As Microsoft releases its latest operating system, Windows users are currently deciding whether to upgrade to the brand new Windows 10. This was a relatively low-key software release from Microsoft, certainly compared to the Windows unveilings of the past. But this in no way reflects the importance of this piece of software for Microsoft, as the success of Windows 10 will be critical for the entire future of the corporation.
So how does Windows 10 match up with the previous Windows 8 version of the software? Well, firstly Microsoft has included some nifty new aspects in this latest operating system, so let’s outline these aspects of Windows 10.
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The search tools included in Windows 10 have been significantly upgraded this aspect of the operating system. Microsoft has included machine learning in the search facility based in Windows 10, and this enables the by now infamous Cortana digital assistant to deliver tailored search results that are truly individual to you. This certainly makes searching for information using Windows 10 considerably more convenient and personalized.
Windows 8 forced modern applications to run in full screen mode. This lacks the flexibility that is offered by a full windowing system, and was much criticized at the time. So it is not surprising that Windows 10 has dispensed with this system. All Windows apps now run in familiar resizeable Windows, providing functionality familiar to users of the Windows software.
Windows 10 has also added several new features that are intended to improve the professional productivity of the software. Perhaps the most notable of these is Task View, which presents a visual summary up all open apps. This new feature on Windows 10 also makes it possible to create a virtual desktop, without the need to download third-party software that was a requisite previously.
After the Windows 8 interface was slated critically, it would have been easy for Microsoft to dispense with it completely. Instead, the software giant has opted for a more versatile approach with Windows 10, which brings up the tablet user interface to appear only when it is required. Continuum offers an intelligent approach to devices that is much welcomed.
A replacement for Internet Explorer is long awaited, not least because most serious Internet users have long since abandoned this often mocked browser. So it was common sense for Microsoft to relaunch its Internet browsing software with Edge, and this seems to have received a favourable reception thus far. Performance with Edge has been encouraging, although the lack of extensions is a disappointment. Microsoft has stated, though, that it will deliver this functionality by the end of 2015.
Windows 10 has also made numerous improvements over the previous version of Windows, many of which are intended to ensure that it is a slicker and more user-friendly piece of software. The first of these is the restoration of the Start menu. This was publicized very strongly by Microsoft, owing to the fact that the removal of the Start menu from Windows 8 was an incredibly contentious and unpopular decision.
Microsoft has also included tiling in Windows 10, and this becomes a useful function and not the intrusive and unwelcome addition that it was in Windows 8.
Although live tiling sounding like an intriguing aspect of Windows 8 in theory, in reality the pain of looking around for information pertaining to notifications was a massive headache. Thus, in Windows 10, Microsoft has introduced the so-called Action Center, which users of Apple machines could hardly help noticing is extremely similar to Apple’s Notification Center from OS X.
This new feature of the Windows platform provides all notifications in one easily accessible place. It also gains credibility for being fully customizable, akin to Apple’s Notification Center, ensuring that this can become the ideal notification platform for your specific needs. This is certainly a massive step up from Windows 8, and a feature that will doubtless prove to be one of the most popular aspects of the new Windows 10 operating system.
Improvements over Windows 7
But not everyone has upgraded to Windows 8! Many PC users decided that this apparently disastrous operating system was not worthy of their time, and instead stuck to the existing Windows 7. So what sort of upgrades does Windows 10 offer over this older software?
Firstly, Microsoft has vastly improved the boot up process for Windows over the years since Windows 7 was released, so Windows 10 is extremely fast compared to its cousin. Even early users of Windows 10 have already reported that going back to Windows 7 once one has used Windows 10 is extremely frustrating, simply owing to the longer amount of time it takes to load up.
A new feature that debuted in Windows 8 and is now carried on into Windows 10 is Storage Spaces. This enables a system to recognize several internal and external storage drives. Effectively, this operates like a RAID array, but in a more user-friendly fashion.
Refresh and reset
Microsoft has also attempted to make it much easier to clean install Windows. The new refresh and reset system enables you to wipe your PC back to factory condition while saving personal files easily. This is a slick and convenient system that has already received plaudits.
In another attempt to mimic existing Apple functionality, Microsoft has built Windows Defender into Windows 10, providing a baseline virus protection that isn’t included in Windows 7. Whether or not you consider this adequate protection in the hostile world of the contemporary Internet will undoubtedly be highly debatable, but it is at least a step in the right direction.
Windows 10 also includes a useful cloud service that wasn’t present when Windows 7 was released. This enables the operating system to sync system settings across any computer that you may choose to utilize using your existing Microsoft account. This might sound like something of a gimmick, but the ability to utilize a computer for the first time ever and find all existing settings intact can be extremely useful.
Massive improvements have been made to Task Manager compared to Windows 7, with Windows 10 having the ability to manage programs considerably more flexibly in this now updated operating system. Every aspect of the Task Manager has also been improved cosmetically since Windows 7 was released, and it is certainly an improved aspects of the Windows 10 package.
Windows 7 had the ability to burn ISOs, but this new operating system can natively mount and run them. This is a clear advantage to Windows 10, and one that many people will find favor with.
Finally, the new file history system included in Windows 10 ensures that archiving is made considerably easier. With the ability to designate a backup drive for the system, this new setup will automatically create continuous backups of all designated files. This is easy to set up and customize, and provides significantly improved functionality over older versions of Windows.
The early indications from Windows 10 are that Microsoft has done an excellent job with its flagship operating system. This is an OS that can run speedily on numerous platforms, offering the sort of flexibility that Windows promised when Windows 8 was released. Some key features have been resurrected by Microsoft, and the corporation has also created an attractive front-end and some excellent new features. Considering how rapid and user-friendly this new operating system appears to be thus far, it seems inevitable that large numbers of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will indeed upgrade for free.