Launch of Windows 10 injects some energy in local PC industry

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With Microsoft appearing to have gotten its mojo back with the formal unveiling in the country of the Windows 10 operating system, the whole tech ecosystem, particularly PC manufacturers, is also preparing for a positive jolt of sorts.

Gary Chan, head of Pan-Asia marketing for Microsoft Mobile, and Mae Moreno, Windows Lead for Microsoft Philippines, delivering Windows 10 product demo during the media launch
Gary Chan, head of Pan-Asia marketing for Microsoft Mobile, and Mae Moreno, Windows Lead for Microsoft Philippines, delivering Windows 10 product demo during the media launch

The local office of Microsoft, which has branded the Windows 10 as its best and most secure OS yet, held a rather subdued media launch of its flagship product on Wednesday, July 29, at the Century City Mall in Makati City. Unlike in the past, there is also no scheduled consumer launch.

But the understated beauty and functionality of Windows 10 is enough to send some good vibes to local and foreign hardware firms who are looking to make a windfall with new products running on the new OS scheduled to come out of factories before the current year is out.

Microsoft, which has made tremendous progress since putting Satya Nadella at the helm, also made a masterstroke with its decision to make the OS a free upgrade to current users of Windows 7 and 8.1. This, observers said, effectively mitigates the massive migration to Apple, which earlier allowed its users to simply upgrade their system every time the company comes out with a new Mac OS.

?A few years ago, this was unthinkable. Now, tech companies are just giving away their operating systems,? exclaimed Elijah Mendoza, a former IT reporter who is the marketing manager of homegrown tech brand Starmobile. Mendoza was at the launch event to present his company?s first device that runs on Windows 10, the Engage 10 Pro hybrid laptop-tablet.

Filipino-owned PC firm RedFox, which operates a factory in Cavite where PCs and tablets ? and soon smartphones — are manufactured and exported abroad, also expects Windows 10 to give a lift to its sales this year, especially in the fourth quarter.

RedFox top executive Andy Te said in an interview that he is hoping for at least 30-percent bump in revenues as a consequence of a revitalized consumer sector wanting to test-drive the new OS. At the launch venue, RedFox officials also showed off a soon-to-be-launched hybrid and ultrabook (WizBook 101 and 141), which will run natively on Windows 10.

Acer Philippines, represented by country manager Manuel Wong and marketing director Agnes Espino, is also bullish that Windows 10 would allow the company its leading position in the local PC industry. While not able to cite a specific date, the company said they would roll out Windows 10 devices shortly.

As for the mobile version of Windows 10, Microsoft regional executive Gary Chan said Lumia devices running on the new OS will be unveiled before yearend. ?Every thing that you can do with Windows 10 on the desktop, you can do it on mobile — sometimes, even better,? he said in an interview.

The company said the new Windows Store and Windows Software Development Kit are also now available, allowing users to install their favorite apps on Windows 10. The Windows 10 also features the return of the Start menu and Live Tiles for instant updates. For a review of the software, click here.

Other features of Windows 10 include:

? Cortana, the personal digital assistant

? New Microsoft Edge browser

? Continuum optimizes apps across touch and desktop modes.

? Built-in apps including Photos; Maps; Microsoft?s new music app, Groove; and Movies & TV offer entertainment and productivity options. With OneDrive, files can be shared across all devices.

? The all-new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 tablets are available in the Windows Store. The Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps offer touch-first experience for small tablets. The full-featured OneNote app comes pre-installed with Windows 10.

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