Microsoft demonstrates Windows 10 and new HoloLens device

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By Larry Banks

On Wednesday, Microsoft held an event to reveal more details about Windows 10. There were lots of new features that we expected, plus a few we didn’t. But the big surprise was the company’s new “HoloLens” augmented reality headset, which has been developed in secret for the last few years.

Windows 10 and HoloLens goggles

Microsoft executives stressed that Windows 10 is a whole new experience that is familiar yet new, and offers the capability to adapt to the device being uses – computer, tablet, smartphone, games console and even the HoloLens.

RELATED: Microsoft to reveal more about Windows 10 today

Windows 10 also comes with a new web browser called Spartan, which has built-in Siri integration, allowing users to search more easily, as well as acting as a voice-enabled digital assistant that can answer questions and respond to commands.

Windows 10 - Phone

In a surprise move, Microsoft followed Apple’s lead and said that Windows 10 will be available for free later this year, albeit for those people that are already using Windows 7 or 8.

The Redmond-based company hopes that Windows 10 will help it to make up for lost ground, especially in mobile. Windows has dominated the desktop computing market for a long time, but as more people have moved to tablet and smartphones, particularly for light browsing, email and casual gaming, Microsoft has been caught off guard. Windows 8 went some way to cater to those users with touch screen features, but many people were alienated by the changes.

Windows 10: the next generation

Microsoft - New Internet Explorer Main Pic

Microsoft has done a lot to cater to every kind of user in Windows 10, as well as better tools for developers to create Universal Apps that work on every device.

“Windows 10 is built for a world in which there are going to be more devices on the planet than people” said CEO Satya Nadella, and that the company wants to “enable that seamless cross-over, across devices as you move around at home and at work”.

For example, the new Photos app will synchronise photos across every device, as well as feature to automatically enhance them (eliminating red-eye and so on), as well as mobile apps like Outlook and Office which keep everything synchronising via OneDrive. This means that any changes made in one app will be reflected in the others.

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to improve the gaming experience too. There’s a new Xbox app for desktop users which will provide a forum for social media, video clips of your games, as well as allowing you to control an Xbox One remotely via a video stream on a tablet or PC.

Augmented reality: the HoloLens


The new hologram augmented reality device, the HoloLens, was a surprise announcement but with no firm date or price yet. The concept is similar to Google Glass (which has now moved out of the experimental stage at the company), but appears more suitable to gaming and visualisation applications like viewing engineering 3D models. The graphics and video the device displays are overlaid onto the real world, so it appears that the user can walk around them. Nadella said it will be priced to appeal to both consumers and businesses.


The HoloLens was demonstrated at the end of event, and was touted as the world’s most advanced holographic display device. The executives claim it’s a huge breakthrough for augmented displays. If the price is right and there are sufficient, compelling apps available, it could be the surprise hit product that Microsoft was hoping for.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos