Why I’m excited about Windows 10

Windows 10 was recently announced which they dubbed their “best operating system yet”. It’s due to come out officially some time in 2015 but with the Windows Insider Program, you can try it out for yourself now. Here are some of the new features that I’m quite excited about:

  • The start menu is back!

This isn’t really a new feature, it has been in Windows for a long time but since they removed it in Windows 8 and 8.1 (no, just having a button that takes you to the start screen does not count!), it stands out as one of the main reasons for upgrading to Windows 10 when it comes out. Personally this is exciting as I missed the start menu in Windows 8 so much that I added it back through the Classic Shell Program.

  •  The start screen is not gone

For those who preferred the start screen to the start menu will be happy to know that Microsoft have decided not to remove the touch-oriented start menu but have added as an option to choose between when you right click the task bar and go to “Taskbar Properties”.

  • “Metro” apps can now be windowed

Finally! What is the point of the name “Windows” if some apps don’t apply? When the start menu is enabled rather than the start screen, “metro” apps open a first in a window that can be resized, maximised and minimised to the task bar. At the time of writing the “metro” windows look slightly different to normal windows as they have an extra settings button on the top of the window. This button shows a menu which allows you to go into full screen mode and also gives you access the app’s settings which would normally need a swipe up from the bottom. I think this feature is exciting as there are a few “metro” apps which I have wanted to use but as they wouldn’t appear in the taskbar and wouldn’t show up as a window, I have strayed away from using them and found alternatives instead.

  • More “desktops”!

Many people would say that this has been copied from Linux (and possibly Mac OS X (not really (they copied it from Linux…))) but to be honest it doesn’t really matter. You will be able to create multiple “desktops” full of open programs, for instance, one desktop with your work programs (email client, word processor, internet browser, etc.) and another for leisure (music player, video player, internet browser, etc.). This is good as it helps you to stay productive as distractions are kept away from work programs. I’m not sure if this has a name yet, though.

  •  Home in Windows Explorer

This is quite a small feature but it is quite helpful as all of your favourites, drives and recent files are all in one place when you open Explorer. It has been possible to do this before in other versions of Windows but I’m excited as this is the default.

  • “Snap Assist”

Again, a small-ish feature but potentially very useful and a great time-saver: when you snap a program to the side of the screen, in the remaining space you will be given the option to add other minimised programs. This will save you from minimising everything and then snapping each program individually.

These aren’t all of the new features in Windows 10 (I have excluded touch-orientated features, for example) but the ones that are most interesting and exciting. I’ll tell you how I tried/installed it in my next post!


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About tech189

Casual blogger on technology, photography, and science at www.tech189.wordpress.com

10 responses to “Why I’m excited about Windows 10”

  1. Hethradyah says :

    Hey Tech198 🙂 Thanks for the Win 10 peek. I’d love to hear your views on the latest Surface Pro machines – are you planning anything along those lines ?

    • tech189 says :

      Hi Hethradyah, I don’t have a Surface myself, mainly because I need a lot of RAM for what I do and they don’t have much (and they’re quite expensive). However I love the idea of being able to switch between touch and mouse mode. One of the main features for the Surface in Windows 10 is the automatic switch between touch and mouse if a keyboard/mouse is connected or disconnected. It will change certain things in the interface, this isn’t confirmed but hopefully the on-screen keyboard will disappear when a text box is selected, maybe buttons will be smaller with a mouse connected. Do you have a Surface yourself?

      • Hethradyah says :

        No, I don’t have one (yet), but will consider it if they put cellular connection on the next model as I understand the current version doesn’t have it. I do have an iPad + Logitech Bluetooth keyboard, but without cellular connectivity and to be honest, despite having had several years with it, the UI on IOS apps does sometimes drive me a bit nuts as I often find them less than intuitive, but it’s probably simply ‘cos I’ve spent most of my working life (in IT) in a Windows-centric environment. I agree that they’re quite pricey, though.

      • tech189 says :

        As I said, I just use my laptop and I have a Android phone (I don’t like iOS). If you want internet on your iPad when you are out and about, couldn’t you just tether your phone’s cellular connection to your iPad?

  2. Hethradyah says :

    Yep, I could do that – I just haven’t around to trying it out, to be honest 🙂 One reason for not being all that driven to getting such connectivity sorted out is that the primary use I had envisaged was for working during a train commute (there’s no WiFi on my service), but I’ve come to realise that the cellular connection is so sporadic that it wouldn’t serve my purposes of RDS connection for any decent period. I’m probably better off creating a mobile work environment on a laptop or similar if I really want to get into it.

    • tech189 says :

      Yes, bad connection would be a problem for a remote desktop connection (if that’s what you mean by RDS). Is there any chance that you would be able to upload your work documents to a cloud service? Or is there a work restriction on that?

      • Hethradyah says :

        Cloud storage would be fine. I’m also toying with the idea of using a Macbook Air (the only laptop I have at present) and getting VM software on it so that I can put a snapshot of my work Windows machine on there – as it;s a development machine I think replicating it might be useful, but I’m not convinced yet. Lots of options !

      • tech189 says :

        A Virtual Machine is quite a good idea, however Macbook Airs tend not to have such good hardware, so a VM might be a bit sluggish… Try a trial version of the software (or get VirtualBox, which is free) and see what you think!

      • Hethradyah says :

        OK Tech – thanks for the advice – most welcome 🙂

      • tech189 says :

        No problem!

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