Dan Lloyd, our lovely Producer down in London, has gone all geek on us and written this beautiful piece on the launch of Windows 10...
You may not be aware, but Wednesday was a MASSIVE day. It was the launch of Windows 10, the new OS from Microsoft that’s so forward thinking they skipped Windows 9 altogether! The big news for us though is that it finally spells the end of Internet Explorer. In Windows 10, Microsoft are introducing their new browser, Microsoft Edge.
With Windows 10 being a free upgrade and it being pushed through the standard Windows Update stream, Microsoft expects to have a billion devices upgraded by 2018. That’s a billion devices all using the new Edge browser by default. Good stuff for us web folk as it’s so far performing better than Chrome, Firefox and Safari in benchmarks.
So, being a fearless pioneer, I upgraded my laptop at the crack of dawn yesterday morning and have been solely using Microsoft Edge for all my browsing needs today. I must say that I’ve had no problems at all and it comes with some pretty fun new features:
First of all you can scribble all over a webpage directly in the browser window which could be really useful for Q&A and great for highlighting things in meetings.
Next, it’s got a pretty solid reading mode which removes all of the rich content from a page, allowing you to concentrate solely on the text.
Finally there are some pretty good “Cortana” features. For those of you who aren't aware, Cortana is Microsoft’s personal assistant. It's been around for a while on Windows Phone, but now it comes baked right in to the Windows 10 operating system.
I could talk about the benefits of this, but I want to concentrate on how she's integrated in to Microsoft Edge. It's basically always there, behind the scenes to offer you relevant information in a non-disruptive way. Want to know the weather somewhere, just type in “Weather in XXXX” in to the search bar and before you’ve even finished typing, Cortana serves you up the result without interrupting your other browsing.
It's not just weather it knows about either! It can do Maths, currency conversion, sports results/ fixtures, flight information, and loads of other stuff!
It will also offer up information about local services. E.g. If you go to a restaurant website you'll be able to see reviews, book a table through third party services and get directions, all without leaving the site.
Finally, you can right click on any word to “Ask Cortana” about it. You’ll be given information on that word, again without it interrupting your browsing experience. This what happened when I asked Cortana about Lancaster:
Anywho, there are undoubtedly loads more fun little features built in and to be unveiled in the future, but the main point is that this should get a huge number of people up to date from a browser usage perspective. As it stands ~3% of users are still using legacy IE (almost as many as total Safari usage) so it will be good to see this eradicated!