Windows 10: The Next Chapter

Microsoft’s latest Desktop Operating System (OS) was officially unveiled at a launch event on 21st January 2015. The company revealed that Windows 10 will be the next OS to join their popular line up which has been built up over the past 30 years.

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With Microsoft’s latest offering being described as the “most comprehensive platform ever,” Windows 10 promises to offer a unique experience for all hardware devices across a single platform family. Microsoft furthermore claims that developers will be able to build universal apps that will work everywhere. Here’s how Microsoft describes its ambitious goal:

“Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.”

Unless you have been keeping up to date with the latest technology news, then some of the language used in the Microsoft written goal may seem a little confusing, for example, what is the ‘Internet of Things’ and is it even real?

With all the significant enhancements and new capability in the background you would expect to see a drastically different interface, however the end result looks a lot like Windows 7. According to Microsoft, that’s exactly their intention. At their January launch event, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore (Corporate Vice President) pointed to the millions of customers still using Windows 7, and said the company wants to make their transition to Windows 10 much more comfortable than the unfamiliar leap to Windows 8 two years ago. “We want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving a first-generation Prius, and now with Windows 10 it’s like a Tesla.”

Key features of Windows 10 from the Technical Preview

After reviewing the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Zenzero have shortlisted 3 top features which you can expect to see when the product is officially released later this year.

The return of the Start Menu

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After reinstating the much loved Start button in Windows 8.1, contrary to its removal in the Windows 8 release, Microsoft is now bringing back the menu to go with it.

It’s fair to say that this Start menu, which could be considered as a development of the previous versions used in Windows 7 and XP, is a far more familiar place to browse from a user perspective. The menu presents itself to be the perfect start point where you can; view and launch frequently used apps, have the ability to use universal search instead of swiping from the right of the screen to reveal the charms bar and have the added bonus of having the ability to shut down or restart a Windows 10 laptop or tablet.

In addition to this, Microsoft have added a new ‘Me’ tile, which still gives the tiled interface a presence desktop mode where you can re-size tiles depending on how prominent you want them to be.

Multiple desktops for Power Users

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When you launch task view, Windows 10 will support the ability to view multiple desktops. You’ll be able to switch between different desktops where multiple apps can run. Using the new ‘Snap Assist’ UI you will also be able to grab apps from those different desktops. If it works as advertised, this could be a seriously impressive feature, especially for multi-tasking business users.

Windows Store apps can work like desktop apps

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In another attempt to make the Metro interface work in a more traditional Windows way, apps downloaded from the Windows Store can now be re-sized and will include title bars so you can minimise and maximize them giving you more flexibility with how apps can be displayed.

All-in-all, Windows 10 is already a pretty solid improvement over Windows 8 and we can already see that new 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 a cumbersome full screen mode. Time will tell what else is new, but for now it is clear that Windows 10 is more than just plenty of cool new toys to play around with!