Here it is: Windows 10 for phones. Microsoft's latest attempt to claw market-share away from Android and iOS, and the first operating system to share the same core (and code base for developers) as the Windows 10 desktop/tablet equivalent.
What you'll get
On first look, Windows 10 for phones doesn't appear to be radically different from its predecessor Windows 8.1. It retains the customizable Live Tiles homepage with the up-down scrolling menu and the list of all apps still a left swipe away. The good news for fans of customization is that you can now chose a picture for your homescreen and lockscreen.
The settings menu has been redesigned to give quicker and more intuitive access to all your options. You can also chose to expand the Notification Center to include three rows of options. Also, notifications are now interactive and sync across phone and desktop.
The Photos app now includes
While Android and iOS might already have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps (for phones and tablets), don't expect the same from Windows 10 for phones just yet. The Office suite for phones is still a work in progress, as is much of what Microsoft is planning on delivering for this operating system, including integrating Skype into the messaging system, and new universal apps (across all devices) for Mail and Calendar.
For an idea on what these might be like, think of the new Outlook app for
Currently there is no dual-sim support, VPN service, search, and message drafts. Also Cortana is only available in the English, but will be expanded later.
One operating system, one Microsoft
In isolation, Windows 10 for phones is yet to offer a compelling reason to tempt iOS and Android users away from their current devices. However, that only stands if we look at Windows 10 for phones as a standalone platform. Where Microsoft is betting big is on delivering a unified operating system across devices, continuing with the build once, deploy across devices strategy it initiated for developers with Windows 8. For the legion of business users running a Windows desktop or tablets this will likely be a big draw, for home consumers it's appeal is less certain - but offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade will help.