The HP Spectre x360 is a great example of what is possible when the hardware and software sides of development work together. The device is a pleasure to use with both Windows 8.1 and its successor Windows 10.
Consumers would likely benefit from this becoming a norm in the tech industry and it would help to alleviate some of the issues we have seen in the past when a new OS launches along with new hardware.
Microsoft’s Surface was a perfect partnering of the OS and hardware and that has contributed to its success as well – and that is why Microsoft built it – to show OEMs how to get it right.
The latest team effort in connecting hardware to software is a partnership between Microsoft and Intel.
Intel recently laid out four aspects of their partnership with Microsoft on Windows 10 relating to Intel’s new 6th Generation Core CPU.
Cortana lets you directly interact with your PC, hands-free
…platforms based on the new 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processor family, Intel and Microsoft are enabling the keyword spotter algorithm, which listens for phrases like “Hey Cortana,” to be offloaded to a dual-core digital signal processor within the processor SoC. This offloading functionality, when available on Windows 10, will allow Cortana to continue listening for commands with improved energy efficiency. With Microsoft, we also enabled an extensibility model that allows application developers to integrate Cortana speech interaction with their software. For example, a streaming video app developer could add the capability for users to ask Cortana to add a new TV show to their watch list without even opening the app.
Windows Hello says goodbye to traditional passwords
Biometrics are not new to PCs, but Windows Hello takes log-on expediency to new levels. Using your face, iris, or fingerprint, you can unlock your device. No more typing passwords. To make this happen, Intel engineers developed software and protocols for the Intel® RealSense™ camera to deliver a responsive and reliable Windows Hello experience. We analyzed the end-to-end system and devised performance optimizations to ensure that Windows Hello authenticates users on Intel platforms quickly. We also made sure that the system could operate across a wide range of lighting environments.
WiGig delivers smooth, wireless pairing
Imagine walking to your desk with laptop in arm, sitting down, and without touching a button or reaching for a tangle of wires, your PC automatically connects with the display, keyboard, and mouse. That is what WiGig does for enterprise PCs, and it is part of Intel’s “no wires” initiative (along with Cortana), where devices can communicate without wires at multi-gigabyte speeds. Intel worked closely with Microsoft to integrate WiGig technology in Windows 10 and enable wireless docking as part of a key native user experience of the new OS. This experience is similar to how a smartphone pairs with Bluetooth; once in range, the phone automatically connects. This wireless docking works with a wide variety of displays and USB peripherals.
Microsoft Edge offers a fast, fresh browser experience
The folks at Intel are also embracing Microsoft’s vision of Windows 10 on devices of all sizes by providing a factor they call convergence:
This allows us to scale an operating environment from extremely small memory-footprint devices in the IoT space to phones, tablets, 2-in-1s and All-in-Ones all the way to servers. It marks a new era of experiences for consumers and companies, and new opportunities for OEMs, ODMs and developers that are enabled by platforms and developer tools optimized for Windows 10.
The future is exciting and bright as these various tech giants work together to deliver the best possible experience to the consumer.
I say bring on even more of it.