By Jonathan Davies

After the slow uptake and indifferent reactions to the tiles of Windows 8, Windows 10 was a welcome announcement from Microsoft for many tech experts, businesses and tech experts.

So it was even more welcome when Microsoft revealed that it would be free to upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 in its first year. Microsoft hopes it will improve uptake of the new operating system, which is due to be launched in the autumn.

It goes against its previous policy of charging relatively high prices to update to a new system.

Holographic headset

What really excited the tech industry is Microsoft's unveiling of the HoloLens headset, which has been described as a "magical moment" for Satya Nadella in his short time in charge of the company.

Providing the headset lives up to its demo, it will show computer generated images on real world objects. Microsoft said it will be released within Windows 10's lifespan and users would be able to effectively project the operating system onto real-world surroundings.

What it means is that for the wearer of the headset, it may look as though desktop is on a desk in front of you, or on the wall.

Microsoft's demo showed a user:

- playing Minecraft with graphics appearing on a living room floor
- seeing a Skype video on a wall
- creating a model of a drone in front of her, whilst making changes with hand movements and voice commands.

If you're struggling to picture what this would look like, think of Tony Stark in Iron Man, with a headset on.


Those who don't own a Windows Phone may be unfamiliar with Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft's voice-controlled tool - its own version of Apple's Siri.

Previously, Cortana has only been available on Windows Phones. But it will be featured on Windows 10, and with Microsoft using the same Windows 10 operating system across all devices, users will be able to use Cortana on their PC, laptop, tablet, phone or Xbox console from "day one".

Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore showed in demo that Cortana could be used to locate photos taken during a specific month, dictate and send emails, show where the car is parked and a number of other features.

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