Windows 10: What you need to know about Microsoft's latest operating system.


The recent release of the Windows update was awaited with much anticipation, as this was a huge deal for Microsoft. It was a make or break for the technology giant, as the previous version of Windows had failed to garner much attention. With the change in top management, Microsoft realized that even loyal users of Windows will be lost to other operating systems if this update also failed. Windows 10 was released on July 27th, and here, we explore the key new features. One thing to note is that even though Microsoft has shipped out its OS late July, there will be ongoing minor updates for a span of around ten years.

The old and new start Menu
The Windows 10 new start menu is going to be an intelligent integration of the previous Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you decide to use your key board and mouse to access the windows 10 OS, the start menu appears to be the default view. If you click on the start option, you have the option to place desired multi-size tiles on the right side. However, on the left side, you get the familiar set of most used/ recently used applications. This mix of old and new is bound to make it a lot easier for users to switch to the new Windows 10. The update is more familiar than the Windows 8 was when it was released.

Logging in with Hello
Windows 10 has put a lot of emphasis on its new logging in feature, or in fact, logging in features. The first one is using a PIN, a four-digit password that allows you to simply type in the 4 digits and log on. Of course, Microsoft still needs you to have a username and password, but instead of always typing in your full password, you can just use your PIN. The second feature is the simple use of biometrics, called Microsoft Hello. Using your face or fingerprint, Hello will detect you and automatically log you in. For the first couple of times, you may have to show your face to the camera, so the software can familiarize your face on different days. This logging in method is one of the cooler highlights of Windows 10.

The powerful Assistant Cortana
Cortana, the digital assistant is one of the most important additions to the new Windows 10. Imagine waking up and clicking your screen to know the day’s important events, mails, weather, news and all other relevant information displayed for you. After setting up Cortana on your home screen, Cortana is going to access your calendar and mails leaving less digital privacy, but we think it is worth it. You can read in detail here on what you can do with Cortana.

Task View
We are all used to multi-tasking. We are perennially using either Microsoft Excel and Email or some other applications together. Windows 10 has enabled the virtual desktop or task view, which makes it possible to toggle between windows very easily. Let’s understand this a little more. Suppose you want to, both, look at Facebook and finish off that long article you were writing, you can. You can efficiently toggle between those screens, and neither goes completely away from the desktop. Since this is a new interface, it will take some getting used to.

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft’s answer to the all web developments that have taken place is Edge. Edge is flexible, simple, and comes packed with some very useful options. This new browser which is part of Windows 10 is still a work in progress, as it is continually evolving. When you open a new tab, you are given 2 options, either to load a simple search bar or a bar along with certain content and pages that you frequently visit. Some nice features according to this expert analysis include :

  • a.Pre loading web pages
  • b.Password management
  • c.Option of having Cortana integrated with Edge
  • d.Ability to scribble or write on a web page etc

More Power to One-Drive
In Windows 10, the OneDrive cloud upload feature is closely integrated with the OS. It now appears to be like any other folder on your PC, even though it’s actually an application. Even though One-Drive has been so well been merged with the OS, there are a few applications that continue to be standalone, that can pose as a challenge further on.

More on Apps
The Windows apps store – simply called Store – has a few important and popular apps such as Flipboard, Line etc, however, in comparison to the Play Store or the iOS app store, Window’s Store has a long way to go. The concept of having a Leaderboard is rather useful, as it highlights popular apps in one glance. In terms of photos, there’s a powerful app, called Photos. The appearance is similar to the mosaic tiled photos you see on your phone. Photos has seen a huge improvement from the Windows 8 version, and it may not be comparable to Lightroom just yet, but it is in par with Adobe Photoshop. On the left hand side, you can choose to click between Collections and Albums, and the layout is very intuitive.

All in all, a worthy update, however, given that the OS is going to evolve over a period of time, there is room for improvement. The Windows 10 upgrade is free for customers for the 1st year, so if you intend to upgrade your OS, do so within the next few months. You can read more about the upgrade here. If you’ve already upgraded, like we have, do leave a comment below with your experience.

Author : Shruti Shah Date : 09 Oct 2015