Preview: Windows 10
As I already mentioned in my previous post in which I did a review on the subject of Windows 8.1, Microsoft announced the official release of Windows 10 late in 2015. Build versions of the product were released in October 2014 and November 2014, and last month (on January 23rd 2015) there was a Preview release. Microsoft offered even an Insider Program (the way they refer to it) “to help them shape up the Windows 10 experience for millions of people”. You can download the Windows 10 Technical Preview from Microsoft’s official web site and you get to send feedback about your experience with the 10, see the progress, have an impact on the process of finishing the product and win an award as a reward for your help.
Windows 10 is the follower of Windows 8.1, as you all know by now, so it’s the same idea and concept but now much improved and implemented very well as far as we can see from the preview releases. It links all the devices, touch or mouse+keyboard oriented with small or large screen, using only one operating system. Many critics say that Windows 8 should have been this.
However, Win 10 will be a free upgrade for one year, for millions of users that now use Win 8.1. Microsoft says that the Technical Preview shows only some of the newly added cool features and that they “will continue to develop and refine right up to their launch”.
Let me specify that my review will be from the perspective of a mouse+keyboard user, again.
I’ll start with the, so called, Continuum – feature that allows you to transform the usage of Win 10 from keyboard+mouse mode to touch mode and vice versa. When you attach a keyboard to a tablet (no matter the screen size of the device) Win 10 asks you if you want to switch into keyboard+mouse PC mode or want to stay in touch tablet mode. The exact opposite thing happens if you detach the keyboard+mouse from your PC.
The Start button is present in Win 10 and to show that they listen to their customers, Microsoft brought back the Start Menu. So, when you are using PC mode and click the Start button, you get your new Start Menu which is a smooth blend of the old-good desktop Start Menu and this new modern UI that we were forced into in Win 8 and Win 8.1. If you detach the keyboard+mouse, the Start Menu expands to full screen because the Modern UI is the default environment for touch devices.
In my opinion, Windows was getting behind in this area, but it seems like they managed to catch up and even to outrace others with their personal digital assistant Cortana. “Cortana is different than, say, Siri because Cortana gets to know you personally and then she can help you out in smarter and more proactive ways. ” as Joe Belfiore described in the video about what’s coming in Windows 10. Cortana is incorporated into PC too, and supports both voice and text as input.
Another feature about which Windows paid a lot attention on, is the Universal Apps which will be built in devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) and work through them seamlessly synchronizing data.
This integration is also included in the Xbox system, allowing users to save 30 seconds of their game in order to device and continue gaming on the other gadget.
Because of the lawsuit Microsoft faced about the name, Sky Drive is now called One Drive, but other that that and the availability to sync photos, files and music between devices, there isn’t any other difference made on the subject.
Microsoft introduced a new built-in browser too. Among the others features it offers, you will be able to annotate and comment directly on the web pages using pen or your keyboard.
There is the Task View button that allows you to manage all of your running apps and open windows.
The Charms are removed from Win 10 and the new version is called App commands which is placed in Action Center, while the Settings App is the new version of the formerly known PC settings.
In conclusion, Windows 10 should be very impressing. Microsoft didn’t manage to solve all the problems, but did their best to enhance refinement and exceed expectations in the direction of development and merging the mouse+keyboard with the touch devices.