MICROSOFT has unveiled ambitious plans to have its new Windows 10 operating system on 1billion devices around the world within 2-3years.
The company, founded by Bill Gates in 1975, spruiked the benefits of its new operating system, set to become a reality in July, to thousands of its development partners at the annual Build conference in San Francisco late last week.
The company said it would offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade, and make it available across multiple devices.
Via its Windows Store, developers will be able to write an application once and distribute it to the entire Windows 10 device family, making discovery, purchasing and updating easy for customers.
Microsoft said apps in the Windows Store would install and uninstall easily, and the store would support a range of global payment methods on all Windows devices - including the largest carrier billing footprint of any ecosystem, supporting 90 carriers, to help people around the world who don't have credit cards, but do have phones.
Through its Universal Windows Platform, developers will be able to create a single application for the full range of Windows 10 devices.
The platform's UX controls automatically adapt to different screen sizes, and the developer can then tailor applications to unique capabilities of each device.
The platform enables developers to integrate Microsoft's intelligent assistant Cortana and Xbox Live into their applications, as well as offer commerce, natural user input and holograms.
Microsoft also demonstrated further benefits of HoloLens - the world's first fully untethered holographic computer powered by Windows 10.
It demonstrated how HoloLens was helping GPS firm Trimble and its customers visualise building designs in the context of real world objects and landscapes.
Users had the ability to walk around designs while clients view them remotely and see street-side how a building was going to look.
It also showed off how medical students at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic learnt procedures without ever picking up a scalpel.
Partners demonstrating apps on the Windows platform also included USA Today and WeChat. Other partners on board include Disney and Netflix.
Developers will be able to create apps for websites, Android and Apple's iOS.
Adobe will bring their Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements apps to the Windows Store.
King has already used the developer kit to bring Candy Crush Saga to Windows Phone.
Microsoft said the app came to market quickly, with very few code modifications, and has earned a 4.5 average rating.
Microsoft announced that the new browser, replacing the much maligned Internet Explorer, would be known as Microsoft Edge.
It will feature built-in note taking and sharing; a reading pane for no distractions; and integration with Cortana.
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