Windows 10 – One year on

Previously I wrote about Windows 10, the pro’s and con’s of it before the release (which you can read here).

We are almost a year on, since Microsoft released Windows 10, which has been one of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems in terms of adoption rate.

Windows 10 Growth

Above you can see three data sources showing Windows growth.

The OS bean counters found that Windows 10 now has a 14.15% share of the desktop market as of the end of March, compared to February’s figure of 12.82%.

Naturally Windows 7 is still clearly in the lead with NetMarketShare’s new figures, sat at the top on 51.89% – although it did drop nearly half a percentage point. Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 also slid slightly down to 9.56% (and with Windows 8 users added in, the previous version of Microsoft’s desktop OS totals a 12.01% market share).

However Windows 10 is now on 270 million devices. The OS bean counters found that Windows 10 now has a 14.15% share of the desktop market as of the end of March, compared to February’s figure of 12.82%. That’s pretty good going.

So what’s next?

Microsoft is due to release a FREE upgrade to Windows 10 for the anniversary codenamed Redstone, which will arrive this Winter for Australians. The update will provide a number of new features and improvements including:

Windows Hello – Windows Hello enables you to easily sign into your device with enterprise-grade security. Yet, studies show over 80% of people use the same password across multiple web sites, managing around 20-30 different accounts requiring passwords. So with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update we’ve made it possible for you to use the same easy, yet strong, security of Windows Hello* with Windows apps and Microsoft Edge, the first and only browser to natively support biometrics, with supporting sites.

Windows Ink More than 70% of us spend more than one hour a day using a pen. We lose notes in our notebooks, take pictures of whiteboards, and can’t do equations or music composition with a keyboard. Windows Ink is an all-new experience, putting the power of Windows in the tip of your pen, enabling you to write on your device as you do on paper, creating sticky notes, drawing on a whiteboard, and easily sharing your analog thoughts in the digital world. Windows Ink is integrated into apps like Maps, Microsoft Edge, and Office. And today, we demonstrated how developers can incorporate Windows Ink into their apps with as little as 2 lines of code!

Unified Windows Platform – Xbox One comes to the PC and vice versa

Gaming gets better with the Windows 10 Anniversary update, including background music and Cortana coming to Xbox One. Cortana can become your personal gaming assistant and help you find great new games, new challenges or tips and tricks. On Windows 10, we’re continuing to deliver on top fan-requested features like support for multiple GPUs and the ability to turn off v-sync. Game developers have access to a fully open ecosystem with the Universal Windows Platform, making it easy to bring the games people love to both Xbox One and other Windows 10 devices. With the Anniversary Update, any Xbox One can be a developer kit with Xbox Dev Mode, enabling anyone to develop for the living room. And, the Windows Store will offer a unified store experience for all developers, creating new opportunities to reach millions of new customers.

Microsoft Hololens – Virtual

Today is very exciting because we begin shipping HoloLens! HoloLens mixes holograms into our world, enabling all new ways for us to communicate, create, work and play. It’s the only device that enables holographic computing natively with no markers, no external cameras, no wires, no phone required, and no connection to a PC needed. And customers across industries are embracing the potential of holograms already, including NASA, Case Western Reserve University, Volvo, and more.

Windows for Developers – Making Windows 10 the best Developer Environment

Our goal is for Windows to be the best platform for all developers. And we are so proud of the great things our partners are doing on top of this platform. We’re excited about new Universal Windows Platform apps from Twitter, Uber, King, Disney, Wargaming Group, Square Enix, Yahoo, and WWE – with new apps on the way from Bank of America, Starbucks, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Facebook will also be bringing the Facebook Audience Network SDK and App Install Ads to the Universal Windows Platform – enabling 3 million Facebook advertisers to reach Windows 10 customers later this year. With so many great apps coming to Windows 10, the Windows Store has already received over 5 billion visits.

  • Web developers have had great success with Windows 10 Hosted Web Apps, driving greater engagement and high store reviews, including American Express, BBC Sport, Yahoo Mail, zulily, and many, many more. But they consistently had one ask before they could make Windows 10 their primary development environment – and today, we responded, sharing that you’ll be able to run native bash on Windows.
  • Win32 and .Net developers have been seeking to extend their applications with Universal Windows Platform capabilities, and distribute their apps in the Windows Store. Today, we shared our new desktop app converter for Project Centennial, which will enable them to do just that.
  • .Net developers have been seeking a way to share more of their code across platforms. Xamarin will help make that possible!

Ubuntu on Windows

Ubuntu

 

One shocking feature that is coming is that you will be able to use Ubuntu – a distribution of Linux natively on Windows 10. Yes you read that right – two worlds will collide. Microsoft has announced a partnership with Canonical which means it is possible to install Canonical’s Ubuntu on Windows 10.

The software is available to all through the Developer Mode on Windows Settings and it is not a virtual machine. Microsoft will allow native ELF binaries, written for Linux, to run under Windows through a translation layer. It is a bit like the WINE project, which runs native Windows binaries on Linux.

Normally you have to recompile Linux software under Cygwin, or run a Linux virtual machine to get it to run in Windows.

Microsoft claims the new feature offers a considerable advantage in performance and storage space. It also includes the bulk of Ubuntu’s packages, installed via the apt package manager directly from Canonical’s own repositories.

The big question is why. Microsoft does not appear to be targeting the server market with this launch but desktop and laptop users. It appears to be mainly of use to developers, who need access to Linux software but for whatever reason wish to keep Windows 10 as their main OS.

You can see Microsoft’s promotional video for Windows 10 below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4XHCg1NxzM

So it sounds like there is plenty coming from Microsoft in the near future. Are you using Windows 10? If so what are your experiences of it thus far?