Windows 10 has launched recently, and so far things are looking good for Microsoft. At the time of this article, the operating system is on 18 million computers, and it hasn’t even been out for an entire week. Microsoft wants their system on 1 billion computers by 2018, which is a huge goal for any software company.
With all the hype, why should you care? Should you upgrade to Windows 10 and leave your old operating system behind? Here are some improvements that Microsoft has made with this new operating system.
1. Faster Boot Times
Every operating system release should improve upon its predecessors in performance, but this isn’t always the case (*cough* Windows Vista). Thankfully, Windows 10 makes improvements in some key performance metrics.
Many people didn’t like the changes Microsoft included in Windows 8 and 8.1, but they did improve some things under the hood. These improvements have carried over to Windows 10, meaning your performance will increase even farther. This will be a huge jump if you’re upgrading from Windows 7.
Windows 10 installed on my Samsung 840 EVO boots in about 10 seconds. I can’t really complain.
2. The return of the start menu
Windows 8 had a poor reception because it took a chance with a critical component of the computer’s function– the start menu. The start menu has been with Windows since Windows 95, and all PC users were accustomed to using it.
Microsoft decided to ditch the start menu with Windows 8 and replaced it with a “start screen” that fills the entire screen with a touch-friendly icon-based user interface. This worked really well with tablets and touch-enabled computers, but traditional mouse-users didn’t appreciate the change.
Thankfully the Redmond-based tech company decided to cut its losses and give the people what they want. The new start menu is a hybrid of the old and the new, including both the traditional Windows list-of-applications view and the tile-centric metro interface. This leads to a much friendlier and more familiar interface for most Windows users.
Microsoft is putting a Siri-like voice assistant into all copies of Windows 10. This technology has been available on phones for multiple years, but this is the first time this type of feature has made its way to a computer operating system (but we wouldn’t be surprised if Siri made the leap to OSX at some point).
Cortana makes it easy to search for things through voice commands. Microsoft even included a hands-free activation command– simply say “Hey Cortana” and the software will start listening to your commands. (However, you’ll have to enable this feature first.)
This feature fills the same niche as Siri, so you can start using similar commands on your computer. Cortana can set reminders, pull weather data, send emails, or search the internet for you.
Some of these functionalities might not make sense– but realize that Cortana was designed with all types of devices in mind. Windows 10 will be included with traditional desktops, touch screen laptops, tablets, and even phones. Microsoft tried to design a product that would work well across all types of devices.
4. Microsoft Edge
Internet Explorer has been the butt of the internet’s jokes for a long time now– so Microsoft decided to re-design and re-brand their web browser. The result is Microsoft Edge- a much faster, cleaner, and more efficient web browsing solution.
Initial impressions are well, impressive. The browser is very fast and responsive. The design is clean, and it fits in with the rest of the new Windows aesthetic.
Microsoft hasn’t implemented browser extensions, which is a critical point for some people. We’ll have to see where the company takes the browser from here.