With Windows 10 scheduled for release in 2015, Microsoft will make up for the transition woes that marked the release of Windows 8 in 2012. Here’s a quick look at the features and capabilities of the latest incarnation of Microsoft’s iconic operating system.
The classic, distinctive Windows feature is back, and it looks stunning. In the enhanced Start Menu, there’s an area for which to customize and include Live Tiles of your favorite apps and programs. Here’s a preview of a user-customized Start Menu in Windows 10: az648995.vo.msecnd.net/win/2014/09/Tech-Preview_Start-menu.png.
Multiple Virtual Desktops
You can now streamline your multitasking routine to further improve productivity. The multiple virtual desktops in Windows 10 effectively simulate working simultaneously on different monitors. Through the Task View pane, you can display an unlimited number of screens by selecting “Add a desktop” or by holding down Windows Key + Ctrl + D on your keyboard. Your sole computer monitor will then display your various active desktops. Because there is no way to switch instantly to one particular screen, you have to go through all your active desktops one by one in the order by which you’ve launched them. This can be time-consuming if you have so many open screens, but this limitation should not dissuade you from taking advantage of the productivity-boosting multiple desktop feature of Windows 10.
Microsoft’s voice command engine, Cortana, is seamlessly integrated into the Windows 10 interface. There’s a Cortana circle you can tap in a jiffy and a Cortana icon right on the taskbar. The handy voice-directed virtual assistant is also integrated in the new Web browser. You can then search and manage your computer data hands-free. To activate, speak “Hey, Cortana” for your computer’s microphone to pick up, and then follow up with an instruction like “display my photos from 2010.”
Microsoft amplifies the convenience factor by enabling Windows 10 users to get their various notifications in an easy-to access place. The Action Center keeps you up to date by rounding up all notifications, including the arrival of new email messages and other whatnots from your various cloud service accounts and favorite apps. You can specify which notifications you want to receive by going to Settings. Click “Change PC Settings” and then choose “Search and apps” to get to “Notifications.”
Possibly the most vital feature rolled out in Windows 10, Continuum ensures a seamless switch from a touchscreen interface to a legacy keyboard-and-mouse environment and vice versa. Continuum adapts accordingly to the way you are using your device. For example, if you connect your Surface tablet to its keyboard, the interface will then change to accommodate the transition to a keyboard-based environment. This ability is very much in touch with the needs of a modern-day user, who is likely to own and simultaneously use Web-connected, multi-platform hybrid computing machines.