Windows 10 has finally arrived and it comes as a free update to licensed users of Windows 7 and up. So if you’re already a licensed Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 user, you have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 and enjoy what the latest Microsoft operating system has to offer.
Here is our roundup of the best features of Windows 10 that we’re enjoying so far:
One of the things that annoyed many loyal Windows users in Windows 8 was the “disappearance” of the Start Menu. Windows 8 featured a tile system that was more fitting for mobile and touch screen users.
Windows 10 brings the more familiar Start Menu back with a few improvements. The Start Menu integrates the application tiles. You can even group the tiles and rename the tile groups. By default, you get two tile groups “Life at a glance” and “Play and Explore.” You can now also resize the Start Menu by dragging and dropping the edges.
If you’re a fan of the tile interface of Windows 8, Windows 10 lets you use a full-screen Start Menu.
Microsoft also showcases a new Internet browser – Mircosoft Edge. Internet Explorer suffered some bad publicity due to better performance from rival browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome so Microsoft opted to package a new browser for Windows 10.
One thing that surprised us testing it is how fast it is in both application startup and page loading. It can definitely give Chrome and Firefox a run for their money. It sports a sleek and minimalist design that goes very well with Windows 10’s window design.
Edge also features an InPrivate window that doesn’t store browsing information when you close the window (much like Chrome’s Incognito mode).
If Apple has Siri, Microsoft now has Cortana. Cortana is an “intelligent personal assistant” that’s built into the operating system. It uses voice recognition technology and taps into the other apps such as Calendar, Mail, and Search to help you organize your day.
Task View/Multiple Desktops
If you’re a multitasker and would like to work with several application windows open at once, then the new Task View feature would be another treat.
Task View resides in the taskbar and, when clicked, lets you take a look at all the open application windows with a larger preview of what’s displayed. While in Task View, you can switch windows or even close applications simply by clicking the close (X) button.
Windows bring desktop customization even further by allowing multiple desktops. If you want to keep your work and play screens separate, you can now create additional desktops for whatever need you might want to have.
Snap Assist was already available in Windows 7 and carried over in the newer versions. This works by dragging any window to the left or right edges of your screen and Windows automatically resizes the application to take over half the screen. This allows you to easily view two Windows side by side.
In Windows 10, Microsoft takes this even further by allowing windows to be resized to take up half the screen or a quarter of the screen. After placing your window, the other active windows appear on the empty spots ready for organizing.