Everything you need to know about Windows 10

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft's annual "Build" conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at Microsoft's annual "Build" conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

TORONTO – Microsoft released more details about its upcoming Windows 10 operating system during the Build 2015 developer’s conference last week.

But, from the official name of its new web browser, to the push to bring Android and iOS apps to Windows Phone, there is a lot to cover. Here is a breakdown of some of the things we learned from the conference:

Microsoft Edge

Arguably one of the biggest announcements to come out of Build 2015 was the long-awaited name of Microsoft’s new web browser – Microsoft Edge.

Until now, the new browser was known as “Project Spartan” internally and “the Internet-Explorer-killer” to the general public. Microsoft also gave a more in-depth look at the new web browser during the developer’s conference.

Microsoft Edge is designed to be a minimalistic approach to web browsing. According to Microsoft, it’s designed to showcase websites and get rid of extra icons and menus that might slow page loads.

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The browser will allow users to take notes, write and even doodle directly on web pages using its pen tool and offers a “reading view” that will provide a more clean, simple layout for reading longer articles.

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Edge will also have Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana integrated directly into the browser. Users will be able to ask Cortana to make dinner reservations, get directions and even look up words and phrases directly from the search bar.

But, Mac users won’t be able to download the new browser. Microsoft said it has no plans to bring Edge to other platforms.

Microsoft is trying to make it easier for iOS, Android apps to come to Windows Phone

Microsoft is making it easier for iOS and Android applications to come to Windows 10.

But – before you get too excited – this doesn’t mean you will be able to play your favourite iOS game on Windows Phone. It means that Microsoft is making it easier for developers to turn iOS games into Windows 10 applications.

Microsoft will release a series of new tools called “Universal Windows Platform Bridges” to help them quickly adapt the apps they’ve built for Apple or Android gadgets to work on smartphones, PCs and other devices that will use Windows 10.

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Currently, there are more than 1.4 million apps for Android phones and about the same for Apple devices, while there are only a few hundred thousand apps that work on Windows phones and tablets.

This could be a big plus for Windows Phone users anxious for more app diversity. It’s all part of Microsoft’s ambitious plan to see Windows 10 running on one billion devices within two to three years.

Xbox Live streaming

One of the features that gamers will love about Windows 10 is the ability to stream games from an Xbox One to a Windows 10 device, so long as they are on the same network.

Although this feature was announced back in January, those attending the Build 2015 conference got the chance to see it in action for the first time.

While most of the initial reviews were very positive, The Verge’s Tom Warren pointed out the streaming capability doesn’t allow the Xbox One to run apps – so you won’t be able to watch Netflix on your Xbox One while gaming on your Surface Pro tablet, for example.

Windows 10 for PCs is coming this summer

According to Microsoft senior vice president Joe Belfiore, the PC version of Windows 10 will be available to users this summer – however, the company has yet to announce an official launch date.

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A release for other devices is still up in the air

The software giant has remained tight-lipped about when the new software would be available to Windows phones and tablets.

In the past, Windows Phone has received its updates much later than PCs – Windows 8.1 for Windows Phone came out nearly eight months after Windows 8.1 was released.

It’s a free upgrade (for some)

We already knew that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for many users – but it’s always nice to be reminded. The OS will be available for free to any computer or gadget currently running Windows 7 or 8.1, the two previous versions of the software.

– With a file from The Associated Press

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