Windows 10: Not Just Better Than Windows 8
Microsoft is no stranger to misguided product launches. Despite the glitz, wonder, and promise that Windows 8 provided, the world wasn’t ready to give up their start menu. With each passing review Microsoft took a beating. The market, it seemed, had spoken. That’s not to say that the whole release was a failure. On the contrary, Windows 8 became a stepping stone that has once again put Microsoft on the path to success. With Windows 10, Microsoft seems to have found its footing. However, to say that Windows 10 is a worthy upgrade simply because it’s not Windows 8 would be disingenuous. All the things that they got wrong in Windows 8, are all the things that Microsoft got right the second time around.
Here are the big changes convincing users to take the leap:
The Windows Store
In Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a centralized distribution point for software in the Windows ecosystem. We say Windows ecosystem because this app store is by no means exclusive to your laptops and desktops. By spring Microsoft is anticipating expanding the store’s reach to include Xbox, Windows Phones, and Windows tablets.
Using Cortana, Your Personal Assistant
Between Siri, Google Now, and a plethora of up and coming personal assistants. Cortana has been a long time coming. Supporting natural language and context, users can use Cortana to find files created in a certain window of time, to track flights/packages, and even to compose a quick email. Because Cortana’s voice and text analysis happens with the help of Microsoft’s back end and not on the device, it can be improved and refined without the need for software updates.
Creating Virtual Desktops
Virtual desktops are no doubt a feature that the casual user probably wasn’t missing. However, for power users, it’s a feature that has been asked of Microsoft since Windows XP. In this day and age nearly all operating systems have additional virtual desktops, so it’s a bit of a catch up feature. However, where Microsoft lacks in timeliness, it exceeds in execution. Virtual desktops in Windows 10 allow users to organize multiple programs running in full screen or split screen, without having to minimize any of them. Run out of room? Open another desktop. Have another project that takes precedent? No need to close anything out, just open another desktop.
While there’s much more happening behind the scenes in Windows 10, all signs point to this being the milestone release that carries Microsoft into the next decade. Windows XP changed the PC landscape forever when it was released, it's likely Windows 10 will do the same thing.
"Sean Bugler is an Instructor at Learn iT! specializing in desktop class application usage. When he’s not teaching you can often find him reading up on the latest news in software and technology. Connect with him on Twitter @sbglr.”