoloLens
4) reinventing group collaboration with Surface Hub.
Based on what was announced and on background conversations, Gillett believes that Microsoft’s Windows 10 will persuade enterprises and consumers to upgrade from Windows 7 (something Windows 8 didn’t do) and be an easy upgrade from Windows 8.
“Getting the world’s 1.5 billion Windows PCs on this new software platform will re-establish Microsoft’s dominance in personal computing with a mobile extension,” he explains.
As reported by Reseller News, the technology advances in Windows 10 include a single and integrated experience across PCs and tablets with a single platform and app store; continuous software improvements, and big security improvements, and a new set of enterprise features.
“Windows 10 even brings together Windows and Xbox,” Gillett adds, “giving gamers and game developers access to Xbox experiences on the PC.”
But unsurprisingly for Gillett, the big reveal was Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, a mixed reality computing experience that enables completely new gaming, entertainment, and productivity use cases.
“HoloLens offers a new platform and experience for computing on the scale of the original PC and the launch of Apple iPhone,” Gillett says.
Forrester believes that HoloLens marks a new generation of possibilities for great consumer experiences that CMOs must begin exploring and for skilled workers supported by I&O pros.
“But the jury is out on whether mobile and web developers will be moved to build apps for Windows on smartphones and tablets,” Gillett speculates.
“HoloLens will certainly spark developer interest - but it’s not a mobile device. So apps for HoloLens won’t have much spillover effect on mobile apps.”
Microsoft will reveal more about motivating developers to build mobile and PC apps for Windows 10 at the Build conference in late April.
However, at this point Forrester believes that Windows 10 technology and free upgrades will help enterprises embrace Windows tablets, it won’t help Microsoft gain much more share of the mobile mind shift in smartphones or consumer tablets.
Windows Surface Hub…
Lost among the drama of HoloLens and details of new Windows features was a compelling new product for transforming group collaboration and customer experiences, the Microsoft Surface Hub.
This large display meeting room display is built from an all-in-one PC enhanced with lots of sensors and two powerful video cameras.
Based on personal experience, Gillett believes Surface Hub surpasses digital whiteboards with great collaboration features on a giant touch screen - and gives much of the value of telepresence without the cost.
“It has potential for improving business collaboration among distributed teams and creating richer customer interactions,” he says.
“And it’s a new platform for software developers building group experiences.”
Final takeaways from event. First, Gillett believes Microsoft showed that Windows is a compelling a platform for PCs and mobile experiences.
Second, with HoloLens and Surface Hub, Gillett says Redmond can still develop new computing experiences.
“But the PC giant still has work to do to convince developers that building Windows apps will help them reach consumers in their mobile moments on phones and tablets and not just on PCs,” he adds.