Windows 10 Review and Features

Multi Will be offering the Windows 10 Upgrade pack for FREE

On the 21st of January 2015 late Wednesday Night in South Africa the Multi staff were glued to the Windows 10 launch live stream. After all the features and demos we all agreed that Windows 10 is a definite upgrade for everyone using a device. It wasn’t another release of something new but not better like windows 8. Windows 10 is a definite must have.

Several Multi Staff have downloaded and tested Windows 10 preview version and reported back on what they think the top 10 features are that will be better for businesses.

A revamped interface, redesigned apps and new ways to switch among your computer, tablet and smartphone. That’s what Microsoft has in store with Windows 10, the company’s next major operating system release, due out later this year. This week, Microsoft spent some time showing how Windows 10 can make you and your business more mobile, more secure and more productive.

The final release date is not yet set but windows 10 should be coming sometime in the second half of 2015. In the meantime, read on for 10 features that will make Windows 10 better for business.

FREE Upgrade

Questionable design changes in Windows 8 — like the awkward, full-screen Start menu — left some business users unsure if an upgrade was worth the price. Now Microsoft is making that decision easy, by offering a free upgrade through Multi for all PCs running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. The offer is good for one year after the release of Windows 10. That’s a perk for businesses on a budget, since you can upgrade to the latest software without affecting your bottom line. Microsoft says this is part of a new philosophy in which it thinks of Windows as an ongoing service, rather than a series of standalone releases.

“Windows as a service”

Once Multi has upgraded your device to Windows 10, Multi and Microsoft will keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device. And the company is taking steps to make this new philosophy more palatable for businesses, by offering different “channels” for different types of users. For example, consumers might want to get new features as soon as they’re available, while IT administrators might prefer to roll out features at their own pace, to ensure compatibility with company computers.

New start screen – The Start Menu is Back!

Many businesses saw Windows 8’s full-screen Start menu as a real liability, so Microsoft hopes it can lure those users back with a more familiar interface on Windows 10. The new box is actually quite reminiscent to the classic Start menu. However, Windows 8-style tiles — for launching touch-optimized applications — are still featured prominently in a sidebar.

Microsoft actually announced those features last year, when Windows 10 was first unveiled. So what’s new? Well, Microsoft has included a way to “maximize” the Start menu with one tap, so you can easily revert to a full-screen interface that’s better on a tablet. It’s part of a new system, dubbed “Continuum,” that lets you easily switch between devices on the fly.

Continuum

ContinueumMicrosoft is betting big on 2-in-1 hybrid PCs, which can be used as tablets on the go, or docked to larger monitors at the office. But in order for hybrid devices like Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3 to be viable in the workplace, they’ll need an operating system that works equally well with touch as it does with a mouse and keyboard. That’s the idea behind “Continuum,” a set of features that lets Windows 10 PCs quickly transition between mobile and desktop scenarios.

Here’s how it works: When your Windows 10 tablet PC is connected to a keyboard or desktop dock, it will function like a regular desktop computer, complete with the smaller Start menu. When you disconnect the device, you’ll get a message asking if you want to enter tablet mode. This mode offers touch-friendly changes, including a full-screen Start menu, easier access to full-screen applications and swipe gestures for navigating through the operating system. When you dock your device again, it automatically transitions back to desktop mode.

Cortana

Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to iOS’ Siri and Android’s Google Now, is a voice-activated personal assistant that debuted on Windows Phone devices last year. Now Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the desktop. To use the feature, tap the microphone located in the new Search box on the taskbar — or simply say, “Hey, Cortana,” out loud — and use a voice command. You can set a reminder, perform a Web search, save a note or view driving directions, among other options. Alternately, you can simply type a command into the box.

And now Cortana has a variety of expanded capabilities. When you click the Search box, Cortana provides tailored information based on your interests, searches, calendar items and more. For example, if you have a flight planned, Cortana can find it in your email, then automatically alert you if there’s a delay. And unlike with Google Now on Android, you can easily control what kinds of information Cortana learns about you via the settings menu.

Redesigned apps

Microsoft also showed off a handful of redesigned applications that work well with touch, as well as a mouse and keyboard. For starters, the new Outlook email app now lets you sort and flag items by swiping left or right. Meanwhile, the Outlook calendar has a colourful new interface and pinch-to-zoom functionality, so you can zero-in on one day, or zoom out for a monthly or yearly view.

Windows 10 for smartphones

windows 10 for phonesMicrosoft is doing away with its Windows Phone operating system on smartphones. Instead, those devices will run a version of Windows 10 that’s optimized for small touch screens. The advantage of this approach is that users will have a unified app experience across all their devices. That means Outlook on your phone will look the same as it does on your desktop, because you’re actually running the same app.

Windows devices will also synchronize wirelessly. For example, after you sort through your email inbox on your phone, those changes will automatically be reflected on your desktop.

Action Centre

Another way that Windows 10 connects PCs and smartphones is through the new desktop Action Centre. When you’re on your PC, you can call up the Action Centre to quickly view alerts and notifications from all your smartphone apps, and even respond to text messages, without ever touching your phone.

Project Spartan

SpartanSay goodbye to Internet Explorer. Microsoft is launching a brand new Web browser, tentatively dubbed Project Spartan, alongside Windows 10. In addition to a redesigned interface, the big difference is that, you guessed it, the browser runs seamlessly across desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones. It also includes some nice new features, like integration with Cortana and a reading mode that strips away unwanted clutter from Web pages.

Task View

Windows 10 will also feature a handy new multitasking tool called Task View, which introduces virtual desktop functionality to Windows for the first time. Task View lets you create as many “desktops” as you want, each with different apps open, and switch among them on the fly. You might have one desktop with your favorite tax software, the calculator and Microsoft Excel open, so you’re ready to crunch numbers at the top of a hat. When you’re finished, switch to a less cluttered desktop to continue working on something else, without closing any of your finance apps.

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