Windows 10 Consumer Briefing Predictions

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2015 - 09:45 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, windows, spartan, microsoft, dx12, DirectX 12, DirectX, cortana

Microsoft will hold a briefing tomorrow (Wednesday, January 21st at 12pm EST/5pm UTC) about “The Next Chapter” of Windows 10. This has been described as the Consumer keynote, mirroring the original one that was supposedly intended for the enterprise. Otherwise, there are few official comments regarding the event, but there are also things that we can speculate on.

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Here is what I expect to see:

A New Build for Windows 10

Maybe it will not be released on the same day as the speech, but it cannot really be too far behind. We are about two-thirds through January and December was skipped, so it must be happening soon. When 9879 was released, Microsoft said that it would be the last build of 2014 and that “We'll have something new to share with you early in 2015”. Whatever that is (or those things are) will probably be discussed at the event, which means that the build is probably not too far behind it.

DirectX 12

When the graphics API was announced, they specifically said the following (see our recap for the second slide that was posted at 10:48am PST):

  • Targeting Holiday 2015 games
  • Preview release coming later this year
  • Don't want to wait that long? Early access!

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The preview release later in 2014 did not happen, but the early access did. As such, I am guessing that the date slipped to either the next Windows 10 build, or maybe a build or two after. Whenever it happens specifically, I am guessing that it will be mentioned at this event and available for developers soon (and not just a hand-picked group of Early Access members). Sure, it could wait until Build 2015 in April, but the original slide sounds like they were targeting the end of 2014.

Also, the DirectX 12 Twitter Account just retweeted the live stream and Phil Spencer will be there.

'Spartan' Browser (Maybe with DirectX 12 Support?)

Speaking of DirectX 12, its goal is to utilize GPU shader cores as efficiently as possible, reducing the time it holds up the CPU and balancing its load across multiple cores. This leads to power efficiency and the ability to load many more tasks on the GPU.

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Image Credit: cnBeta.com via TheVerge

These are all things that a web browser vendor would love! Web standards are inherently difficult to multi-thread, because they are designed as sets of stages which build upon other stages. DirectX 12 could probably help immensely, at least with the drawing stage. Web content tends to be fairly simple, but there can be a lot of it, especially for complex Canvas animations (and especially for mobile devices).

It was also recently rumored that Trident, the rendering engine behind Internet Explorer and the not-quite-confirmed Spartan browser, was forked into two maintained versions. The expectation is that this was for compatibility reasons, where the new version can be developed to W3C (and other) standards without worrying about legacy, Internet Explorer-based compatibility cruft. If porting a DirectX 11 applications to DirectX 12 will be annoying, I can see why Microsoft chose to draw the compatibility line just behind that initiative. And honestly, how many people care about rendering, power, and multi-core performance increases for IE8-designed, and therefore desktop-based, web applications?

Continuum, Cortana, and Other Changes

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Again, this is what Microsoft considers a Consumer event. As such, it would make sense for them to describe an ideal consumer device, which probably includes two-in-ones. Cortana should also be discussed as well, which is intended to bring value to the users and probably lead them to Bing services. Leaks have also suggested that they are preparing a dark theme.

Am I right? We'll see tomorrow.

Source: Microsoft

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January 20, 2015 | 10:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Considering how many people that read to word Spartan and can only reference a video game, and not the historical meaning, or its use to denote a simplified lifestyle devoid of the usual comforts, I have little hope for the Spartan browser from M$ being devoid of the usual bloat, more like the polar opposite.

"This has been described as the Consumer keynote, mirroring the original one that was supposedly intended for the enterprise."

And like the enterprises most will not be giving up their windows 7, except the few that take the bait, to get the DX that they have been convinced will allow them get a little more FPS, for no compelling reason, as game makers will continue to target the OS with the largest base, while waiting for the numbers to add up. Windows 7 users that have AMD's product will have Mantle to allow them to stay with 7, and Steam will be there for those that are tired of the carrot and stick approach of M$. Oh M$ will be doing its best Lucy teeing up the football approach, hoping to send that Charlie flying up and over, wallet falling to the ground, and while good old Charlie is immobilized gasping for air, the wallet's contents are quickly removed, as is any pocket change that landed in the crab grass. Welcome to the new M$ business model Chuck, only the ODD number has been skipped, watch those tiles they are slippery.

ARRRGHHH!

January 20, 2015 | 11:09 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I definitely know about historical Spartans, as does the vast majority. When you get names and codenames like "Spartan" alongside "Cortana" and "Threshold", however, it is reasonable to infer a theme: Halo, a franchise that Microsoft cherishes.

January 21, 2015 | 08:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Despite IE's "bloat", IE11 still manages to be an excellent and swift browser. It's entirely possible that Spartan will be incredible.

January 21, 2015 | 11:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's entirely possible that you made this post from a computer at a public relations/marketing office, the prose you have chosen, as well as the disingenuous excessive words of praise, gives you away. Spartan will be nothing more than an attempt to "look" like the others, as IE is not doing so well.

January 22, 2015 | 07:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is possible, but as a matter of fact, I posted that comment using Chrome and I don't work for any PR/marketing. The words of praise are entirely genuine and reflect my sole opinion on the matter. I've given IE11 a fair chance, used it on and off for several months and found it to be both an excellent experience from a stability standpoint and fast (faster than Chrome). The only reason I don't use it as my main is because most of what I do online goes through Google services and Chrome makes that easier.

There's so much blind IE hate out there, I thought I would report my positive experience with it.

January 20, 2015 | 11:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I predict Hanes and Fruit of the Loom will have soft briefs once again.

January 21, 2015 | 12:08 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

That's a complex issue involving thread count, material sourcing...don't even get me started on tagged vs. tagless

January 21, 2015 | 01:10 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

DirectX 12 is all about utilizing thread count.

... ... Material design is more of a Google thing, though.

January 21, 2015 | 02:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Briefs?? are you serious? those are for kids, real men wear boxers.

January 21, 2015 | 04:30 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

Real men aren't insecure and realize that support is important. Real men wear boxer-briefs or briefs.

January 22, 2015 | 09:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Little kids defend briefs and boxer briefs... Real men wear boxers.

The facts are that it is medically proven that boxers are much better for a real man than briefs are:
http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/boxers-vs-bri...
Again, Real men wear boxers, little kids wear briefs and boxer briefs, so we now know what you are.

January 21, 2015 | 07:00 AM - Posted by collie

Part of me is hopeing for a repeat of the nvidia presentation, WINDOWS WILL PARK YOUR CAR, g'nite!

January 21, 2015 | 09:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It would be nice if they sold WX for something like $40-60 and break the mold of $100+ OS pricing. I would buy a legit copy for every single computer if they did that.

January 21, 2015 | 12:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You'll pay for all those discounted copies of windows, with more annoying ad content, metrics gathering, etc., baked right into the OS, hell I had to pay to upgrade to window 7 pro, on some of my computers just to get the right to do system Image backups to a network drive. Really OS features that should be standard to any OS, such as system Image backups, should be a standard part of the OS, that and other things that M$'s OS does not allow, like striping thumb drives, on Linux its easy to stripe Thumb drives, allowing for faster file transfers, no they can't allow that in windows. You can get some good read/write speeds on those commodity priced 64GB thumb drives, if you can plug them in to a 4 port hub, and stripe them, that's 4 USB flash controllers working in parallel, at 4 times the throughput, it comes in handy and saves time.

M$ should stick with the pricing, and stay away from the bundling of its APP store ecosystem into its OS, or have an True Pro/Enterprise series of OS products, that come without all the unnecessary bloat, that any device user can choose to have for their computers. I'll pay $200, for a real OS, without the unnecessary bundling, and app store ecosystem. I won't be forced into an crAPP ecosystem, baked into the OS, especially on hardware that I purchase from third party OEM PC/Laptop OEMs. If I wanted the closed ecosystem I'd buy an Apple product. Steam OS can not come soon enough, and hopefully by the time windows 11 comes, Redmond will come to its senses.

January 21, 2015 | 11:02 AM - Posted by -- (not verified)

^ pricing def needs to come down!

January 21, 2015 | 06:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

MS is a monopoly in the PC market. No matter what they do, it will always be some sort of improvement over the hated Windows 8 iteration. I wouldn't be surprised if Windows 10 is hailed as the next Windows 7. MS has the process down to a pat. Sling a load of bulls**t at the consumer one cycle and rectify the massive boo-boo in the next. Ridiculous.

You are supposed to learn from your mistakes. These folks at Redmond are bloody brilliant at repeating the same mistakes. At least they do something perfectly. Sheesh.

January 21, 2015 | 06:36 PM - Posted by collie

So, the presentation was epic boring, they speak so slow, so repetitive, soooooooo "spending 30 mins on what should be a 5 word sentence" and that pseudo Steve Jobs tone of presentation, it was a nightmare, I couldn't watch, At around the 5th example of how Cortana works (the name made me wana puke little master chief's all-over the place) I couldn;t do it, I went out to the bar.

SOOOOOOO, any chance of a summary? Did they anound price? Was there anything good?

January 21, 2015 | 06:43 PM - Posted by collie

Never mind, from my drunken mind I remebered that google is a thing.

but holy fuck, Free upgrade, Hologram based virtual/enhanced reality GUI (are we gona call it a VRUI, a HUI, A SGUI, the mind wanders) Big release. I'm just looking forward to pinning windows in corners.

January 21, 2015 | 06:43 PM - Posted by collie

Never mind, from my drunken mind I remebered that google is a thing.

but holy fuck, Free upgrade, Hologram based virtual/enhanced reality GUI (are we gona call it a VRUI, a HUI, A SGUI, the mind wanders) Big release. I'm just looking forward to pinning windows in corners.

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