About a month or so ago, we wrote a post previewing Windows 9, what we thought was going to be the next OS from Microsoft. But now, as you might have already heard, there will be no Windows 9. Microsoft, on a September 30th press release, said it will go straight to Windows 10.
Why skip Windows 9 for Windows 10? Well, considering how disastrous Windows 8 fared, it wouldn’t be going too far in saying that Microsoft probably wanted to get as far away from 8 as possible, to the extent of moving into double digits.
Thinking about it, it is actually quite a smart move. Windows 10 definitely sounds more exciting than Windows 9. Anyways, all confusing numbers aside, let’s look at features that are expected to be seen in Windows 9 [sic], Windows 10!
A new home!
Your previous versions of Windows would have taken you to folders, drives, its storage capacity, shortcuts etc. But Windows 10 will bring something interesting. You’ve got a home! Where you can see your favorites, the folders you’ve accessed frequently, files you’ve browsed recently.
Just when you thought you liked your ‘favorites’ tab on your internet explorer, Microsoft has brought a similar feature on Windows as well. Save your effort to create short cuts on folders and files. Windows does the math for you and creates a new home for you.
If there was a nail that drove the coffin in for Windows 8, it was probably the removal of the endearing Windows “Start” button. The ‘start’ menu has found its way back to Windows 10. Many desktop users of Windows 8 and non touch environment users found it very difficult to navigate without the ‘start’ menu. They can breathe easy now. Microsoft has retained the tiled interface of Windows 8 and has neatly integrated Windows 8 desktop elements into it as well.
Like in Windows 7, there is a dedicated screen for just customizing the ‘start’ menu. Right-click the task bar and click the Properties command. From the task bar and ‘Start’ Menu properties window, click the tab for ‘Start’ menu. In the ‘Start’ Menu section, click the Customize button.
You can now determine which items appear in the ‘Start’ menu list and how they behave. You’re back to your favorite way of ‘starting’ your work on Windows.
One OS, All Windows Platforms
Windows 10 will be designed to work on multiple platforms, desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones. But they won’t look the same on these devices. In order to make Windows work smoothly across platforms, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called continuum.
This essentially means your Windows 10 interface will change depending on the device you use. For example, if you’re working with a laptop-tablet hybrid like the Surface, you’ll feel like the standard desktop. Once you unplug the keyboard, however, you’ll switch over to tablet mode.
Notifications, Not Pop-Ups
Notification Center will be a new addition in Windows 10. This is available in the system tray. Looks like these notifications will replace the speech bubbles that used to pop out of the system tray in the bottom right corner of the task bar.
Windows 10 Notification Center collects toasts and alerts from Windows applications and system functions. It is grouped together by app and time. It’s yet to be seen if the Notification Center will have actionable notifications.
A Bin You Can Pin!
You need not minimize every window or fiddle with the explorer to get to the recycle bin now. Windows 10 will allow you to pin the Recycle bin to your task bar. Though this sounds trivial, a corner of your mind will acknowledge that this will improve your experience immensely. After all, everyone likes taking out the trash to be super easy.
Re-sizable Start Menu
How odd or funny will it be when you can actually re-size your start menu to the left or right of your screen? Narrow or wide? Short or small? You can do this in Windows 10. While desktop users might find it a bit unusual, tablet users will find it very interesting.
You can re-size and display the screens of various sizes. As a tablet user, you’ve got the freedom and flexibility to adjust your start menu and navigate from there.
Microsoft will introduce a new feature called Task View which allows you to open multiple windows and/or desktops in one place. This new task view button is available in the task bar. You’ll be able to access multiple desktops through the following steps: (a) Click on the Task View button on the Taskbar (b) Click “Add new Desktop” (c) Switch to your newly created desktop by clicking on it. Alternatively, use keyboard shortcuts WIN+CTRL+D to create a new desktop.
This can be great if you have different modes with which you work on your PC in. Maybe a desktop for work and then a different desktop for gaming, all switchable easily? Sounds pretty inviting for sure.
The new multiplied desktop for you got further improved with the snap assist feature. You can now re-size your window to fit any part of the screen. Your experience will just get better with multiple desktops and re-sizable screens. Tablet users who switch between applications, screens and scroll content will enjoy these features together.
Universal, “Windowable” Apps
As you can notice, the traditional desktop interface trend of Windows is regaining its touch with the users. While Microsoft has tried to improve on its good trend and provide more features through Windows 10, they haven’t gone for a complete revamp.
They have rather retained multiple good things from the past. One revamp though will interest many Windows 8 users. The “modern” apps that opened in full screen mode were not user friendly for Windows 8 users. Windows 10 has renamed these apps as “universal apps” and they can be windowed like any other normal app.
Ctrl + V in the Command Prompt Anyone?
Love the good old Windows command prompt but never loved the fact that you couldn’t copy paste text into it. Well, in Windows 10, command prompt will accept your Ctrl + V paste!
Though none of the above 10 new Windows 10 features are paradigm of truly groundbreaking, they all together definitely make for a refreshing new OS, especially to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users who will jump at the update in a moment’s notice.
Btw, if you are quite savvy with Windows, you can possibly try out Windows 10 right away, by downloading the Windows 10 technical preview version here.