Windows 10 is upon us, no really, it releases today, and I have been playing around with the final build for some time now and absolutely love it. There are some bugs that are getting in the way of the experience, but they should all be ironed out soon. Here are some of the best operational features of Windows 10
Off the bat the Windows 10 star screen and home screen have had an overhaul. Gone are those ridiculous blocks from the start menu, and we welcome back the classic start menu that we’ve all missed dearly. Loading up the start menu, you can see your most important apps on the first page. You can then scroll down the right hand side to reveal more apps along the way.
The home screen and task bar go in sync with the colour of your background, which means, as your background changes, so does your overall colour scheme on Windows. This along with the new sound board, makes Windows 10 both quiet and elegant at the same time.
The split screen tab layout on Windows 8/8.1 became so popular that on Windows 10 it is always on by default. You can instantly choose what you want to have on each side of the screen by dragging an open tab to the left or right side of the screen. When you click it into place, on the opposite side you will then see all your open tabs, and by clicking on one of them it will maximize to the second half of the screen.
This is very easy to get the hang of and it adds a whole new ease of use to opening two tabs at the same time without having to go and find the tabs you want open.
The classic alt+tab shortcut has been tweaked to take you to a larger tab view, offering more screen coverage to see what you are working on. Dragging our mouse over the tab and left clicking will maximize it and make it top priority.
The personalisation setting on Windows 10 has been cut down and refined. You can select your wallpaper, and your theme, but the colour bars stay the same gradient as your background by default. If you do want to customise the star bar you can, but somehow, Microsoft have made the matching colours look perfect no matter what background you have. Talking about backgrounds, you can download the official Windows 10 wallpapers here, just in case you are not updating to the latest version
Windows 10 brings with it probably the best feature that I will never use, multiple desktops. By clicking on the Task View button, it not only lays out all your open windows, but it also gives you the option to create a new Desktop. This means that you can have one project open on one desktop, and another on the other, all on one screen and without the tabs interfering with your workflow.
If you just want a desktop with your personal tabs, and a desktop with your work tabs, then this is perfect. Not only does it hide all the tabs from the other desktop, but if you have a program open, it will not even appear on the task bar at the bottom of the screen,
The Search Bar
Sad news, the highly anticipated AI assistant, Cortana, will not be available in SA at the launch of Windows 10. I played around with Cortana back in the preview build, and she was a great addition to Windows, giving you weather forecasts, event calendars, and everything else you can think of.
The final release of Windows 10 will only have a search bar at the bottom of the screen for South Africa, but the option is there to change your location to make her appear.
Starting off, the Search is great, typing in anything will instantly search your PC and what you are looking for will be found in seconds. You can also search for Windows settings and apps and it will find them for you.
Cortana works extremely well, by just clicking on the search bar she will give you all the news that you tailor make for yourself, your weather location, and any events you have coming up. You can just ask her anything through a mic, and she will search for it.
So far my Windows 10 experience has been great, there have been some bugs where my programs go off the tracks and the menus and tabs become tiny. There are also times that my task bar would jump to the middle of the screen, and a restart would be needed to fix the issue. I have been updating the OS daily and the bugs seem to be subsiding. Regardless, Windows 10 is definitely an improvement and it feels like a Desktop OS again rather than a tablet OS.
We will have our full review of Windows 10 coming up soon, so watch out for the final verdict.