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With Windows 10 right around the corner, the news of Microsoft's upcoming operating system being the last could scare some people. But, for others, it shouldn't come as a surprise.
According to Microsoft Technical Evangelist Jerry Nixon, "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows". He added: "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". If this is the last version of Windows, we can expect this to be the biggest launch of Windows ever.
Internally, Microsoft began working on Windows 10 after they started pulling the best parts of Windows 8.1 away, which ended up forming the last version of Windows ever. Instead of massive successive releases of Windows, Microsoft will instead provide improvements and fixes through updates, in a different way. Instead of the usual Patch Tuesday's, we should expect bigger updates over time which will overhaul the operating system.
Google Android and Apple iOS control the majority of the mobile operating system market, but there is an intensifying fight for the No. 3 position. Consumers and businesses are expected to embrace wearables, connected vehicles, smart products, and the Internet of Things (IoT) on a larger scale in the next 10 years.
"For both new and incumbent OS vendors, capturing the next wave of users will require support of new device types, a strong focus on developing markets, and support for universal development processes," said Eric Abbruzzese, research analyst at ABI Research. There will be a number of new consumer products hitting the market, so it's up to software developers to create appealing software environments that are easy-to-use and extremely flexible.
Companies must work on creating an OS that is appealing in developing markets, paying close attention to Southeast Asia, India and China - and can heavily modify Android to their own needs, but must be prepared to invest a large amount of capital to make the effort successful.
Microsoft wants people to be excited about Windows 10, which will be available later this year for PCs, smartphones, and other devices. However, it looks like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is especially excited about Cortana, the digital personal assistant currently available on Microsoft-powered smartphones.
Cortana is able to browse the Web, find things on a PC, remind users of calendar updates, and serve as the ultimate personal assistant. If used properly, Microsoft hopes Cortana will become a frequently used tool that can make interacting in the OS - and on the Internet - even easier.
"Cortana, that's perhaps the thing that's going to change personal productivity even most and especially with Windows 10 and how Cortana comes to Windows, both to the browser as well as to the Start [menu]," Sadella recently said during a financial analyst briefing. "I think it completely changes what personal productivity software means from a day-to-day experience."
Microsoft has previously announced that Windows 10 would launch in the summer, but according to AMD, we could see it launched as soon as July. The news is coming from a slip during their recent conference call, that Windows 10 would launch in July.
AMD's CEO, Lisa Su, said during the conference call: "What we also are factoring in is, with the Windows 10 launch at the end of July, we are watching the impact of that on the back-to-school season, and expect that it might have a bit of a delay to the normal back-to-school season inventory buildup".
If that's the case, we should expect two things: first, Microsoft will most likely make a very big push of Windows 10-powered devices during Computex in early June, and secondly; AMD will unveil its next-gen Radeon 300 series at the same time. This is just speculation, but AMD did say it would launch its new GPU sometime in Q2 2015, and the Q2 window is quickly running out.
Cyanogen has announced a new strategic partnership with Microsoft, something that would see the company "integrate popular Microsoft services across the Cyanogen Operating System".
The new partnership will see Cyanogen integrating and distributing Microsoft's consumer apps and services "across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services". The press release adds "As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences".
Cyanogen's CEO, Kirt McMaster, said: "People around the world use Cyanogen's operating system and popular Microsoft services to engage with what matters most to them on their mobile devices. This exciting partnership with Microsoft will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to mobile users in markets around the world".
Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Microsoft, said: "We aspire to have our tools within arm's reach of everyone, to empower them in all aspects of their lives. This partnership represents another important step towards that ambition. We'll continue to deliver world-class experiences across productivity and communications on Windows, and we're delighted that Cyanogen users will soon be able to take advantage of those same powerful services".
Cyanogen OS 12 is now out, wanting to take on Android 5.0 Lollipop, but for the OnePlus One smartphone. Users can upgrade to Cyanogen OS 12, which will look like Android 5.0 with improved notifications, a new multitasking UI, and lots of that beautiful Material Design.
The new operating system will look very similar to Lollipop, but Cyanogen has provided its own tweaks to the OS. We have gesture control as well as a Themes app that lets users find and apply specific themes to apps. Cyanogen OS 12 also sports an alternate e-mail app powered by Boxer, something that gives users more customization and feature options like exchange support, multiple account integration, and the ability to choose between LED colors for e-mail notifications.
OnePlus One owners should be able to grab Cyanogen OS 12 right now, so go and take a look at it.
With Microsoft not even releasing Windows 10 to the public yet, we're hearing about "Redstone" which is the codename for Microsoft's updates for Windows 10, due in both June and October 2016.
Redstone will be a series of updates that will reach Windows Insiders before the public, which will give enthusiasts some time to play around with the updated operating system. Microsoft isn't saying much about what Redstone will offer, but with the company hard at work polishing Windows 10 before its release, Redstone will most likely include whatever misses the RTM version of Windows 10.
Don't confuse Redstone with Windows 11 (or whatever Microsoft call the next version of its OS after Windows 10), as Redstone will be what Windows 8.1 was to Windows 8.
OnePlus One smartphone owners might want to take a look at the first release of OxygenOS, which is based upon Android 5.0 Lollipop. OnePlus, the company behind the OnePlus One smartphone, designed the Android-based OxygenOS.
The company has taken to a blog post to talk about OxygenOS, describing it as "back to basics" and "light and essential" with a major focus on performance and battery life. OnePlus explains: "By creating our own operating system, we can quickly respond to user feedback and make it easier for you to continue playing a fundamental role in the future of OnePlus. Our goal for OxygenOS is to provide faster, more meaningful updates and a better-integrated range of services for every OnePlus user".
All the way back in September last year, before we knew that Microsoft was calling its next-gen OS Windows 10, we reported that we'd see support for up to 8K displays. Well, fast forward to 2015, and it's confirmed: Windows 10 will have support for 7680x4320, or 8K.
The confirmation came from a slide that was used during Microsoft's WinHEC trade show in Shenzhen, China, last week. While 8K is far away for most consumers, Japan is ahead of the curve with NHK testing 8K broadcasts already, and will be blasting 8K out for the 2020 Olympics, too, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.
8K displays will most likely arrive thanks to the advances of VR headsets, which will require higher and higher pixels to be crammed into the HMD. But with Microsoft fully supporting 8K, we should see the 8K desktop become a reality sooner, rather than later.
We already have TV makers behind the SuperMHL connector which supports 8K, and then the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has shown the Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) 1.4a standard, which will see 8K support in laptops, mobile devices, and PCs.
Microsoft has announced that it will be unleashing Windows 10 into 190 countries and in 111 languages this summer, with the news coming directly from the Executive Vice President of the Operating Systems Group, Terry Myerson.
We don't have an official date just yet, but with summer running through June 21 and September 22, it's not too far away now. Up until now, we've had various Technical Previews released, and found out that DirectX 12 would be exclusive to Windows 10, and deliver some hopefully impressive technologies and additional performance to PC gamers.