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Here are 5 consumer tech innovations that won 2015

Apple adopted USB-C in the new MacBook, a computer that only has one port for charging, data transfer, and more. Users can purchase a dongle to create more ports, but the writing's on the wall: we are shifting to cloud storage solutions like Google Drive rather than external hard drives, and we're using Bluetooth mouses and keyboards rather than wired ones. We don't need as many ports and wires as we used to, especially if we want more portable devices, and USB-C is facilitating this change. Smartphones, too, are starting to ship with USB-C, such as the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X from Google.

If you don't already own a device with USB-C, expect your next smartphone to house the technology. Unless, of course, you're an iPhone user, in which case you'll most likely still be stuck on Apple's Lightning cable.

Windows 10

Windows 10

Windows 8.1 earned back some of the consumer trust that was lost after Windows 8, but Windows 10 is like a full redemption.

The operating system (we never did get Windows 9) adds a number of great features to enhance the usability of Windows. For example, taking a page from Apple's book, it finally included virtual desktops, which seriously improves the multitasking capabilities of Windows-based computers.

Another innovative feature in Windows 10 is the addition of Universal Apps. While the original idea was first introduced in Windows 8, Windows 10 takes it to the next level, essentially meaning that there is one store, one app package, and one API set across all Windows 10 platforms - phones, tablets, computers, and even Xbox One. This bridges the gap between mobile and desktop devices and blurs the line between operating systems; users can even plug their Windows 10 Mobile phone into an external display to use it as a full desktop computer.

It's easy to imagine Google doing the same and merging Android and Chrome OS (though that won't happen anytime soon). It's more of a stretch to see Apple going that far with iOS and OS X, but it certainly could happen if Universal Apps catch on.

Other Windows 10 features include the evolution of the Start menu, incorporating features from the Metro UI in Windows 8, and the addition of Cortana, bringing a desktop personal assistant to the masses.

But it's perhaps that Windows 10 is so much more fully featured than Windows 8.1 that makes it groundbreaking. Most operating system upgrades are incremental, and though they add new features and fixes, Microsoft went all out with Windows 10.