On July 29th Microsoft will release the much-anticipated Windows 10 as a free download for any users currently running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. Choosing to make the switch to a brand new operating system can be a big decision, especially when the shift comes with a large number of new technical features. Here are 8 of the biggest changes to be watching for in Windows 10, should you choose to download it on your computer, mobile, or tablet!
1. The Return of the Start Menu: Windows 10 keeps the touch functionality of the Windows 8 tiles, but returns to a classic nested menu setup for its Start menu that can be easily customized by users.
2. Meet Cortana: Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri – a virtual assistant that can help you with both PC-based tasks and online searches. Cortana can be accessed from the task bar at any time, and her functionality improves the more information she learns about users over time.
3. A Universal Approach: Windows 10 wants all of its apps to be useable across devices. For this reason, the operating system is working to keep the feel of apps consistent across platforms while optimizing their design for the unique features of each type of device.
4. And the Continuum Approach: The introduction of multi-purpose devices (such as laptops that can be converted into tablets) has also introduced some design quandaries. Windows 10 will change its functionality and design based on how multi-purpose devices are being used at a given moment in time – so when the device is set up as a laptop its applications will work differently than when it is set up as a tablet.
5. Multiple desktops: Organize the work you are doing by separating it into desktops. With the touch of a button you can switch between fully customizable workspaces, keeping many apps open without worrying about cluttering up a single desktop.
6. Internet Explorer is Retiring – Introducing Microsoft Edge: Microsoft Edge is the new browser highlighted by Windows 10. The browser boasts faster performance and an incredible number of interactions with web pages. Users can now annotate web pages directly, easily clip information to OneNote and quickly share information with friends on social media.
7. Action Centre: All of your notifications can now be easily accessed from a single point, simplifying how you approach your online activity and conversations.
8. Updated Office Suite: Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel have all gotten makeovers for Windows 10. The programs will be highly integrated with each other, have increased touch-based functionality, and will be better linked to online support.
One thing that’s important to keep in mind about Microsoft’s overarching plan for Windows 10 is that it is a platform that they expect to grow and improve as time goes on. It is their hope that Windows 10 will become a unified user experience across devices and platforms, but it might take a little while to iron out all of the bugs that come with a major software overhaul.
While it can be tempting to download new operating systems immediately, there are also benefits to waiting for a week or two to ensure that there are not any major glitches that could interfere with day-to-day functioning in your business! If you want to be one of the first to use Windows 10 on July 29th, we highly recommend that you begin by only downloading it on a single computer and making sure that there are no major problems with any of your applications before you install it on any other devices.