We’re just a couple of days away from the launch of Windows 10, which has been set to July 29. The newest (and potentially final) operating system created by Microsoft will offer lots of new and interesting features, more support for gaming, free updates, and even a personal assistant!
We’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting things about Windows 10. If there’s anything there you’re particularly looking forward to, or maybe if there are other features you find even more intriguing, head over to the comments section and let us know!
It will likely be the final Windows
Windows 10 will reportedly be the final version of the venerable operating system. Microsoft plans to turn Windows into a sort of a service akin to Facebook or Yahoo Mail, which are periodically upgraded, but always keep the name and core functionality.
This will also mean that all upgrades from now on will be compulsory, allowing Microsoft to make sure everybody is using the same version of the operating system.
It will be free for a lot of people
Yes, you’ve read that right – if you’re already running Windows 7, you want have to pay a thing to install the latest version of the operating system.
A notification will simply appear asking you to perform the update, which will remain free for an entire year. Those running older (or pirated) versions will have to fork out $119 for the Home version.
By doing this, Microsoft hopes to make the new operating system alluring enough that everyone will update windows computer as soon as possible, so the company can start focusing primarily on Windows 10 services and applications.
Ever since Windows 7, users could easily resize and reposition windows on screen – something which might not seem all that significant, but is nevertheless a nice touch which plays a part in enhancing the user experience.
Windows 10 is taking the feature a bit further, which means you can now snap your windows vertically or horizontally (you’ll be asked to select which window you want to snap in the empty space) and you will even be able to snap four windows into a 2-by-2 grid.
There’s new web browser: Microsoft Edge
It’s hard to believe Internet Explorer will ever get away from its terrible reputation, which has seen Microsoft’s browser fall behind competitors like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in terms of popularity.
Instead of upgrading their old browser, Microsoft has decided to launch a brand new one Edge (previously known as Project Spartan), in an attempt to regain their dominant position in the market.
Interesting features include an address bar which gives you search results directly, plus the ability to add written notes to a page.
Unlike the notoriously clunky Internet Explorer, Edge is reportedly quite swift, though it still lacks some reasonably important capabilities, most notably incognito mode.
Windows 8 has received heaps of criticism for its design, which was clearly intended for tablets, with little regard for the needs of desktop users – so much so that the reintroduction of the classic Start menu was seen as a necessary change almost immediately. There are also other windows 8 problems that are pretty annoying.
To prevent similar problems, Microsoft is introducing Continuum, a feature which allows Windows 10 to automatically adapt between desktop and tablet mode, detecting things like whether there’s a keyboard connected to your tablet.
This should make for a significantly better user experience this time around, so it’s nice to see Microsoft learning from its past mistakes.
There’s a new and improved Start Menu
The new Start Menu is a combination of the standard Start menu, with the classic program lists, and the tablet-oriented, Window 8-style tiles.
If this sounds like Microsoft once again getting ahead of themselves with these kinds of experiments, don’t worry – the system is highly customizable, and you’ll be able to easily configure the interface which works best for you.
It brings Cortana your PC
A feature carried over from the Windows Phone, Cortana is Microsoft’s attempt at creating a virtual personal assistant. Whether you want traffic updates, restaurant recommendations, or the most relevant news, Cortana will be there to help.
You can also speak or type commands, and apparently Microsoft has even provided Cortana with a realistic personality (she might, for instance, be embarrassed if she can’t answer your question).
It will offer cross-platform apps
Gone are the days when Windows was purely desktop oriented. The operating system can now be found on smartphones, tablets, and even consoles (namely Microsoft’s Xbox).
After the launch of Windows 10, all these devices basically be running the same operating system, which means we’ll see a much greater degree of compatibility between apps on multiple platforms.
In practice, this means that an app developed for PC can be easily made to work on a mobile device and vice versa, which is certainly great news for Windows users.
DirectX 12 is set to be exclusive to Windows 10, a move which Microsoft hopes will attract the most dedicated gamers to the new operating system.
Its features include the fact that it reduces the power consumption by up to a half compared to the previous DirectX version and offers a significantly increased frame rate while playing video games.
For now, only the latest graphic cards can support DirectX 12.
It offers great Xbox compatibility
When it comes to video games, it seems Microsoft has been focusing more on Xbox than the PC experience. However thanks to the new Xbox app which will be available alongside Windows 10, the benefits of the console will slowly start carrying over to the desktop.
The apps provides users with an activity stream showing what their friends are up to, as well as the ability to send them messages. There’s even the possibility of streaming Xbox One games to your PC, which basically means you can play console games on your computer.
Are you excited about Microsoft’s latest release?