Microsoft is set to unveil Windows 10 at some point this year, and this will be an absolutely critical release for the software giant. Windows 8 was pretty much a complete disaster for Microsoft, with the operating system being extremely unsuccessful in attracting business users in particular.
While Windows 8 attempted to be all things to all people, but ultimately alienated its core audience, Windows 10 is purported to be an all-singing, all-dancing version of the operating system. Microsoft has attempted to listen to its customers and reinstate aspects of the original Windows portfolio of features, after a strong negative public reaction against Windows 8.
We should therefore expect considerable improvements with Windows 10 when it is released. So here is a rundown of the latest rumors and confirmed features of Windows 10, which are intended to ensure that it is a significant improvement over the previous iteration in the Windows series.
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Windows 10 – devices
Windows 8 has been accused of being overly complex in terms of what version of the software users need to purchase. Effectively, there are three differing Windows 8 operating systems, and four if you were to count 64 and 32-bit versions of the software. Windows 10 attempts to move away from this needless diversity and provide a singular platform for PC users which can be a unified operating system for all devices.
Thus, Microsoft currently claims that Windows 10 will run on all Windows PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It has been notable recently that Microsoft has also been linked with the production of a smartwatch, but there is no word at this point in time as to whether Microsoft intends for this mooted device to be compatible with Windows 10. Perhaps this is a little too much to expect, as producing an operating system which isn multi-device compatible will be a significant undertaking in itself.
Windows 10 – Start Menu
Removing the Start menu from Windows 10, a feature which has been a staple element of Windows throughout its entire history, must go down as one of the more misguided decisions in the history of computer software. Thus, it is not exactly surprising that Microsoft has already indicated that the Start menu will be reinstated when Windows 10 is released.
This will be a key change to the desktop makeup of the software, and even though consumers have had the chance to witness a beta version of the software, it seems certain this will be a further improvement even over this early version. Microsoft has also retained the functionality of the Windows 8 Start screen, ensuring that live tiling is possible for improved convenience over previous versions of Windows.
Microsoft also boasts that the Start menu is fully customizable, enabling resizing and rearranging of tabs. At this point in time, Microsoft is certainly pushing Windows 10 as being the most user-friendly version of Windows ever produced.
Windows 10 – Xbox One compatibility
If Windows 8 was a software calamity for Microsoft, then the PR and marketing of its Xbox One console must rival it closely in terms of negative commercial impact. Microsoft has clawed back some of the ground lost by the initially baffling decisions made by the corporation with regard to this video game console, but Sony has established a clear lead with PlayStation 4. And most analysts do not expect it to surrender this during the current generation of video games.
But Microsoft can always rely on the Xbox One to provide exciting functionality for Windows 10. The operating system will be capable of enabling users to install an Xbox application, providing users with the best features from Xbox Live and the Xbox One console. Windows 10 will offer a unified view of video games on the platform, also providing a window into the activity of your friends and your own comparable gaming activities.
How well this will function in reality remains to be seen, but Microsoft is clearly attempting to enable Windows 10 to bask in the reflected glory of the huge commercial market which is video games.
Windows 10 – Cortana
A new features of Windows 10 which was not previously available in Windows 8 is Cortana. This should be a commonly known name by now, but to enlighten those who are not familiar with Cortana, it is effectively a semantic digital assistant. This application can engage in conversation, and goes beyond basic speech recognition, scouring the Internet for information to inform interactions with a user. Cortana also has relatively sophisticated artificial intelligence which enables it to learn from your behaviour and contacts in order to offer an improved service.
Cortana has been highly praised on Windows Phone, and this is one application that genuinely improves the more that you use it. The inclusion of Cortana in Windows 10 should be a big boost for this flagship operating system.
Windows 10 – search upgrade
Although Windows 8 was pretty much panned when it was released, one aspect of the operating system which did receive praise was the universal search functionality. According to reports on Windows 10, Microsoft has ramped this up with the latest operating system. And we know for a fact that Windows 10 features a search button added to the taskbar.
Windows 10 – Biometric security
This has been a oft-rumored element of Windows for sometime, but it seems that Windows 10 is finally going to deliver improved security via biometrics. The new feature in the Windows 10 portfolio will be known as “Windows Hello”.
Windows 10 – Snap Assist
Snap Assist perhaps underlines the fact that Windows is competing today with the acclaimed Apple Mac operating systems, which are renowned for being slick and user-friendly. Snap Assist enables every application running in Windows 10 to be dynamically resized within a window. Microsoft has ensured that four applications can be snapped in each individual screen. Four-way multitasking can obviously be an extremely useful tool for business in particular.
Windows 10 – price
Microsoft had been somewhat reticent regarding the pricing structure for Windows 10, but it has recently been reported that it will be free to everyone. So this is another incentive for existing Windows owners, although some might say that this was pretty much essential as a goodwill gesture…