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Windows 10 event: Cortana, Xbox and free upgrades

Microsoft kicked off its Windows 10 event this evening, giving us a look at new additions to the operating system, plans for PC gaming and even announcing free upgrades to the new version for those on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

Just as the previous rumours suggested, those who own Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for the first year it is released. However, a price after this date has not been announced. This free upgrade system has been put in place to try and fight back against Windows fragmentation, making it easier for developers to deliver apps to everyone on PC.

Cortana for the desktop was officially revealed, she can speak seven languages and even do a pretty good Yoda impersonation. Cortana will appear right on the task bar and can show you pop up notifications, set reminders and even perform tasks on your behalf such as send emails.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 19.41.15

Phil Spencer later took to the stage to talk about his plans for PC gaming and further integrating it with the Xbox world. For starters, the Xbox App is coming, which if you read the site regularly you will know already leaked earlier this month. From this app you will be able to record and share gaming clips from any PC game and have voice or video chats with friends on Xbox or PC. It seems that Microsoft wants to make PC gaming a more social experience.

The game DVR feature will constantly be running so if you by chance manage to land an awesome kill streak, you will be able to press Windows Key+G and save that unexpected moment of glory to show off to others.

DirectX 12 made a very brief appearance promising performance boosts as high as 50 per cent, studios like Epic Games and the Unity Engine are already making use of the new API.

Microsoft seems to be opening itself up to the idea of cross play as well, upcoming Lionhead Studios title, Fable Legends will be coming to the PC as well as the Xbox One and will be the first title to support cross play between Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One, a feature that could be quite exciting if implemented in more titles.

And finally, Microsoft will allow you to stream Xbox One titles to any Windows 10 PC or tablet. In-home streaming has already proven successful on the PC and while its not as good as having a native version of the game built for PC, it will still be nice to play Xbox exclusives on Windows 10.

However, no other details were revealed, we don’t know about keyboard and mouse support or WiFi requirements but more information should be revealed at the Game Developers Conference in March.

You can catch up on what you missed and watch the demos for yourself, HERE.

If you are interested in Microsoft’s new Hologram tech, then Brendon has the rundown, HERE.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: Windows 10 is going to have some nice gaming features and Cortana for the desktop seems to perform well even in its early state. It will be interesting to see how people react to all of this news. What do you think of Microsoft’s latest announcements today? 

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