FEATURES AND QUESTIONS
Last week Microsoft unveiled its latest offering in the long running Windows series of operating systems. The new operating system released by Microsoft is being called as Windows 10. For Microsoft, Windows 10 could be the way to salvation after the not so great reception of its previous operating system Windows 8. This article contains the first impressions and some answers to the commonly asked questions about Windows 10 and the rundown of all the new features of the operating system.
What happened to Windows 9?
After the unveiling of Windows 10, this is the first question that pops into mind. What happened to the much awaited Windows 9? Sadly, Microsoftâ€™s answers to this question are so vague that they are unintentionally comical and thus we are left to speculate. It is probable that Microsoft wants its users to think that Windows 10 introduces ground-breaking changes to how it operates and is in no way similar to Windows 8 which may have been implied if the operating system was incrementally numbered. There are also many other theories floating around in the web and until Microsoft comes out with an explanation themselves, speculation is all that we can do.
When will the full operating system be released, what will it cost and when can I upgrade to it?
Microsoft plans to release the completed operating system in the midst of 2015 and you can upgrade your pre-existing operating system then. As of now, no pricing schemes are available from Microsoft, but there is speculation that it may be offered as a low costing upgrade to Windows 8 users similar to how Windows 8 was offered to Windows 7 users. There are also rumours that it may be offered (gasp!) completely free of charge to existing Windows 8 users. Whether it will be offered for free or not, we will just have to wait for Microsoft to release its pricing plan for now.
Will Windows 10 run on multiple devices?
Unlike Windows 8 which ran on multiple devices from the tablet to the desktop in a single user interface, Windows 10 will also run on multiple devices but its user interface will adjust according to the type of device that you are using. Whereas in desktops you will be free to choose either the Start Menu or the Start Screen, in tablets and smart phones you will be stuck with the Start Screen which is in fact optimized for mobile devices.
Is Start Menu back?
Yes and the biggest feature of Windows 10 is also one of the oldest one from Microsoft. After consistently denying the Start Menu for Windows 8 users, finally Microsoft has gone out of its way to include a fully-fledged Start Menu for Windows 10. As in previous Windows versions, the Start Menu will sit in the bottom left hand corner and provide the user with the all too familiar views of installed programs. Also new to the Windows 10 Start Menu is the inclusion of Live Tiles and customization support for the Start Menu. Now you can resize the Start Menu as you like it and also pin apps and live tiles to your Start Menu.
But what if I want the Start Screen instead of the Start Menu?
Thankfully, Microsoft finally understood that giving choice to the users is the way to go and thus reverting to Start Screen from the Start Menu is as simple as: Right clicking on the taskbar Selecting properties and Un-selecting the â€œUse the Start Menu instead of the Start Screenâ€ Click ok and Log Off and Log on once more into your account. And voila! The Start Screen is back in all its tiled glory!
Are modern apps still here?
Yes, the so called â€œmodernâ€ apps are still a part of the Windows 10 eco system. So is the Windows Store. So you can still buy apps from the store. Also new is that any app brought from the Store will supposedly work on any device regardless of the screen sizes and device capabilities, although the complete process is still unknown as of now.
Are the modern apps still full screen and not resizable?
The modern apps debuted on Windows 8. They were designed to be tablet and touch friendly but were not resizable and could only be snapped on either the left or right side of the screen. This in effect made multi-tasking a huge problem in Windows 8. But in Windows 10 after listening to user feedback from Windows 8, Microsoft has added the Maximize, Minimize and Close button to the modern apps. Now you can interact with the apps just as you would with normal desktop apps. You can also resize the apps to any size you deem fit and drag them to anywhere on the screen. Which means you can effectively multitask with the apps once again.
Does Windows 10 come with virtual desktops feature?
After many years of limiting Windows users to single desktop while Linux and OS X operating systems offered virtual desktops, finally Microsoft has introduced its own version of virtual desktops. Now you can open one desktop and organize your important work related open files and at the same time open another desktop and organize your non work related tasks at the same time, switching desktops as you see fit.
Also new in Windows 10 is the task view feature which allows you to view all your opened files, folders and desktops from a top down perspective.
Does Windows 10 come with Microsoft Cortana?
While the technical preview version of Windows 10 does not include the much anticipated â€œCortanaâ€ digital assistant, signs of it already being tested with the operating system are scattered everywhere. Indeed, just a simple search in the Windows explorer for the word Cortana will display many .dll files. Such evidence suggests that Cortana may be released in the full version of Windows that will be released in the near 2015.
How do I install Windows 10 today?
For users who want to download the technical preview version, they have to follow the following steps:
- Sign up for the Windows insider program from here. < https://insider.windows.com/>
- Read the given system requirements here. < http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-faq#faq=tab0>
- Download the Windows 10 ISO file from here. < http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-download>
- Take note of the given product key in the previous page.
- Once the download is complete, burn the ISO to a DVD or a USB flash drive.
- Double click the setup.exe in the used media and follow the installation instructions given there.
Do be warned though that this is a technical preview and unexpected pc crashes, hangs and bsods may happen. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to install it in a virtual pc.
Will Windows 10 support my pc?
While the complete system requirements of Windows 10 are the same as Windows 8, it should be noticed that some of the older processors may not be able to run this version of Windows. The system requirements are as follows:
- Processor Capability: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- Minimum RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit systems or 2 GB Â for 64-bit systems
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- A Microsoft account and Internet access
What are the best new features of Windows 10?
Here are the overview of all the new features in Windows 10
- The Start Menu is back and can be resized and customized
- Windows comes with task view
- Windows now has virtual desktop feature
- Now recycle bin can be pinned to the taskbar and start menu
- Apps can now be interacted with like desktop applications
Whether this new release of Windows will be able to melt the hearts of the disgruntled users of Windows 8 is still too early to say. But Microsoft has added many new and required features to the Windows 10 operating system. Especially impressive is that Windows 10 has been optimized for the desktop experience from the very beginning and working with mouse and keyboard is now a charm. Also the long awaited return of the Start Menu and the introduction of virtual desktops with the possibility of adding Cortana in the final release suggest that this operating system is much better than its previous counterpart.