The Year in Software: 2015

22 Dec 2015 by Katie Lahman

With 2015 drawing to an end, it’s time to highlight the software trends that made it big this year and what we can expect in 2016.

Microsoft unveiled Windows 10

2015 was an eventful year for Microsoft. From its latest tablet, the Surface 4 Pro, to its first ever laptop, the Surface Book, there was no stopping this technology giant. In July, the company launched Windows 10 for PCs, shortly followed by its release for mobile devices. Below are the top Windows 10 features:

With Windows 10, Microsoft users can now have a truly unified and integrated experience across various devices.

Start menu as displayed from the desktop view of a Windows 10

Introducing Apple’s El Capitan

In addition to introducing the Apple Watch, iPad Pro and the iPhone 6s, Apple released their newest operating system on Sept. 30. El Capitan has endless new features making your time spent more productive. Not sure on all the cool, new features? Discover them now:

Needless to say, it was a big year for Apple.

Apple's El Capitan desktop displayed on MacBook Pro

Hi, I’m Cortana

Microsoft users rejoice! You now have you own personal assistant, Cortana. Want to add a calendar reminder? Cortana can do that for you. Want to check the weather outside? Cortana can do that for you too. Now you can free your hands of daily, mundane tasks. Cortana, along with Siri, are tiny steps towards Artificial Intelligence (AI).

IBM has also made its way into the AI arena. Watson, a world-famous super computer, can assisting doctors in diagnosing cancer as well as discover unexpected flavor combinations for chefs. It will be interesting to see how AI develops in 2016.

Cortana displayed from the start menu of Windows 10

Adobe 2015 Creative Cloud

Towards the end of November, Adobe unleashed its 2015 Creative Cloud. In the update, Photoshop and Premiere Pro received enhancements, while Fuse CC, a 3D character modeling tool, was introduced. Numerous other apps received updates as well. Custom toolbars have been added to boost productivity and reduce user headaches. You can now pick and choose what is located on your main toolbar. Perhaps, the most exciting new feature is Stock — Adobe’s own stock imagery.

Adobe's SVP of Creative CLoud standing on stage at Adobe launch event

Tesla introduced “autopilot”

On Oct. 14 Tesla launched an “autopilot” mode downloadable to its vehicles. This allows the Model S and Model X to “automatically steer down the highway, change lanes and adjust speed in response to traffic.” Even though users are advised to exercise caution while using the feature, the main benefit of autopilot is to increase driver confidence. This software is making a strong push towards eventually seeing self-driving cars on the road — just as Google is experimenting with. “Autopilot” software along with AI will make for a very futuristic new year.

Interior view showing the navigation dashboard of Tesla Model S

It's no doubt that 2016 will be a big year for software. We'll just have to wait and see what the new year holds.