Windows 10 has finally been launched to the public today and is actually a big deal for Microsoft. This time Microsoft decided to take feedback from its users using the Windows Insiders Program to fine tune the OS making it a really exciting launch. With Windows 10, Microsoft hopes to bring a promising new experience combining smooth operation with a more functional and elegant design.
One of the major feature that users are looking forward to is the redesigned start menu being a hybrid between the ones that came with Windows 7 and Windows 8. While the Windows 8 ‘Metro’ or Modern UI for the start menu benefited touch screen users like tablets, it was found to be a major inconvenience for desktop users and those with non-touch screen devices with many requesting it to be reverted to the Windows 7 style menu. Now however, Live tiles are still an option and the menu seems to be much better suited for both types of users. And also for those interested, there is an option to get back the Windows 8 style start menu. Search can now be done in the start menu itself rather than relying on the charms bar (which is no more in Windows 10) giving you the same universal search capability.
Another major feature is the ability to run universal apps in the desktop view giving you the ability to resize the windows rather than opening them on fullscreen. Users can also avail of a much better snap system between different windows called Snap Assist allowing you to distribute it in a more smarter and productive way. Windows can also suggest on which apps should be grouped together.
Windows 10 comes with Microsoft‘s replacement to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge which is claimed to be a completely redesigned browser with a new rendering engine promising greater speeds, support for browser extensions and a new design. Most of Microsoft‘s first party apps have also been given an upgrade providing a better interface suiting the overall experience of Windows 10.
There is also a new task view which lets you see all the windows that are open on a side-by-side birds-eye view similar to Apple’s Mission control in OS X. They have also brought the ability to have multiple desktops which helps make a more better multi-tasking experience. This allows you to shift between multiple desktop environments running side by side with multiple windows snapped to each of them and helps you access your workspaces more quickly and efficiently.
Another major feature is the integration of Cortana, Microsoft‘s personal assistant, into the Windows 10 experience which enables you to set tasks, check the weather and search among other things, all without doing it yourself. It will also learn about you to give better and more personalized information but you can control what it knows about you manually.
DirectX 12 is also coming with Windows 10 promising a better graphical experience. Microsoft also introduced Xbox streaming which allows you to play Xbox games right on your Windows 10 device be it a desktop or tablet as long as its in the same network.
Users running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 and those enrolled in the Insiders program can easily upgrade their systems to Windows 10 with a free upgrade for 1 year. Overall, Windows 10 seems to fix some of the major complaints of Windows 8 and mix in the best of windows 7 and 8 which seems to be an interesting and exciting combination.