What to Expect From Windows 10

Published On May 27, 2015 | App & Software

Microsoft waited so long to upgrade their 2012 Windows 8 operating system that they skipped 9 and went straight to 10. It sounds like the punch line to a bad joke, but it’s true: Microsoft’s Windows 10 will be rolling out in the coming months and Microsoft fans are in for a treat.

Here’s some of what you can expect from Windows 10.

Start Menu Returns

One of the common complaints from Windows 8 is the bulky Start screen, which was ideal for touchscreens, but proved to be much less user friendly for multitasking, mouse-wielding desktop users. Windows 10 addresses that by bringing back an easy-to-navigate start menu.

Cortana

Cortana is one of the latest voices in the popular intelligent personal assistant field. Like Apple’s Siri, she’s easy to chat with and can perform simple tasks, like web searches and setting reminders. But what sets Cortana apart is her trusty “Notebook.” That’s where she’ll store learned information to better assist you in the future, such as interests, locations and contacts. In an effort to offer some much-needed privacy, users can access her notebook and edit or delete information Cortana doesn’t need to know.

Project Spartan

Internet Explorer has long been the flagship web browser for Windows, but now there’s a new web browser in town, and it’s called Microsoft Edge (also known as “Project Spartan”). Through Internet Explorer will still be available alongside Edge, it will no longer be the system’s default browser. Microsoft Edge offers some cool new features, one of the coolest of which is its annotation capability, where you can draw notes directly onto a web page and then share or save with OneDrive. It’s also compatible with Cortana and easily syncs between devices thanks to the “Reading List” function.

Virtual Desktops

Windows 10’s virtual desktop feature allows you to create multiple desktops. Let’s say you use one computer for work and play; you can create two entirely different desktops to differentiate between the two, and then simply jump from one desktop to the next with the stroke of a key.

Shape-Shifting Interface

An exciting new feature on Windows 10 is Continuum, a system that detects the device and adjusts accordingly. This is particularly useful for laptop-tablet hybrids, so the operating system can shift seamlessly from a point-and-click mouse-friendly interface to a tap-and-play tablet version.

More Apps

Though Apple and Google still have the app market corned, Windows 10 is pushing hard to catch up. The leaders are both making it easier for developers to create apps and to adapt apps for Windows from other systems.

Free!

Unlike previous upgrades, Windows 10 will be free for the first year if you’re currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. No word, yet, on pricing outside of that offer, though.

With stiff competition and an anxiously awaiting consumer base, Microsoft is due for an upgrade to their circa 2012 operating system, and Windows 10 is sure to deliver by improving on the past while building for the future. No official launch date has been announced, but the new operating system is rumored to be available sometime in late July.

Which Windows 10 features are you most looking forward to?

– By Jennifer Thayer

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