Monday, April 11, 2016

New Windows 10 Roadmap Highlights Several Upcoming Features

Microsoft has officially released the latest Windows 10 Roadmap highlighting the newest features we can expect in upcoming Windows 10 updates and releases. And while we already know the Windows 10 “Anniversary Update” will be coming this summer, many of the new features found on the Roadmap apparently aren't a part of that update.

“The Windows 10 Roadmap provides a snapshot of what we’ve recently made generally available, released into public preview, are still developing and testing, or are no longer developing,” Microsoft explains. While this newest Roadmap is meant specifically for Microsoft's business customers, there are still plenty of noteworthy features we may eventually see for consumers.

Here’s a basic rundown of a few of the highlight:
  • Windows and Android phones as well as "companion devices" such as the Microsoft Band 2 will be able to unlock and authenticate apps on a Windows PC.
  • Connecting a Windows phone to an external touch monitor through Continuum will allow for touch controls on the large display. Windows phones with Continuum will also support laptop-like docks, keyboards and accessories that utilize your phone's cpu and OS to run and act like a laptop.
  • Windows PCs will be able to cast their displays to other Windows PCs making collaborations easier.
  • Windows apps will get a picture-in-picture mode.
  • Remote display for "display-less" devices, so users can seamlessly control Windows 10 IoT Core applications from any Windows 10 desktop PC, tablet, or phone*. In addition, the technology allows Windows 10 IoT Core devices to use remote sensor readings from any connected Windows 10 device.
Again these new features are being added in addition to the "Anniversary Update" features that we saw highlighted during the Build 2016 back in March. You should also keep in mind that these plans can change, something that Microsoft themselves highlight on their roadmap which also includes a section for canceled features, though it’s currently unpopulated. As for timing, Microsoft isn’t making any promises, and has not yet started testing any of the above features in its Windows Insider builds.

As to what we should expect in the Windows 10 “Anniversary Update” we already know we will see a few key additions, one of the biggest being Linux /bin/bash-support. This will not be a port or a virtualization. It’s a full Ubuntu command line running natively right in Windows, built in partnership with Canonical. As of right now this is mostly a tool for developers, but cross-platform power users may find this particularly useful as well.

We also know we will see updates to Cortana, for more efficient and effective use as well as greater app support and better notification support. You can also expect to see the new Windows Ink feature which allows for more stylus and handwriting support. According to Microsoft, Windows Ink puts the stylus “front and center” by introducing the Ink Workspace, a hub of apps that all focus on different things that a stylus can do.

Of course for you gamers Microsoft didn't leave you out. Microsoft says they will be working to deliver on top fan-requested features like support for multiple GPUs and the ability to turn off v-sync. Game developers will 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.

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