Windows 10 on smartphones, desktops, and everything in between will pivot users into treating Windows as just another Web service, with frequent updates and subscription-based payments.Here are the most important things to know about Microsoft's announcements relating to Windows 10 on smartphones, and what we have to look forward to over the next year or so.
In order to encourage desktop users to stop clinging to their familiar Windows 7 interface, Microsoft will offer free Windows 10 upgrades for one year after it launches. Windows 8 and 8.1 users are also included, as are Windows Phone 8 and 8.1. Microsoft hopes that eventually, version numbers will go away altogether as pieces of the OS are updated as and when necessary. It's important for Microsoft to get everyone onto the latest platform, regardless of device type, so that it can concentrate on delivering coherent experiences (and probably also charge subscriptions for them). Windows Phone 7 early adopters are once again left out.
Phones and small-screen devices will have free copies of the Office apps installed. These will be new universal apps designed for a common Windows foundation across device types and sizes, making life easier for developers who might not have supported the platform before now. Documents will be synced across devices using OneDrive, and mobile users will have rich functions and experiences equivalent to desktop users. There will also be touch-friendly controls suitable for finger and stylus inputs. Outlook will support touch gestures and work much like mail clients do on phones today.
Microsoft also talked about other apps, including a new Photos app that will keep photos synced across devices and automatically make corrections such as red-eye reduction. The built-in Maps, People, Messaging, Music and Videos apps will also get cloud-centric overhauls, so for example, people who store all their music in the cloud will be able to create and sync playlists across devices.There will be UI tweaks
There will be new hardware
It was highly unlikely that Microsoft would let several months pass without new hardware introductions, but just to be clear, there will be at least one new flagship-level smartphone at the time of the formal Windows 10 launch. Staffers used an ageing Nokia Lumia 1520 on stage, so the experiences Microsoft would most like to show off are probably best suited for bigger phone screens. Expect a class-leading new phablet towards the end of this year.
OneDrive will power syncing and file storage. Specifics such as pricing tiers have not been announced, but users will most likely need more than the default free allocation.