It’s been a few moments since we’ve mentioned Microsoft, but they’ve rightfully earned a reason for our attention. This Wednesday, July 29, Microsoft will launch Windows 10 as a free upgrade.
Don’t worry, this isn’t your Windows 8 debacle. According to several legitimate reviewers, Windows 10 is a substantial shift in improvement… albeit it may be too late. Does it stack up to Apple’s OS X El Capitan? That’s to be debated. But, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
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So what can you expect with Microsoft’s Windows 10?
For starters, the Start button has returned. Your desktop will look familiar again. “If you knew how to use Windows XP back in 2001, you’ll have no problem finding your way around Windows 10,” claims the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft has drastically improved its searching capabilities, too. Your “My Computer” is now File Explorer allowing you to view all of your files from any window or application. You can type anything in the Search field to quickly find an app, document, email, contact name, phone number, photo, song… and it will even search the web via Bing. In the Start Menu, Windows 10 will also update your most used apps for quick launching via the Most Used column.
One of the Microsoft 8 features that has been kept (but improved) are the tiles. When you click on the Start button, alongside the applications, you can drag and drop “tiles” and arrange them as you see fit. These can be your favorite apps (like Twitter, Facebook, Flipboard, or Instagram) or documents or information. The tiles also “live update” by delivering a constant stream of fresh information (updated weather information, recent tweets or Facebook likes, etc).
Talk To Your PC
Thanks to an improved Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Siri), you may not even have to use a keyboard to navigate through Windows 10. If your computer has a microphone, simply ask a question, launch a program, make a calendar appointment, send an email… all with your voice. Cortana can also learn about you based on your searches and other information you give her in Windows 10 Mail and Calendar (granted, you do have to give her permission first).
What Else is New?
Windows 10 has finally killed off Internet Explorer and its new browser is now named Edge (cheesy? Yes!). Edge promises to be faster, more secure, and more personal thanks to Cortana. It also comes with the ability to scribble notes on a web page, which could be interesting.
Microsoft is betting that its newest OS will be much more secure. For the first time in Windows history, Windows Defender (anti-virus software) comes with the OS. Also, Windows 10 boasts facial recognition capability for a secure log in. “The most impressive new protection, called Windows Hello, is straight out of ‘Mission: Impossible.’ It replaces passwords with your face, your eyeball or your fingerprint,” claims the Wall Street Journal.
How to Get It? Will it Work on My Computer?
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 should work on most computers that were compatible with Windows 7 (that said, it doesn’t promise everything will work). You can download Get Windows 10 to check whether your system is compatible. Windows 10 is a FREE upgrade and is available July 29.