Windows 10 has arrived, finally. Windows 10 is not a big transformation of Windows, but you can clearly hear Microsoft apologizing for their last OS, Windows 8. Microsoft realized that Windows 10 must be right. The world hated the last OS, so they are back with a better one this time – that’s it.
Performance and Improvements
Since Windows 3.11 to today, Windows has got better and better over years and more functional. I used Windows 8, it was much better at performance and stability than Windows 7 and previous versions, but some changes departed it from their classic, traditional Windows OS. They made it difficult to use for amateur users. This time, Microsoft has tried to patch up pretty well, and they are now back with truly a Windows OS great for both home and work.
The Start Menu is Back – With Massive Improvements
The new Windows 10 desktop looks really polished and clean. The interface is sharp and slick. The very relieving news is that the Windows Start menu is back with massive improvements – which was the biggest reason Windows 8 was hated. The Start menu has search, power options, live tiles, programs, settings, Explorer with quick links – everything at one place – which makes Windows easy to use. You can resize the Start menu by dragging its corners, if you are using a large monitor screen. Tile screen is now integrated with the start menu – this is what was needed in Windows 8!
The Search box is much better – just press the Windows key and start typing the name of the program or file you need. As a smart move, the start box is always sticking at the task bar and always ready to serve whenever, whatever you need.
Cortana – the Voice Assistant
Cortana, a very capable and smart voice assistant has now jumped from Windows phone to desktop. Cortana works accurately and is very responsive. Great job at this, Microsoft! Cortana is the clear winner over Apple’s Siri in OS X. But honestly, I don’t think you will feel saying ‘Hey Cortana’ in your office. Of course it will be vital for your mobile device, if you use Windows phone or tablet, and will help you save your time.
Entirely A New Browser – Edge
With Windows 10, Microsoft introduces entirely new browser – Microsoft Edge. A big jump for Microsoft. Internet Explorer got aged and lost its all fame, especially after social media.
The good news is, as a completely new product, Edge is really better. With minimal interface, there are some new features added – like you can switch themes from light to dark, Reader Mode, bookmarking feature is improved.
Debut of Virtual Desktops
Windows 10 introduces multiple desktops or virtual desktops first time ever. Though it is still on basic level, and not so ground-breaking, still I find it useful as a Windows user, and I loved it as one of the best Windows 10 features. But if you have used Linux, you will definitely notice lack of some features like – it doesn’t allow personalizing icons, display settings, wallpaper, etc. across desktops, which might come later.
Tablet Mode and Compatibility with Touch Screen Devices
Windows 10 has a setting called Tablet Mode, which will transform the interface better suited for touch devices. This is what was lacking in Windows 8.
Windows 10 bridges the gap between traditional PC running classic Windows OS and world of touch-based devices and truly becomes a unified operating system.
Windows 10 has replaced its classic, very old Windows Photo Viewer by it’s new app called Window Photo. It is fast and opens the photos full-screen by default. I am not really happy with this new app. Often I cannot switch to previous/next photos. I can’t use +/- short keys to zoom in/out. Once I zoom in a photo, I cannot move to next/previous – I have to resize the photo to its original size! And you’ll never know the original size of the photo. No right-click menu to access some options quickly. Hope this issues will get fixed and the app will be improved over time.
Windows App Store
Honestly, I have used Windows phone at earlier stage, and was really disappointed, so I never tried using Windows apps on Windows 8. The collection of all current apps are still short on features and limited on usefulness.
Windows Explorer: Files and folder explorer has nothing new as of now. It could have been enhanced.
I didn’t find Windows Charms – not really useful feature which was added in Windows 8 and I don’t think many people will care about that.
At task bar, in Sound settings, I can very easily switch sound playback and recording devices between speakers or headphones, etc. I found this really useful. App notifications on task bar (displayed at the bottom right) are improved and look very clean.
Interface of settings and Control Panel is improved and made more user-friendly.
Along with picture password which was introduced earlier, now you have an additional option called Windows Hello to use your face, finger or iris to log in to Windows.
Updates are now automatic and forced – that could lead to troubles later on. I already saw users reporting OS crashes and issues after bad updates (especially with NVIDA device drivers) – within first 10 days of Windows 10 release! I am certainly not against the forced upgrade strategy, but forcing users to update is not the right way. There are of course advanced tactics to disable updates, click here to know how to disable updates on Windows 10.
Being a software developer on Microsoft technologies, and having used all of the versions of Windows for years, I think Windows 10 is best Windows yet. It is a great improvement on very successful Windows 7, it is well-finished and becomes a universal operating system. I found many glitches too, as usual, so updates are expected.
Windows 10 is the last version of Windows. But it isn’t final and finished version. Actually it is the first version of Windows that Microsoft released as a SAS model (software as a service) instead of a product. Microsoft will keep issuing regular updates, those will contain driver and security patches as well.