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6 highlights from Microsoft's Windows 10 event

Microsoft gears up for new Windows 10 operati... 03:00

From its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his team officially revealed the features of its new Windows operating system.

Details have been leaking for months, but Wednesday's event was Windows 10's official coming out party. If you missed the live stream, here are the major takeaways you'll want to know:

It's what Windows 8 was meant to be
Windows 8 was supposed to be the operating system that made switching between your computer, phone and tablet easy, beautiful and seamless. It didn't. But the new version seems to have finally achieved the right amount of cross-platform integration and platform-specific tailoring.

Cortana is coming to the computer
Microsoft's answer to Siri is officially moving beyond the smartphone to tablet and PC. The new version will add more personal-assistant-like capabilities, such as flight tracking and checking your calendar and the weather for you. Cortana impressed spectators at the Redmond event by accurately following a voice prompt to compose an email. And she will be built into Microsoft's new browser (see below).

Explorer's got a cooler little brother
Though the Microsoft Explorer Web browser still claims more than half of all users, other browsers -- most notably Google Chrome -- have gained ground and are perceived as generally better and definitely cooler. Project Spartan is Microsoft's new, lighter, nimbler browser, which will work across all devices and even lets you annotate websites by typing or drawing. Release details are still TBA.

Windows embraces Xbox
With Windows 10 you can play and manage your Xbox One games on the computer, and connect to the Xbox Live network. You'll also be able to share clips from within a video game. The idea: Integrate gaming across all platforms.

There are holograms
With Windows 10, Microsoft is introducing the world to HoloLens, a pair of goggles that give the wearer an immersive, 3D experience that blends holographic images with the physical space around you. It's one part virtual reality, one part augmented reality, and one part something new. The company showed off how they used it to design a quadcopter, which they 3D printed, then flew at the event. It's unknown when HoloLens will be released.

It'll be a free update
Microsoft said that Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users will get a free upgrade (at least within one year), though it's unclear exactly when the update will become available.

Head over to CNET.com for full coverage of the Microsoft Windows 10 event.

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