Microsoft engineers are busy toiling to put in the final touches in the latest version of Windows operating system, termed Windows 10. This operating system is being heralded as the attempt to unify the various Microsoft platforms (desktop, mobile, and Xbox) with the same foundational core.
The new “One Windows” platform provides the foundation to having a universal core for the various surfaces that run Microsoft operating systems today. The platform under the hoods of Windows 10 allows developers to write one app and have it run on every Windows device—be it the PC, tablet, phone, or Xbox console. This is intended to support even the yet-to-be-released devices like the HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Raspberry Pi 2 running Windows.
Figure 1: The “One Windows” platform
Image source: Windows blog: http://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2015/03/02/a-first-look-at-the-windows-10-universal-app-platform
Not only will the apps be truly universal, even the store experience is going to be single. There will only be one store for app acquisition, distribution, and updates.
Microsoft’s vision for the “One Windows” platform was seeded in its attempt to do the following:
- Drive scale through reach across device types
- Deliver unique experiences
- Maximize developer ROI
Today’s users are increasingly mobile first. Windows 10 is designed to allow customers to take full advantage of the all the screens in their life.
Windows 10’s adaptive UX allows the applications to adapt at runtime based on device capabilities and how the user is interacting with the app. To support this, the ViewStateManager has been updated to support more experiences. Developers no longer need to make separate application projects in Visual Studio. Instead, they only will need to make one project and it will support all surfaces.
Windows 10 also enables Cortana integration, allowing developers to integrate their applications with Microsoft’s virtual assistant.
What About HTML Developers?
HTML developers also have lots of advances to cheer for. The new rendering engine no longer requires developers to author platform-specific work to build a consistent mobile experience. This new engine is included in Internet Explorer 11 and in the new “Project Spartan” browser. The “Project Spartan” browser is itself a Windows app available from the Windows Store.
Resources to build Universal Apps are available today at https://developer.windows.com.
What’s New Summary
Here is the bulleted list of what’s new in Windows 10.
- Application model
- File Explorer
- Shared Storage
- WebView updates
- Client-side data validation for user input
- Windows core text APIs
- Input updates
- New Location method
- AllJoyn support
- Battery APIs
- Support for MIDI devices
- Custom sensor support
- Graphics and games
- Support for DirectX 12
- HTTP live streaming
- Media Foundation Transcode Video Processor (XVP) support for Media Foundation Transforms (MFTs)
- New Transcoding API
- Updated MediaElement
- Media transport controls for desktop apps
Random access JPEF encoding and decoding
- Support for Overlays for media compositions
- New effects framework
- Socket updates
- New APIs for Background transfer post-processing tasks
- Bluetooth support for ads
- Wifi Direct API upcate
- Improvements in JSON support
- ECC encryption
- System services
- Power change notifications
- Version Helper functions
- File-search APIs for Windows Phone
- Tools and performance
- Property-change notifications
- Trace logging
- User Experience
- List scrolling virtualization
- Drag-and-drop capabilities between different application platforms
- Keyboard acceleration support for keystroke navigation
- Internet Explorer
- Support for Edge mode (living document mode) for maximum interoperability with other modern browsers
In this article, we got a glance at the new and updated features available in Windows 10. In upcoming articles on Windows 10, we will explore these features in detail.
About the Author
Vipul Patel is a technology geek based in Seattle. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/vipul-patel/6/675/508.