We have been instructed to do some finger calisthenics to get ready for some vigorous live blogging. The event will start in a minute and last two hours.
First up is Terry Myerson, the executive VP of operating systems.
A stat says Windows is "familiar" to 1.5 billion people. How many were familiar and left? Is familiarity enough to woo people back?
"Since September we have received a lot of feedback from customers, partners and press. but the most important feedback has come from the Windows Insider program."
1.7 Million people have installed Windows 10 and kicked the tires. They shared 800,000 pieces of "feedback."
Myerson makes it sound like there will be new hardware announcements later today.
There's a video with Microsoft employees thanking those early beta testers for sharing their feedback, issues and complaints about the early build.
He's discussing the three areas Microsoft thought needed innovation. 1. Mobility of experiencing, meaning you can move between multiple devices and use the same tools. 2. Trust, for privacy and security, more control for the customer. 3. Natural interactions, like voice control and gaze.
"It's important that our customers' privacy is respected and they trust the devices and experience."
Gaze is a big keyword so far, but what does it mean? Will you be able to control your tablet with meaningful glances?
Windows 10 is going to be the most seamless, mobile, natural interface ever that puts me in control. Or somethingorother. Will they just tell us what it does and stop using buzzwords?
Free upgrades: For the first year, all devices running Windows 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. All devices running Win Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade for free. Anyone still running Windows 7 will be able to upgrade for free for the first year too.
He compared Windows to Internet services. "Questions like 'what version are you running' will cease to make sense." It's Windows as a Service.
"Windows 10 is so much more than the latest version of Windows, Windows 10 changes the rules of the game and redefines the relationship between us and our customers." OK!
Joe Belfiore is out, and he's a perkier faster speaker. He's going to recap the core Windows experience on a PC. They've added the ability to take the beloved Start menu full screen.
Pan in from the right and you get the "Action Center" which has shortcuts to do common tasks, like trigger Airplane Mode, and see the latest notifications.
You can run the same version of Windows on an 8-inch tablet. In tablet mode, use touch gestures to move things around. Miss full-Windows? You can switch to it from a tablet. Slap on a keyboard and you've got a mobile work station.
The builds he's about to demo are not finished, so there might be glitches, warns Belfiore.
Next a demo of Cortana, the new Windows voice-activated "personal digital assistant." It's Microsoft's Siri.
I wonder if the voice in the demo is the actual Cortana voice? It sounds like a voice actor
Cortana will be included on Windows 10 PCs, making the leap from phones.
Cortana is cloud-based and learns over time. "She" gets to know things about you as you use your PC or phone. They wanted it to feel like a trusted assistant. You can edit what Cortana learns about you in case it has incorrect information.
It looks at data from files, apps, settings, photos and videos. When you search for something with Cortana it shows the most likely matches, including installed apps and web results.
"It's almost like having another member of the family."
That's what family is really for, doing stuff for you like playing tunes or telling you the weather. It's why people have kids. "Hey Cortana, please be quiet." That's not a very friendly way to talk to your new family member.
Switching the focus to phones and small tablets. Windows 10 is for tablets that are 8 inches and bigger. The smaller tablets get a different experience.
I'm excited to yell "please be quiet" in the newsroom.
"No, no, I was talking to my computer!"
In a demo of speech-recognition on the phone, they speak a reply to a text message.
Messaging tools like Skype can be integrated into messages.
The Windows 10 version for phones and tablets under 10-inches looks a lot like the old Windows Phone, has integrated messaging with Skype and can use universal apps. Now a demo of the family of apps that are built in to work across all the devices.
Word, Excel and Power Point will be included on phones.
We are skipping the Excel demo and showing a Power Point presentation.
In addition to the office apps that come included in the Windows 10 phone build, there is Outlook. Outlook uses Word to compose emails.
Outlook will be included on Windows 10 on PC's as well and is designed to look and work just like Outlook on the phone.
The calendar app is also designed to work similarly across computers and mobile devices.