Here we go again! Another Microsoft Windows operating system. Just when we thought we had a good handle on Windows 8 (8.1) here comes Windows 10. You might ask about what happened to Windows 9, well… you’re not alone. Microsoft simply skipped 9 and went straight for double digits. With the new Windows 10 OS comes a lot of great added features.
The first added feature is the return of the Start Menu. I think we all can now sit back and rejoice. However, it doesn’t exactly resemble the classic Start Menu we’ve all grown to love from as far back as Windows 95. Thankfully, they got rid of the separate screen Start Menu, the confusing 2nd menu and the gigantic tiles.
Another great added feature is Virtual Desktops, or Task View. If you’re familiar with Linux or Mac, you know this can be very useful. If you open a lot of programs at once, this feature allows you to keep them organized. It also helps you better hide Facebook in the office when the boss is coming.
Next we come to a very nice addition to that is no longer limited to mobile devices. Ladies and gentlemen I’d like to introduce, Cortana. If you’ve used Siri, or “OK Google”, then you’re already familiar with how Cortana works. Cortana was first introduced by Microsoft as an artificial intelligence character in their hit Xbox video game franchise, Halo. Cortana is already used on all current Windows Phones and acts as a personal assistant, keeping you organized and up to date with weather, traffic, sport scores, appointments and so much more. The only advice I can give you is, don’t fall in love with her.
Finally we come to the next great added feature (as of December 2014). This new innovation is the integration of OneDrive which, in a sense, is a replacement of your local hard drive in your laptop. This could be the missing link to cheapbook storage. This new integration would allow inexpensive laptops and desktops to simply have a small amount of flash memory, enough to run the operating system. By taking out large local storage, it’ll help keep the price down on laptops and eliminate inconvenient hard drive crashes. At this point, I’m sure you’re asking “what about my applications? Where will they be installed?” Applications such as Adobe already streams Photoshop to Chromebooks and Quickbooks has a cloud version (which is accessed via web browsers), along with many other applications. I’m sure it’s Microsoft’s plan to move in the same direction with Office. This is another great step in the right direction.
The goal for Microsoft is to make Windows 10 more desktop/laptop friendly, while still accommodating to the brave new tablet world. I personally have been using the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which is free to download and tinker with. In January, Microsoft will be releasing the Windows 10 Release Candidate, which is the step before the actual launch. By releasing these alpha and beta versions to the public, it helps Microsoft gather positive and negative feedback from actual users. This helps eliminate the risk of past train wrecks, ahem…. Vista.
written by: Dennis Ciabatoni, Manager of Technical Services