Today on July 29, Microsoft launched Windows 10, its most ambitious operating system — an effort, which could very well define PC computing for the next couple of years. In 2012, when the company released Windows 8, it faced backlash from business users and consumers alike. Windows 8 was a failed attempt at countering the effect of the iPad and tablet computing as Microsoft had seemingly lost the battle for mobile computing. Three years later, the iPad itself is struggling from dwindling sales, quarter over quarter, and Windows 8.1, the latest release of Windows has rolled back a number of innovations that Microsoft forced upon users with Windows 8.
While not vastly different from Windows 8 and 8.1, it attempts to bridge the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8, while also introducing a number of new features. Microsoft is striving to please everybody with Windows 10, something it failed miserably at with Windows 8. Windows 10 will also be the last numbered release of Windows as Microsoft plans on converting Windows into a software as a service (SAAS).
The technical preview of Windows 10 has been in the public domain since January and we’ve had the opportunity to test the operating system at a great length as Microsoft evolved the OS and listened to its band of millions of Windows insiders.
Windows 10 is mostly good news, and come Wednesday, we believe everyone should upgrade to Microsoft’s new OS. Here are five compelling reasons, which make us believe the update is easy to use:
1. It is free. For the first year, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8 users. This has never happened before. Apple started rolling out free upgrades for OS X a couple of years ago and now Microsoft is responding with Windows 10. You get all the benefits of the new operating system for free. Previously, a new version of Windows was an expensive upgrade, understandably a deterrent for many. If you happen to be a Windows Insider, you’ll get the upgrade on the day of the launch itself if you’re not already running it, because Microsoft has already finalised the operating system.
2. It is faster. Since Windows 7, Microsoft has consistently managed to make every new version of Windows more efficient than the previous ventures. That continues with Windows 10. It is faster than Windows 8 and 7. This means you’ll get a better experience on your ageing machine the moment you upgrade to Windows 10.
3. Continuum is the biggest feature of the operating system and it is awesome. Windows 10 automatically knows what kind of a machine you are using. Be it a tablet, a laptop with or without a touchscreen, and a desktop, which helps it present an appropriate user interface. While traditional desktop users will get the standard “explorer” UI, people with touchscreen will get the “modern UI” heralded in Windows 8. Imagine you’re using a Windows tablet. It will automatically present you the “modern UI”, which is best used with the fingers or a pen, but if you connect that tablet to a monitor, it will automatically present your the old “explorer” desktop.
4. The start menu makes a proper return. In Windows 8, then Windows president Steven Sinofsky controversially decided to eliminate the start menu, which had been a staple of Windows since its 95 edition. This led to massive user backlash and his eventual exit from the company. Microsoft made minor amends by adding the start button back to the task bar in the Windows 8.1 release. In Windows 10, the start menu returns properly, dressed for Windows 10 with supercharged functionality blending the new live tiles of the “modern UI” in it.
5. Windows 10 is home to a number of new features and technologies. From the new Microsoft Edge web browser, to DirectX 12, the Cortana virtual assistant and Windows Hello, the new OS truly blends the best of mobile technology with the best of tried and tested desktop computing. It is also the first operating system to truly have a unified app platform. By this we mean applications written specifically for the modern UI will work across the desktop and also phones, something unheard of with iOS, OS X, Android and Chrome OS.
In addition, Microsoft has made it easier for developers to port their Android and iOS apps to Windows, so you can now enjoy your favourite mobile apps — of course, subject to the developer porting the app.