Ten months have passed after the first announcement of Windows 8.1 successor and now it is finally here. The latest version of the renowned operating system runs on PCs, tablets and phones and is available to all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users for free. Microsoft has made quite an effort to make a good combination of all the good features of previous versions and the new ones, giving Windows 10 a more user-friendly interface than his predecessor had. These new features could spark an interest and inspire you to upgrade your older system to Windows 10.
Start Menu is back
In Windows 8, the traditional Start Menu was replaced with the full screen Start screen containing apps, programs and Live Tiles. Windows 10 uses a blend of Windows 7 Start Menu – power controls, recently used applications, file explorer – with the addition of Live Tiles from Windows 8. It can be freely resized and customized, provides an easy access to settings, shutdown / restart buttons, complete program and app list and the list of recently used ones. Microsoft has found the perfect intersection between the new and the old.
Notifications are nothing new, having been introduced with Windows 8 (which has a basic notification panel). Windows 10 introduces to you the Action Center. You can access it by clicking the icon in the taskbar (PCs) or swiping it in from the right on the screen (tablets and Windows phones). It is divided into two areas – one for live notifications like emails, news and weather; the other for quick actions and switching on or off various functions on your device. Its appearance is customizable and you can choose what stuff you want to be notified about.
Multiple Virtual Desktops
This new feature comes really handy in terms of organization. You’re working on multiple projects simultaneously but you don’t have multiple monitors, so what can you do? You can create separate desktops. Pressing Windows+Ctrl and the arrow keys enables you to switch between virtual desktops. Thanks to this new feature, there is no need for using third party virtual desktop alternatives any more.
Cortana personal assistant
Cortana is Microsoft’s first virtual personal assistant that is built in an operative system. Introduced for the first time on last year’s Windows phone, Cortana now takes over desktop computer’s search function. Whenever you type in a new search, both local and web data are being searched and presented in search results. It can be voice controlled and used for sending e-mails, setting reminders / events and writing down notes. It also presents an overview of information regarding the weather, news and local businesses (restaurants, shops and such).
New Office Apps, as well as any other apps labeled as universal, can be found in the new Windows Store for free. The new Office Apps are simple and stripped down with a very good user interface and all the basic functions an average user needs. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now available for all devices – PCs, tablets and phones.
This is a feature for 2-in-1 convertible laptops (such as Surface Pro 3) which enables them to be both PCs and tablets, switching between the two modes. When switched to tablet mode, the operating system preserved the Windows 8’s user interface shifting the interface, all programs and the Start Menu to fullscreen mode.
Hello is a new Windows feature that enables you to log in to your computer without having to type in a password. By obtaining additional infrared hardware and special cameras you would be able to log in just by sitting in front of your computer. This feature makes the interaction with your PC or laptop more personal and secure.
Edge is the new built-in Windows browser, replacing the famous Internet Explorer. Microsoft has replaced its browser for the first time in 20 years and when compared to IE, Edge is a lot faster and has many useful new features, keeping the pace with modern browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It has a very minimalistic design due to Microsoft’s desire to make a browser that would have its users focus more on important website content.