New Windows 10 Combines Best of 7 and 8

Jennifer Pan Technology Leave a Comment

Source: The Verge

Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 10, the major release following Windows 8.  Described as the “Tesla to the Windows 7 Prius”, the company detailed the operating system’s new features, including the return and makeover of the Start Menu, the introduction of multiple desktops, the new universal search function, and a two-in-one interface design called Continuum.  Most notably, Windows 10 represents a hybrid between the familiar environment that mouse and keyboard users are used to in Windows 7 and the touch interface of Windows 8.

While Windows 10 won’t be made available to consumers until late 2015, developers and enthusiasts can preview the operating system and contribute to the development process.  Microsoft will be releasing the Technical Preview October 1, starting with a version for laptops and desktops and following later with one for servers.  Anyone can sign up to view these early, unpolished (and likely buggy) releases through Microsoft’s new Windows Insider Program, and can give the company customer feedback before the operating system’s proper release next year.

Here is a rundown of the new features highlighted at the event and users can expect to see next year.

Start Menu

 

Source: The Verge

The return of the traditional Windows Start Menu refocuses the operating back on the desktop.  In Windows 10, the Start Menu largely acts in the same way with a modernized twist.  It is customizable enough that you can resize it, pin favorite apps in a tile-format that’s iconic of Windows 8, and even change the color to match your desktop wallpaper.  The overall interface allows the Start Menu to feel new and yet familiar at the same time.

Multiple Desktops

Source: TechCrunch

A big new user interface to Windows that Apple and Linux users are familiar with is the introduction of multiple desktops.  The new Task View button is located on the taskbar and clicking it activates a multitask view that is similar to Apple’s OS X Exposure feature.  From here, users can easily switch between multiple desktops  to manage multiple workspaces.

The differences between Windows’ multiple desktops feature and that of the competition is Microsoft has included its productivity-focused snap views into Task View.  You can snap apps and windows the same way you do in Windows 7 and Windows 8, and in more complex ways.

Universal Search
Search can now be found both in the Start Menu and the taskbar.  But instead of just searching the user’s PC, the new universal search feature will also bring up results from the web.  The press is speculating that Windows 10 will be using Microsoft’s search engine Bing to provide the internet search results.

Continuum

Source: TechCrunch

Continuum is a new interface design that Microsoft is rolling out with Windows 10.  Because the new operating system is intended for all devices – desktop, tablet, and phone – Microsoft designed Continuum to make it easy for users to switch between touch interfaces and non-touch environments.  This demonstrates a response to one of the biggest criticisms of Windows 8 – that it was difficult for mouse-and-keyboard users to navigate interfaces designed for touch, and touchscreen users had trouble navigating the traditional desktop that worked for a mouse and keyboard.

With Continuum, users can switch between touch and non-touch interfaces anytime they connect or disconnect the keyboard.  The Start screen and apps will adjust accordingly.  When the keyboard is connected, the traditional desktop view appears.  When there is no keyboard, the Windows 10 screen resembles more like the Windows 8 design with large, easy-to-touch tiles.

Command Prompt
Windows 10 features an updated command prompt that gives users the ability to copy and paste directories with keyboard shortcuts.  In previous versions of the operating system, users had to trigger the context menu and click the copy/paste option manually.  It is perhaps the most minor and geeky feature that you’d ever expect at a tech giant’s keynote event but it is a perfect example of what Microsoft seems to be saying with the Windows Insider Program – the company is serious about listening to their customers’ feedback.

At the time of the event, there was no news on what it would cost for Windows 7 and Windows 8 (or even older operating system versions) users to upgrade to Windows 10.


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Jennifer Pan

Jennifer Pan is a marketing coordinator and The New Recruit at Logic Solutions. If you want to get her attention, try talking to her about d20s, (board) games, sci-fi and geeky references, or cute animal videos…or all of them at once. Just don’t bring up her uncanny ability to roll natural 1s.

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