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The Windows 10 hardware argument

By Jos · 19 replies
Jul 28, 2015
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  1. The release of Windows 10 is bringing with it a range of perspectives on the eagerly awaited operating system and what it means for the future of computing. One of the biggest questions has been around its impact—or lack thereof—on PC sales. As anyone who’s watched tech industry news for the last year or so knows, the PC market has hit tough times, with last quarter’s shipments falling around 10% year-over-year according to market research houses like IDC and Gartner.

    As a result, the PC industry is clamoring for something that will help reinvigorate it and drive new sales. In the past, a new Windows OS release was generally cause for celebration in the PC hardware and component business because it typically drove solid boosts in shipments—not always right away, but definitely within a year or so of it release.

    This time around, however, things could be different. Microsoft has made it clear that Windows 10 will be completely free for one year after its release to anyone owning a PC running a legitimate copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. Because of this, some industry watchers are presuming that instead of buying new PCs—as they’ve typically done with major OS transitions in the past—many people will simply upgrade their existing PCs.

    Microsoft has actually made this pretty simple to do. The hardware requirements for Windows 10 are extremely low by today’s standards—if you’ve purchased a PC over the last 6-7 years, it’s probably capable of running Windows 10. Plus, based on my own experience on several different machines—as well as reading the accounts of many others doing upgrades—the company has done a good job of making the upgrade process smooth and relatively carefree. Of course, we won’t really know until the final bits have been propagated out to the hundreds of millions who are expected to make the upgrade—a process likely to take several weeks—but early indications seem pretty solid.

    Despite this, I’m still hopeful that the PC industry will see some decent upside from Windows 10, particularly in the fourth quarter of this year and into 2016. The primary reason for my optimism is that Microsoft has actually integrated quite a few new capabilities into Windows 10 that will benefit from new hardware. Some are more well-known and more obvious than others, but here are some of the key new functions that I think can (and should) drive new Windows 10 PC hardware purchases:

    Microsoft has actually integrated quite a few new capabilities into Windows 10 that will benefit from new hardware.

    • Windows Hello—The new biometric login feature for Windows 10 points the way to a password-less future, at long last. To take advantage of it, you need to have either a new fingerprint reader or an integrated 3D camera, like Intel’s RealSense, built into your PC. Down the road, Microsoft is expected to support other types of biometric authentication methods, such as iris scan. In addition, the company is also expected to leverage standards efforts with the FIDO Alliance to extend biometric authentication onto other devices and services. Hopefully, it won’t be long before you can digitally authenticate to your Windows 10 PC from a wearable, and then use that authentication to transparently log you in to your online banking site, ecommerce site, and more.
    • Windows Continuum—The Continuum features will make 2-in-1 devices like Microsoft’s Surface, Dell’s Inspiron 7000 Series, HP’s x360, and Lenovo’s Yoga even more compelling. The OS can automatically adjust the user interface and details like icon sizes, allowing you to easily switch from PC mode to tablet mode. Eventually, Microsoft will also release Continuum-enabled Windows smartphones that will allow you to directly connect your phone to a monitor and keyboard.
    • Array Microphones for Cortana—With Windows 10’s new personal assistant feature, you will likely talk to your computer a lot more than you ever have, and a high-quality array microphone—which essentially integrates multiple mics working in tandem across the front of your PC—can make a big difference in the accuracy of speech recognition.
    • DirectX12—The latest iteration of Microsoft’s key gaming API comes bundled with Windows 10 and enables an impressive range of new capabilities for PCs with improved graphics—whether it be dedicated GPUs from nVidia or AMD, or even the graphics-enhanced, sixth generation APUs (code-named Carrizo) that AMD just released. Games that support DirecX12 can now fully support multi-core CPUs, as well as better support multiple GPUs, better leverage GPU memory, and much more.
    • GPU Acceleration–The new GPUs and APUs aren’t just for gaming either. Many different elements of the Windows 10 UI, as well as video playback, web page rendering, JavaScript performance and much more now benefit from hardware GPUs. By themselves, none of these elements are game changing, but taken together, they should provide a much smoother visual experience on new Windows 10 hardware.
    • Display Scaling—Speaking of displays, Microsoft has also made working with multiple displays and/or higher resolution displays much easier. Gone are the days of unreadable icons and text on high-resolution screens.
    • New CPUs—Both Intel and AMD are making important new introductions to their line of CPUs—the upcoming Skylake from Intel and the previously mentioned Carrizo from AMD. As with any new CPU release, the performance will improve, but more importantly, each is expected to offer important improvements in battery life and in the quality of its integrated graphics. Given the growing role of graphics acceleration across Windows 10, these developments are important even for non-gamers.
    • Wireless Charging—An additional benefit that Intel’s expected to bring to the table in the early fall is a new chipset platform for its Skylake CPUs that will offer wireless charging using the new Rezence standard on certain higher-end notebook PCs.

    Of course, another key benefit of getting a new PC along with a new PC OS is the “clean slate, fresh start”. Most people tend to accumulate lots of “stuff” on their PCs over time—extra applications, files, desktop icons, etc.—and the ability to start over is often one of the nicest benefits of getting a new PC.

    Not everyone who upgrades to Windows 10 will need new PCs, obviously, but for those who may be interested, and choose to do the research, there actually are some pretty compelling reasons for buying new hardware. The percentage of those who choose to do so will be a critical metric to closely watch.

    Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter . This article was originally published on Tech.pinions.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    I don't like the fact that it's free for only a year unless they release Win 10.1 or 11 in that timespan and offer it free as well otherwise I'll be forced to resort to 7 again. It's like giving your kid a new bike then taking it back after a month or telling him to cough up for it. Now if M$ refunded me fully for purchasing the licences and a copy of 7 & 8 to use indefinitely then I wouldn't complain if they stuck their paw under my chin for the same thing for Win 10.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 701   +377

    You obviously have a serious comprehension problem. It's free for the life of the device and anyone that jumps in before the end of July 2016 gets that ticket to ride. Upgrade the hardware on your current platform, which may not be that old to begin with, or build a new machine with your Win 7 disk. Profit !

    Figure it out before complaining ...
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    BabyFaceLee likes this.
  4. Display scaling is broken, it produces weird results where some windows of an application are scaled correctly and some are super blurry. It broke a few months ago in the preview and was never fixed.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    Thanks for explaining it to me so vividly Einstein. Now go and troll someone else.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    CAVEAT EMPTOR:- GPU acceleration is totally venerable to infections as there is no known AV service today to protect what is executed therein. Yeah it's really fast and effective but you're playing Russian Roulette.
  7. You constantly complain out of ignorance and it's becoming rather boring,
    so consider yourself "Trump'd".
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    Oh dear! I'm flattered you read my posts. It's more than I'd do yours even if you identified yourself.
    learninmypc likes this.
  9. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 167   +45

    Man the comments section on this website is starting to turn to **** in the last year...Nothing but instant vitriol toward someone instead of just explaining something to someone in a non-hostile manner. I hope people don't talk to their friends/family/co-workers like that.
  10. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,245   +414

    Any more details on this??

    don't think I've seen a virus in a Avi,mpeg,mp4 file yet?
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    First, if there's animation, then there is a vector for infection - - even in simple gifs

    There's this paper: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.7383.pdf
    and this declaration: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-gpu-security-driver-exploit,20039.html
    and this: http://www.maximumpc.com/does-your-gpu-pose-an-online-security-threat/

    from: http://hothardware.com/news/new-whitepaper-claims-gpus-threaten-malware-security
    Lionvibez likes this.
  12. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I would expect PC sales to increase with W10. Mainly due to resistance buying a PC with W8 installed.
    Teko03 likes this.
  13. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,045   +206

    Wireless Charging—An additional benefit that Intel’s expected to bring to the table in the early fall is a new chipset platform for its Skylake CPUs that will offer wireless charging using the new Rezence standard on certain higher-end notebook PCs.

    has nothing to do with windows 10?
  14. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 396   +179

    It never fails, the first comment in a Windows 10 article is ALWAYS some one stating or complaining that it's only free for a year. Point is, for genuine Windows 7 & 8 users, YOU HAVE ONE YEAR FROM JULY 29, 2015 TO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 FOR $0.00 / FREE. If you upgrade before July 29, 2016, it's yours for the life of the device, NOT TRIAL OR BAIT & SWITCH. You only pay if you choose to upgrade after ONE YEAR, meaning after July 29, 2016 or if you're running Windows Vista or older.
  15. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Practice what we preach? "turn to **** in the last year". Such language, I hope you don't talk to your mother/wife/daughters like that.
  16. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 679   +251

    "Windows Hello—The new biometric login feature for Windows 10 points the way to a password-less future, at long last." Just like touch-screens have pointed the way to a "keyboard and mouse"-less future?

    *eyes begin rolling into back of head*
  17. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Guru Posts: 701   +377

    Win X appears to have pre-loaded and was ready to install this morning.
    Installed without a hitch. I'm liking what I see so far.
  18. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 167   +45

    You're stretching there man. Not the same. I didn't attack anyone which is the point of what I was saying. I'm sorry that all that you took out of what I said was a censored word, but a word which is not really a curse word and is used on cable TV all the time, instead of the message to not attack others which is far more meaningful.
  19. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 253   +70

    PC market has hit tough times BECAUSE INTEL/AMD FAILS TO DELIVER!
    People ALREADY HAVE THEIR "good enough" PC.
    Why would anyone upgrade for 5% performance gain? 10%? 20%? Noone will! If intel resumed to their roots (286 => 386 => 486 => Pentium etc.) where every platform upgrade was like +100..200% performance gain, they would actually see seriously higher sales. Hell... give us +25% with every next generation and many would upgrade.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    If this is a, "Windows 10 hardware argument", why are the other children only arguing with each other"?:confused:

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