By now you’ve probably seen a Windows icon in your toolbar. Windows 10 is coming and it’s free to upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8 users for one year. Windows 10 looks to offer a slew of improvements that will enhance your personal and business computing. If you hated Windows 8 because of its lack of desktop functionality, fear not, for Windows 10 has been built with desktop users in mind. If you loved using Windows 8 on your tablet, you can continue doing so with Windows 10. It’s the best of both worlds. Here are some new features you can look forward to that will definitely improve your efficiency.
Start Menu: One of the biggest features of Windows 10, the start menu is back on your desktop. If you’re using Windows 8 on a desktop, the news of this alone should warrant an upgrade. However, rather than focusing solely on desktop apps, Windows 10 integrates Metro’s Live Tiles into the desktop as well. Can’t stand Live Tiles? Windows 10 allows you to remove them, keeping the traditional Start Menu you know and love. Miss the Metro interface from Windows 8? You can bring it back to Windows 10 in lieu of the traditional Start Menu. This time around, it’s truly about choice and both desktop and tablet users can have it all.
Cortana: Originally conceived to rival Siri as Window’s mobile personal assistant, Cortana has been brought into Windows 10. Cortana is your virtual assistant that will help you make appointments, set Reminders, create Notes and Alarms, play music, and message your contacts - all through voice commands. Cortana will be integrated into Windows 10’s search feature to help make obtaining information easier than ever.
Continuum: Windows 8 was designed primarily to be used on tablets but on Windows 10, you can optimize for whatever device you are using with Continuum. Continuum is a feature that changes the user interface depending on whether you have a keyboard and mouse plugged in.
Virtual Desktops: One cool addition to Windows 10 is the ability to create virtual desktops. If you’ve ever worked on a complex project before you’ll notice that even with dual monitors, your desktop can get cluttered fast. Windows 10 aims to remedy this with the virtual desktop feature, which lets you create another desktop with its own set of programs that you can switch between on the fly. For example, if you are using Excel to crunch numbers, you can delegate the program to a virtual desktop to save space. When you are done with your calculations, simply switch back to your main desktop. This way, you can create a suite of desktops each serving different purposes rather than only having a single cluttered one.
Windows 10 offers a slew of under-the-hood upgrades as well. It will be available for upgrade on July 29th. If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, you will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home. If you have Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, you will receive an upgrade for Windows 10 Pro.