PCR tried out the new OS at Boot Camp

Will Microsoft make its billion Windows 10 device goal by 2018?

PCR got the chance to play about with Windows 10 at Boot Camp, and with Microsoft’s plans for a billion Windows 10 devices by 2018, will the company really be able to reach its goal? Jade Burke takes a look…

With the anticipated launch of Windows 10 due this summer, Microsoft has already set its sights on a daring goal. During its Build conference for developers, the tech giant revealed its plans to see Windows 10 on one billion devices by 2018.

During the event, Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems Terry Myerson, told attendees: “Today we shared our bold goal – to see Windows 10 on one billion devices within two to three years of Windows 10’s availability – the first platform version, in any ecosystem, to be available on one billion devices.”

Microsoft also showcased the operating system at PCR Boot Camp in May, with a real buzz around its room. The company had over 10 different devices running Windows 10, where you could really begin to see its vision take hold.

Various editions for Windows 10 have also been announced, in a bid to ensure the OS will be suitable for a range of devices and users. There is a Windows 10 Home edition, designed for the consumer-focused desktop, Windows 10 Mobile edition for smaller computing devices such as smartphones, as well as the Windows 10 Pro edition. This will feature various apps, tailored for smaller businesses. There will also be a Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Mobile enterprise edition.

In addition, Microsoft has ensured its smartphone customers are not left out of the action, and has made the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10080 available on its phones. The build supports the Lumia 930/Lumia Icon, Lumia 640 and 640XL, and the HTC One (M8) for Windows.

On the company’s blog, Microsoft said: “We designed Windows 10 to deliver a more personal computing experience across a range of devices. An experience optimised for each device type, but familiar to all. Windows 10 will power an incredibly broad range of devices – everything from PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface Hub."

These versions have been developed to cater for a wider audience – and one analyst says that developer interest is fundamental to Windows 10’s success. Geoff Blaber, vice president of Americas at CCS Insight, adds: “Developers will be the deciding factor in the ultimate success of Nadella’s ‘mobile first, cloud first’ vision. Microsoft’s strategy goes beyond Windows 10 but a successful launch and swift user adoption is crucial to create the foundation for Microsoft’s business model transition."

Microsoft is also tapping into the casual gamers among us, as the Candy Crush Saga game will also come automatically installed for customers who upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Other games from publisher King are also expected to follow at a later date, which may also help to lure more users back to Windows.

During Boot Camp, PCR was also able to get hands on with the Windows 10 OS, which had been upgraded onto a variety of devices including laptops and tablets.

The memorable Start menu is back, while the tiles that were paired with Windows 8 have not been removed altogether. Instead they have been downsized and can be found in the Start menu.

Overall, the OS looked clean and precise, plus it seemed to receive many positive reviews as attendees huddled around to try out the software. Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana also worked well, which helped to bring the devices to life.

The fact that Windows 10 is free for a year as an upgrade for users with Windows 7, 8 and Windows Phone still has some retailers stumped, and at a recent trade show, a distributor expressed its disappointment to PCR around the lack of a license-selling opportunity.

But, some are now starting to see the benefits of the new OS, as director of Utopia Computers, Craig Hume, comments: “Initially when I saw Windows 10 I thought we’re not going to get any money from it.

“But then when I thought about it, there’s going to be a lot of people that within a year are going to want to upgrade their computers, and I think there’s a good potential there for independents to make some money off of that.”

Since Microsoft is still remaining coy about the exact release date for Windows 10, we will have to be patient and wait until the summer when the firm launches the new OS. 

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