The one where Windows 10 was free
Jun 11, 2015
Windows 10 is getting ready for release on July 29th this year as a free download to anyone who has Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 (the latest OS) for free to upgrade too for one year. If you are using Windows Vista or earlier you will need to purchase the operating system.
If you are using Windows 7 or 8 you should have already been asked to "reserve" your copy of Windows 10 (a little windows icon will appear next to the clock in the notification area). The utility will download the new OS in the background when it is finally released and install when you are ready & able.
So let’s go through the main "need to know" items for Microsoft’s biggest OS release ever;
Windows 10 is forever… at least for each device.
There won’t be major OS releases as there have been in the past. The plan with Windows 10 is to constantly update and add features to it. Microsoft doesn't want to have a major “Windows” release again. It makes sense – Apple have done this with their computers for many years now, and it seems to work well for them.
It also means for businesses you don’t have to outlay for major operating system upgrades – one less cost & disruption! New devices will pay for the operating system, though for most people this will be bundled in with the new device as it always has been.
Windows 10 is a brand new operating system – and that means new toys! Some of the big new features of Windows 10 include;
Start Menu is back! Metro Apps didn’t go away, and touch is still here.
So with Windows 8, the absence of a start menu didn’t go down very well. Microsoft has put that back and is sorry for taking it away. Very sorry. It doesn’t mean the Windows 8 Metro menu is gone, they kind of combined them together in a very cool way (have a look at the image above).
Similar to the metro start menu, the Windows 8 Metro apps didn’t go away, they just moved into a desktop window, which mixes touch screen capability with ease of mouse use.
Touch “mode” is still available as your laptop returns fully to the “Windows 8 Metro Like” mode when you switch to tablet mode on your device… which looks like a refined Windows 8. Devices should intelligently move between these modes as you physically change how you use your device.
Action Centre and Cortana – your new personal assistant
I am pretty excited about Cortana, she is your new personal assistant… similar to Siri from Apple Verse. Cortana is going to be very tightly integrated into Windows 10, with voice controls and natural language interpretation allowing for searches like “find my word documents from yesterday”. She will connect to the internet, local files, network drives, computer controls; and continue to be developed by Microsoft into the future to add more capabilities.
Similarly, the action centre is all about giving your important information without getting in your way.
A new browser for a new era, plus updated apps.
Internet explorer… just isn’t good. It was horrible, and always has been. Project Spartan browser is Microsoft attempt to make up for it. Again focused on touch, while being mouse friendly, it actually looks good so far. Plus Cortana and Spartan talk together and provides extra information you didn’t even know you were looking for, but did want – like reviews and maps. It’s what good PA’s do!
Similarly the mail and calendar inbuilt apps all got upgrades to look, run and act better – especially in touch mode.
Virtual Desktops, and Universal Apps.
Virtual desktops have been around forever. Linux had them way back in the day, and in a sense tablets have them now. Basically it just means you are switching between collections of apps you have open and running. Kind of like the poor man’s multi-monitor setup. It’s a neat feature and great that Windows finally has it.
Microsoft plans to bring Windows 10 to everything – phones, tablets, TV’s, Internet of Things devices, everything. And with it comes universal apps that run on your phone & computer – regardless of type of device. One app for all. Which is cool. An example out of the box of this is the Windows 10 photo app – which automatically opens itself in the best way possible for the device your on – regardless is display size or specs.
What features were removed in Windows 10?
There are some things Microsoft is taking away in Windows 10 for various reasons. They include;
- Windows Media Centre. (Media Player is still here).
- Inbuilt DVD player software.
- Desktop Gadgets
- Option to not update – all windows updates will be forced, except for Windows 10 Pro & Enterprise.
- Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games. :(
- Floppy Drive Support
- Windows Live Essentials
All in all, the list isn’t that big of a loss – with the exception of solitaire.
Windows 10 is going to do what they wanted to do with Windows 8: live in a touch world but still have a mouse – and have Windows on any device. Every enhancement is a logical step up from Windows 8 and fixes the shortcomings the older OS had.
At its heart there are some good new technologies, and it really is the product of a new Microsoft. It will be great to have new features added to Windows on the fly as Apple does now, along with security updates and patches as Microsoft has always done. The “forever” Windows is a great change – and something we’re pretty excited about; plus Cortana had me at "hello".
As always, we're here to help! And an upgrade to a new OS is always a big thing! If you need assistance please give us a call on 08 8922 000 or contact us.
Tropical Business Solutions
Director at Tropical Business Solutions