The release of Windows 10 created quite a buzz in our office lately. The instant the update was complete, we were all hunched over one laptop, excitedly exploring the features. Here’s what we discovered. There isn’t much difference in the UI, however, quite a few twerks in the functionality and UX have been made, especially in terms of shortcuts and quick access. Here are the features that struck out the most.

Start Menu
The start menu of Windows 10 is a mix between the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8.1 start screen, with a lot of room for customization. The apps displayed on the start screen can be customized as per your preference, including the size of the tiles. The quick access folders on the start menu can also be chosen from settings. In fact the entire menu can be resized.
For those who preferred the full start screen from Windows 8.1, Microsoft allows you to re-enable the feature.

Apps
In Windows 8.1 we saw that all Windows apps opened in full screen mode. In Windows 10, Microsoft has given us desktop versions of the apps. They can be blown up to full screen if you wish, or run as a normal window.

Windows 10 also sees some updated system apps, such as the Mail app and calendar. These flaunt a new UI with rich editing options.

Windows has also replaced the Xbox music & Xbox video apps with Groove Music and Film & TV. Now, you no longer need to purchase content from the individual music or video apps, because Windows has provided a separate Store for all your content, including music, videos (movies), games and applications. Groove music also has a streaming option.

Views
Windows 10 now allows you to split your screen in 4! All you have to do is drag the window towards that edge, and it snaps in. Take your multi-tasking to another level!

Windows 10 has really upped their game when it comes to views. They have provided a “Task View” button on the Task Bar, which lets you view all windows open on the system, basically the “alt-tab” option with a dedicated button.

Additionally, the Task Views button shows an option for “Multiple Desktops.” This option literally lets you run Multiple Desktops on your system with completely different apps, files and folders. However, there are certain programs you cannot run multiple instances of, in this case, if you already have the program open on Desktop1, and try to launch it on Desktop2, it will automatically switch you back to Desktop1. You can also move apps between desktops just by dragging them.

Windows 10 also has an Action Center on the right hand side (basically a notification center) which is home to all your notifications. The Action center also provides quick access to a number of system tasks, which are customizable.

Microsoft Edge
I guess even Microsoft has accepted that there is going to be no progress with Internet Explorer, instead, they’ve launched an entirely new browser, Microsoft Edge. It displays the most visited websites on the home page, with a ‘Hub’ on the right hand side where you can find your history, bookmarks, favorites and downloads list. The browser also works in reading mode, which allows you to condense a web page into displaying just the featured content, eliminating all the ads, links, tabs, etc., for a clean reading experience. The most impressive feature of the new browser is its ‘Annotation Mode’, which allows you to jot notes right on to the web page. This includes adding text comments, a pen tool for circling/drawing, and a highlighter tool.

Cortana
Here’s what takes the cake on Windows 10. Your own personal assistant, Cortana. Windows 8.1 users have already seen a beta version of Cortana, and might be familiar with its power. For those who aren’t, Cortana is a very handy feature which uses voice recognition to complete your commands. She gives you the over view of your day (scheduled meetings, etc), the latest news, and makes your life easier by keeping an eye on things you cannot. For example, traffic to and from work in case you need to leave home earlier than scheduled, new movies you might enjoy, or a particular sale you were looking forward to.

All in all, we can vouch that besides the few glitches some users have been facing, the new UX of Windows 10 is great! We can’t wait to start using it.

Written by: Dipika Asnani, Content Writer & Digital Marketing at Promobi Technologies.