I feel stuck in a Windows limbo at the moment, Windows 7 is getting old and most people seem to find Windows 8 awkward and difficult to use. This is particularly problematic for us as we have to make recommendations to our clients and we have a choice between recommending an out of date operating system or one which most clients don’t like to use. So I’m very excited about the release of Windows 10 which might be at the end of July.
There are a number of key points about Windows 10 which I will run through below:
It’s a free upgrade
If you have a Windows 7 or 8 license, you get a free upgrade to Windows 10. Apparently this will be done through Windows Update. As further details come out, we’ll check out exactly how this will work so we can block it for IT Support clients that don’t want it and also check how seamless the process is to find out if our clients are likely to need some technical help with the upgrade. If you have Windows Vista or Windows XP unfortunately you will need to buy Windows 10 from scratch. With the age of the computers likely to still be running XP or Vista, it might be time to consider buying a new PC.
The Start Menu is Back
I really liked the tiles system in Windows 8, but I hated not having a Start Menu and having a screen which disrupted what I was doing. The idea of this was to unify the experience so if you had a tablet or phone, the interface was exactly the same as on your computer. But in reality, I found it made my computer experience much more difficult. It looks as though the Windows 10 Start Menu will have the tiles but in a much more user friendly (for desktop computer users) layout. It looks like for tablet and phone users there will be the finger friendly tiled interface. I think this is a great compromise. They’ve stopped hiding the shut down button as well!
On Windows 7 and 8, I love the snap feature, where you drag a Window to one side of the screen and it snaps to fill half the screen. This has been enhanced so you can snap Windows not just onto each side of the screen but also into small spaces which Windows helps you work out. We’ll have to see if this turns out to be good or annoying.
Improved Command Prompt
Us geeks will be really chuffed to know that the Command Prompt has been updated. It has shortcut keys and proper copy and pasting. Although it looks reassuringly similar to the old version.
Universal App Platform
In Windows 8 they introduced Apps, I’ve always found them annoying because they run in a full screen and I didn’t find it intuitive, closing and switching between apps. Firstly, on Windows 10, the apps can run, with minor modifications on different devices – Computers, Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets and the Xbox. This should further unify your experience if you have multiple Microsoft Devices. But the really welcome feature for me is that the apps run in a Window rather than going full screen.
If you are a fan of talking to electronic devices, you’ll be excited to know that Cortana is going to be built into Windows 10. This is similar to Siri on the iPhone. I can certainly say that my life will be less lonely now that I have my new best friend to talk to!
New Web Browser
There is a new Web Browser in Windows 10. I hate Internet Explorer, I find it slow, unreliable and really annoying. So hopefully Microsoft will have been able to produce a web browser which is good again. Initial impressions of the new browser are good, but we’ll have to see how it is in every day use.
The Last Windows Ever!
Apparently, this will be the last ever release of Windows! But fear not, all updates from now on will apparently be released via Windows Update for free. I believe the reason for this is that Microsoft earns most of its money from Windows on sales of new PCs, so charging people for upgrades is becoming pointless. I always get excited about new Windows releases, but for the industry, I think that incremental and free updates will be better and less disruptive. One challenge with a new operating system is finding your way around everything,
Efficiency and Reliability
In my technical opinion, Windows 8 is revolutionary. This is because under the skin, Microsoft have been making big changes to the operating system. It’s more efficient and reliable than ever. But this was spoiled for me by the awkward user interface. Windows 10 should build on all these improvements but with a good user interface.
My Hopes for Windows 10
I’ve worked with Microsoft products for my entire career. I remember when Windows was ground breaking, it was the leader in Operating Systems, it was innovative and some would say the best Operating System about. So I’ve been disappointed and frustrated to see Microsoft seeming to try and copy other companies and producing what I felt were inferior results, confusing, fiddly and annoying products. But Windows 10 looks fantastic so far, it would be great to see Microsoft leading instead of following again.
For more advice and information on Windows 10, get in touch!