The next chapter in Microsoft’s history
Windows is one of the most well-known PC operating systems across the world. It is currently being used by around 1.5 billion people and Microsoft Office is the go-to productivity software for 1.2 billion people. It is the operating system that serves as an introduction to the world of personal computers for the majority of people.
In September 2014 Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 10 (codenamed Threshold) as a unified platform for desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other all-in-one devices. The company said that the mechanics familiar to users from Windows 7 would be restored for Windows 10 and would focus on improving the user experience for non-touch users whilst still incorporating touch-based features.
Fast-forward to January 2015 when a media event entitled “Windows 10: The Next Chapter” was held to give more insight to users about the new version of the operating system and its features. It was said that the main focus was on harmonising user functionality between different types of devices and fixing any issues identified in previous versions.
What can we expect from Windows 10?
Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems at Microsoft, has said that Windows 10 will feel very familiar to users that have been loyal to the brand for many years. The desktop and taskbar will still be there, as with previous versions, and the popular Start button will return.
The revised Start menu will remain roughly the same and will display the most-used documents and programs. It will also include live tiles which are interactive apps in the form of colourful blocks that bring live updates to users. Live tiles will include apps like News, Finance, Trending, Travel and more.
A new way to log in to your PC has been introduced in the form of Windows Hello. Instead of entering a password when accessing your computer, users can now simply sit down in front of the screen. The system will recognise you as the correct user through facial, iris or fingerprint recognition software.
Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, will automatically be built in to Windows 10. Cortana will give users real-time, relevant information based on their daily activities (like searches) on the computer. It will be able to notify you about meetings, give traffic updates, write emails for you, send reminders and much more.
Cortana is made to extend to all other mobile devices like smartphones. This means that whatever is done with Cortana on the PC will be synced to the user’s device so that you can take your information with you on-the-go. Furthermore, users with an iPhone or Android-powered smartphone will be able to download a Cortana application and also have the same features.
Microsoft Edge (previously Project Spartan)
After 10 years on the market, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is getting an overhaul alongside the Windows 10 release. This web browser is just as well-known and widely-used as the Windows OS. Internet Explorer will become Edge and a new logo has also been introduced. Some have criticised this as it looks very similar to the old version, but it was done to avoid alienating users that have been using Internet Explorer for years.
Three main capabilities will drive the new browser’s look and feel. Firstly, Edge users will be able to take notes directly in the browser without having to exit the webpage. Seeing as a touch interface has been given the same amount of importance as traditional mouse and keyboard, one will be able to write using a stylus. These notes can also be stored and shared to OneDrive so other users can read them too.
Secondly, the new web browser will feature Reading View. This feature simplifies webpages by stripping unnecessary formatting and removes distractions for easier reading, especially when it comes to pages with lots of text.
Thirdly, Edge will also have Cortana built-in to provide voice control, search functionality and personalised information related to searches within the browser.
Windows 10 will be available to all current Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users as a free upgrade by the 29th of July 2015. However, it is a limited time offer so you will need to reserve your upgrade in advance.
Are you excited for the next chapter in Microsoft’s history?