Week in Tech: Windows on your face, Google goes to space

S6, M9 and drones, drones, drones

Week in Tech

Remember when Microsoft was interesting? Well, it looks like that Microsoft is back: in a week packed with exciting tech news, the most exciting news of all was all about Windows. As well as that, Google killed Glass, Samsung and HTC had more leaks than a Welsh greengrocer, and we discovered that your password is probably "password".

Windows FTW

This week Microsoft finally took the wraps off Windows 10 and shared its vision of the future - and it's a big vision in the form of 84-inch Surface tablets and giant Oculus-style specs that bring Minecraft to your maisonette.

Windows 10 is designed to deliver a consistent look and feel across different devices - mobile phones, tablets, computers, 84-inch Surfaces - and to run apps that deliver essentially the same experience on those devices. For example, there will be apps such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook optimised for each kind of device, sharing data effortlessly via the cloud.

That's not all. Microsoft effectively killed off Windows Phone and Internet Explorer, the former with Windows 10 on phones and the latter with the new Spartan web browser, and there was more Halo-themed fun with the digital assistant Cortana now appearing on a desktop near you. You'll be able to stream Halo 5 to your PC from your Xbox One too, and the incoming DirectX12 promises ever better gaming performance and graphics. Best of all, Windows 10 will be free if you upgrade from Windows 7 or later in the first year of availability. Release date? Later this year.

Windows on your face

Windows 10 won't just be for computers, tablets and phones. It'll be for heads too. Microsoft's augmented reality glasses, currently called Hololens, use a special version of Windows 10 called Windows Holographic and overlay digital assets on the real world. Examples included games that use your furniture as obstacles, Netflix on any surface and the ability to design items for 3D printing. We're sure the videos are as realistic as the ones that showed the potential of Kinect way back when, but here's hoping it's even half as good as it looks.

No Snapdragon for Samsung's S6?

More leaks from Samsung, this time about the processor in the incoming Samsung Galaxy S6: after problems with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 chip, it seems that the S6 will be coming with Samsung's own Exynos processors instead. "Troubles? What troubles?" says Qualcomm, but the reports come from "people with direct knowledge of the matter", which is reporter-speak for somebody who'd get shot if they were named publicly.

The agony and the HTC

Remember the gorgeous concept design for the HTC One M9? If HTC saw it, it can't have made much of an impression: the new HTC One M9 looks pretty much identical to the HTC One M8 if the latest leaks are accurate. Other apparently real images show the phone in a variety of protective cases, which doesn't suggest HTC has much confidence that its new flagship is a looker. Then again it's what's on the inside that matters, and on that front the M9 shouldn't disappoint. We'll know more at MWC 2015.

Google drops Glass, picks up the phone and goes to Mars

Google Glass is no more, and our own Matt Swider is sad: he spent a year with Glass stuck to his head, and while it didn't always live up to the hype it was still pretty good. We'll be amazed if Glass doesn't return, though as Duncan Bell says, your optimism depends on "whether you're a Glass half full person or a Glass half empty guy".

Could your next Google phone run on Google's network? It might do if the latest reports can be believed: Google is considering launching a wireless service called Nova that piggybacks on existing carriers' networks. A US launch may happen later this year.

Fancy getting the internet when you're on Mars? Google can help with that too. It's teamed up with Tesla boss Elon Musk to put a fleet of internet satellites in space. The satellites aren't really for astronauts to Instagram, though: the aim is to bring cheap internet access to our own planet.

Don't use password as your password

It's worst-passwords-of-the-year time, and this year's winner is "123456" with "password" a close second. As Hugh Langley says, "Apple's iCloud leak. The Sony hacks. You might think the past few months would have taught people a thing or two about online security. Apparently not."

Pretty fly for a drone guy

Whether you're taking aerial video, delivering packages or just winding up seagulls, there's never been a better time to buy a drone - but with so many around, which one should you fly? Have no fear, the drone-tastic Derek Adams is here - and he's brought his list of the best drones to fly in 2015 with him.

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