It seems like only yesterday Microsoft had announced Windows 8 with a new user interface intended to provide a better experience on touch enabled devices as well as smaller, mobile devices. However, Windows 8 was plagued by issues from the beginning, not necessarily safety or security related, but rather the huge changes were too huge for most users. It was a time consuming adjustment that many decided to forego rather than give it a chance. Windows 8 was a decent operating system because it added some additional functions and options while still retaining the original Desktop view but at first glance, the difference was so big that people really struggled with adapting.
As with any installation of a new computer program, application or operating system, there are pros and cons to replacing something you already know how to use. It’s important for you know both the positive and negative attributes before making the decision to replace your current operating system.
With Windows 10, Microsoft has decided to revert back to a more user friendly, or at least more familiar, interface design in contrast with Windows 8, where the touch-sensitive interface was overemphasized and alienated those who had a standard laptop or desktop that didn’t have a touch screen. Windows 10 seeks to infuse the best of Windows 8 with Windows 7 in order to offer new features alongside a time tested and validated interface.
What that means for you, the user, is that Windows 10 aims to maximize the usability of one operating system to be just as useful on a touch sensitive device as well as a traditional device and on up to huge data centers. Instead of worrying about changing between different kinds of home screens and will automatically adjust to the device you are using. If you are using a tablet, the grid tile view will be what pops up when you turn on your device. If you are using a desktop without a touchscreen, the desktop view will pop up while also including some of those grid tiles in the Start Menu. In essence, Windows 10 aims to be the one solution for any type of user.
Windows 10 is purported to be faster with start up and shut down, as is typical with a new version of software. It will also have a more cohesive look among all the different design elements. For example, when a user would launch a modern app, the style of that app did not fit within the rest of the digital environment and Microsoft wants to deliver a cohesive and consistent display palette across all parts of its operating system.
A new feature that has been slowly creeping into all operating systems is the universal search. Previous versions of this search would limit it to just the data on the computer or just the internet. The new universal search will combine all of those results into one place with the option to filter by destination rather than being forced to have a separate search on the computer and a different search for the internet.
Another new feature is something called the task view, which is without a doubt one of the best new additions to Windows. A big draw of Windows has always been the desktop view in which you could place programs and files anywhere you want. Task view allows for multiple versions of such desktops that can be configured for maximum efficiency based on what you wish to accomplish. For example, you can have a work related desktop, a school related desktop, and a home related desktop. Additionally, the multi tasking capabilities have been improved and expanded. You can now use up to four apps next to each other on desktops without a hiccup due to a streamlined interface.
Now for the inclusion of the touch elements as not all of the new features are just traditionally based. The Charms bar from Windows 8 sees a return here to give quick access to settings and search without sacrificing screen space. There is also a new Continuum mode that will help the users who have a convertible device, such as the Lenovo Yoga line. Continuum will sense which mode the device is in and display the proper interface. So if you are using the Yoga in laptop form, you’ll get the desktop optimized home screen. Once you switch to tablet mode, however, Windows 10 will switch to the tile grid home screen.
Some new refinements are specifically focused on improving the apps. The first is the universal app. Rather than having apps separately designed for the desktop and mobile, the apps will work on all platforms. This should make for a more cohesive experience across all Windows devices. The second is that these new universal apps can also now be windowed as opposed to a forced full screen view. The final is better Snap assist. Rather than only being able to snap windows to the left and right sides, you can now stack windows vertically.
A fantastic feature of both Windows 7 and 8 was the included security measures and Windows 10 continues the trend. Additionally, with the time past since Windows 8, the security measures will certainly have improved to deal better with threats.
Some interesting features not highlighted by Microsoft’s announcements are changes to the command prompt which will help the more advanced users tailor Windows 10 to their exact desires. Notifications have been upgraded to reveal more information and even be included in a notification center, although this hasn’t been confirmed just yet. The Recycle Bin can now be pinned to the Taskbar and Start Menu as well as new places for the most used folders, providing one convenient location to navigate to your most popular folders. The biggest addition, still not confirmed, is the possibility of the inclusion of Cortana. Cortana has proving to be the dark horse of voice software, blending the personality of Siri and the efficiency of Google Now into a single program.
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