Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. Just yesterday, I got a notification on my Lenovo desktop computer that I was eligible for an upgrade. Microsoft is slowly rolling out the operating system, rather than in one shot.
The new windows retains the functionality of windows 8 start screen, with resizable live tiles, so that you can immediately check unread mail or calendar appointments without logging into the desktop. The start menu on the desktop is also customizable – you can resize it, rearrange the tiles, create a new group of tiles and you can even revert back to the Windows 8 version of windows…but why would you want to?
Here are 7 of the best features of Windows 10:
1. It’s Free
Let’s start with the obvious – the fact that it is free. You do not have to purchase anything to use it. Unfortunately, the “free” version will only last you for a year. Rumour has it that it will be free for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users. It will also be free for those still running Windows 7. But a rumour is only a rumour. Stay tuned for more details.
2. Search Box
The search box is strategically placed and not hidden as it was in Windows 8 and Windows 7 (to some degree). Microsoft decided to stick it in front and centre on the Taskbar. Smart move as it is now always there and ready for usage. Minimal clicking necessary!
3. Snap Assist
One thing I hated most about Windows 8 was that the snapped apps took up half my screen and nothing else was showing up, unless I had a computer with two screens. With Windows 10, snapped apps take just a quarter of screen space. If you prefer a full screen view, just click Alt + Tab. You can’t appease everyone.
4. Microsoft Edge Browser (formerly known as Spartan)
Finally! Microsoft decided to get rid of Internet Explorer and introduced the Microsoft Edge Browser in Windows 10. The browser has a new annotation feature which lets you highlight things and add notes and crop to a certain area of the page before sending it to another user. It has also been designed to have a minima interface, leaving as much room for web pages as possible.
No surprise here! Cortana is one of the headline features of Windows 10 – at least for me it is. The digital assistant, who rivals Siri and Google Now, which has also been available on Windows Phone for a while, has come to PCs and tablets as well.
6. Action Centre
If you have used Windows Phone 8.1, you have probably seen the notification centre, which you were able to drag down from the top of the screen. Windows 10 puts that on the right of the screen, where the charms bar was in Windows 8, with notifications from various apps at the top and your choice of various settings buttons at the bottom. Smart Move!
7. Print to PDF
You can finally print a document as PDF without having to install a third-party tool. This makes it easier to save and distribute documents that cannot be changed. Another long overdue feature makes it in under the radar.
All-in-all, Windows 10 is already an improvement from Windows 8. And we can already see that new, good features are coming. There are also a wealth of Metro-style apps that, while technically not new, are worth exploring now that they’re not locked in some full screen mode.
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is a digital marketing expert at iRISEmedia. He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College.