Microsoft HomeHub: A step into smart households

Smart Homes are not a thing of distant future anymore. Artificial Intelligence and IoT together has become the key to turning your entire house into sentient beings that would bend to your command. Amazon stepped into this field with Echo, the smart speakers that could process user commands via its AI, Alexa. Now, it seems that Microsoft is ready to give some tough competition to Amazon.

Microsoft is currently working on introducing a HomeHub feature into the Windows 10 operating system. Instead of controlling hardware, the OS will instead aim to create a friendly environment for the users via connecting multiple apps to it. The company has been reluctant to announce what features would be included in this new addition, but many leaks over the time gave us a good approximation.

The biggest feature is the digital corkboard that will serve as a regular corkboard for all intents and purposes, except for being completely digital. This display will be always on and allow users to create to-do lists, quick notes and access basic apps like calendars and calculator. A new Welcome Screen has been designed specifically for its purpose. Like Alexa, all the commands will be processed via Cortana. However, Microsoft does not want it to look like an embedded smart home system; instead, it aims to let it remain as an extended functionality of its Windows 10 PCs.

However, this does not mean that Microsoft does not intend to cover home hardware. It is already looking to support controlling small appliances like Philips’ Hue Lights, and might soon cover a lot of other devices. Currently, Microsoft is trying to emulate Apple’s Home app, instead of copying Amazon’s Echo. It aims to cover voice search, calling and device control, but the primary objective remains to be considered a Personal Computer first.

But, the path for this is not easy. For starters, a lot of improvement needs to be done in Cortana for better response towards voice commands, something that could rival Google Now. This has been done continuously in the past few updates of Windows 10, but a lot more has to be achieved. A lot of smart devices need to be supported in order to fully harness the potential of the idea. For this, Microsoft is already working in order to support Hue, Wink, Nest and few other devices. Lastly, the biggest problem is the support of the necessary hardware in order to make this dream a reality. Microsoft is holding talks with a lot of Computer manufacturers over this, and it might be resolved in the upcoming convention in May. Already, Lenovo and HP are into the fold and are working on making the package PCs, which would both support the enhanced voice command of Cortana and the new Welcome screen.

While it currently focuses on small kitchens, the model (if successful) could soon cover entire households. With more and more tech giants jumping into the race, the day when your entire home will respond to your voice is not far away. The future is close enough.

How Microsoft Has Changed in the Last 3 Years

Microsoft is the name that has now become a part of our life. We think about computer and “windows” is what comes to mind. We think about documentation and “MS Word” is what comes to mind. Such is the impact Microsoft has made in our lives. But this was never easy; it took years of hard work from Bill Gates and his team to reach where they are today. But, is it the zenith? There is no zenith in the tech industry. What is great today may turn obsolete tomorrow, and even giants like Microsoft need to keep up with the pace.

Back in 2014, Steve Ballmer resigned from his longtime post as the CEO of the multinational giant. To the common eye, this was a surprise. But for the experts, this was long overdue. Ballmer had always been a good head of the company, but he couldn’t become better. The monopoly that Microsoft created over the world of operating systems was threatened by the arrival of Android and revival of Apple. What Microsoft had was good, but the consumers demanded better. It was a time for introspection for Microsoft when Satya Nadella took over as the CEO of the company.

In many ways, Nadella revolutionized the way the company used to think. Microsoft was built and thrived over its monopoly over whatever it did. Nadella changed that by looking towards a healthy competition in the market. Microsoft, like Apple, had a long tradition of keeping its products exclusive to its users. This ended when Nadella decided to bring the popular Microsoft products like MS Office on other platforms like iOS and Android. This was a gamble, but it paid off. It stopped customers who like the MS products, but disliked the OS, from flocking over to products of rival companies.

Another bold decision that Nadella took was admitting that Windows 8 was a failure. The OS was developed exclusively for touch-based systems, which were still far away when the OS was launched. Microsoft, instead of being in the kind of denial they had been during the failure of Vista, admitted the shortcomings and incorporated it into windows 10, the OS that combined the facilities for both touch and traditional systems.

One of the biggest failures of Microsoft was in the mobile sectors, where they made the dead deal of buying Nokia in order to make windows phone a thing. It backfired, and Nadella was humble enough to admit it. This humbleness now shows in the whole organization and its decisions. The company has since ended the deal with Nokia but remains strong with its Surface series.

Today, Nadella (like Gates) looks ahead of the curve to invest in new ecologies. However, unlike Gates, he does not have any ambition to be the sole king. Microsoft, in the past 3 years, has seen a steady growth in share prices. The company has been investing in Cloud, IoT and even in Virtual Reality. It would be safe to assume that Microsoft is again headed to be the force it was known to be.

Microsoft ending support for original version of Windows 10: Pros and Cons that you may face

The Microsoft Windows users are well aware of the process of ending support for the various versions of Windows operating system. This has seen a long way and starting from the earlier versions like Windows 98, XP, Vista and more versions like Windows 10 are launched by Microsoft. As the title suggests this article is focused on the process of withdrawal of the support by Microsoft for the Original version of Windows 10.

The windows users have the knowledge that the software bundles or the technology provided by Microsoft are backed up by the after sales service and support via its service centers. These are offering the service and support for the customers facing any sort of difficulty in running the software. The original version of Windows 10 which was the first issue of the operating system was launched in the July 2015. Now Microsoft has decided to put all the support and services related to the original version of Windows 10 to an end.

This means the users using the original version of Windows 10 will not be able to receive any support on the technical issues from the Microsoft Service centers. In this article, we are going to bring the pros and the cons of this to light. This will help the users to understand the various after effects of this step. The users who have used the Windows 10 right from the launch of the original version can easily point out at the changes brought into the operating system since its launch. These changes were incorporated by the three updates which were instrumental in bringing about these changes.

These three updates were the November Update; the Anniversary Update and the Creators update. These three updates were responsible in the addition of the features in the operating system and the changes that were inevitable for operational sustainability.

The major reason behind ending the support to the original version of Windows 10 is to cut on the issues developing while supporting the multiple versions at a time. So the decision about ending the support on the original version has been stamped for implantation on this gone 09th of the May, Month in 2017. The original release known as the 1507 will not be entitled to any support from the said date. This is going to affect the businesses in many ways as those who have not updated can use the Windows 10 but they will not be able to receive the updates. Those willing to receive the updates have to go for the newer versions of Windows.

The users using the windows without any further updates will not have any drastic impact on their running instead they will not be getting the updates. But as the Microsoft policy says they will run the most updated version of the Windows 10 the users may go to the official page of the Microsoft to get the most updated version by clicking on the button “Update Now”.