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10 New Features on Windows 10

10 New Features on Windows 10

March 29, 2015

Brace yourselves! Windows 10 is coming! That means new features to play with. “But wait a minute! What happened to Windows 9?” you ask. Well Microsoft thought it best to go ahead and skip it and aims to step into the next generation of computing with a unified OS across all hardware types! They are making every effort to ensure Windows 10 delivers on the promises that we had hoped Windows 8 was going to bring. Let’s not waste any time and have a quick look and see at what we can expect to see (or not see) with Microsoft’s newest version of OS!

  1. More to Touch

The touch UI for tablets and phones has been enhanced for better usability. For one, you can expect to never have to use the Charms bar again. (Yay!) Another major change is that the new look to Task View, which allows you to switch between apps and virtual desktops. Now when you swipe in from the left of the screen it will open the new Task View, and it will stay open even after letting go of the keys. This is a big improvement from the old Switcher UI in Windows 8, which was one of the most difficult gestures to pull off consistently using a partial swipe.

  1. The Start Menu is back! (sort of)

The most notable and anticipated change you can expect is that they have brought back the ever faithful and classic Start Menu. It looks and works like you expect it would, but it also includes some the features from Windows 8.1 such as live tiles and it can be resized to fit your screen nicely.

  1. Action Center

Another feature that comes to us from the Windows Phone side is the Action Center. Basically this app consolidates all notifications from your system and individual apps into one place. You’ll be able to see messages such as new emails, IMs, Social Media posts, new updates available, etc. all on a single board, so you’ll never miss a thing during your busy day.

  1. Continuum

A new feature that anyone who owns a tablet can really appreciate is Continum. It will automatically change from desktop mode to the touch UI (or vice versa) depending on when the keyboard and mouse is suddenly added or removed. This feature delivers to us the best of both worlds; one OS that can work with both PCs/Laptop and Tablets or even hybrid devices like the Surface Pro 3.

  1. Meet your new personal assistant, Cortana

With all the meetings, assignments and due dates that we manage every day, I’m sure most would agree that they could use a personal assistant to keep track of it all. Coming to Windows 10 is a feature that hopes to help with that, Cortana. She can search the web, find things on the PC, gather news and weather feeds, track your calendar events – even tell you jokes. (Unfortunately, she can’t take your kids to school or soccer practice, not yet anyways). To get started with Cortana, you type a question or command in the search box on the taskbar, or select the microphone icon and speak into your mic (i.e. this requires a mic).

  1. Unity and Universal Apps

Windows 10 brings to us a new app model known as Universal Windows apps. This is the replacement for the Metro/Modern/Windows Store apps that we come to know in Window 8. The advantage with this new model going forward is that Windows 10 will able to run on all devices, from phones to servers, and that there will be a single app store to shop and search from. In terms of user experience, if they purchase an app from the Windows Store then they are capable of installing it on a device from the Windows Phone Store using the same Microsoft account without having to purchase the app again.

  1. Stronger Security

Windows 10 is expected to be Microsoft’s most secure OS yet. Using FIDO Biometric Authentication means that you can expect native support for two-factor authentication, where a combination of password and PIN or biometric proof, such as a fingerprint, can be enabled for some or all users. Another great feature that promises to tighten security is the ability to protect corporate data even on employee-owned devices. Windows 10 will allow network administrators define policies that will automatically encrypt sensitive info, including apps, data, emails, and the contents of company intranet sites. Finally, for organizations with high-security needs such as banks and other regulated industries, Windows 10 Enterprise edition with specially configured OEM hardware will enable administrators to completely lock down devices so that they are unable to run untrusted code or apps. This would mean that the only apps that will be allowed to run are those signed by a Microsoft-issued code-signing certificate. Businesses with their own line of business apps can get their own key generator, which will allow those apps to run on only their own network.

  1. This … Is … Sparta(n) Browser

Internet Explorer’s days are numbered! Spartan, the codename for Microsoft’s new web browser, is expected to be bundled with Windows 10 alongside Internet Explorer 11 but will eventually replace IE. Spartan uses a new EdgeHTML engine which is said to drastically improve performance. Spartan will integrate with Microsoft’s online platforms, as well as Cortana’s voice control and search functionality. It’s important to note that Spartan will not support legacy technologies such as ActiveX and Browser Help Objects, hence why IE 11 will be installed alongside for compatibility purposes.

  1. Finally a new Command Prompt!

With every version of Windows, we got a little better looking user interface that ordinary end-users could appreciate but not a whole lot changed for the tech-savy folks. Well this time Windows 10 finally gives sysadmin everywhere a slightly better Command Prompt. Finally, after many years of waiting, the new command prompt will support native selecting and proper line wraps, as well as the ability to quickly paste text into command prompt without the need to use context menus with your mouse. No more right-clicking, selecting “Mark” and then highlighting the text. No more deleting extra line spacing and breaks on copied text that spanned multiple line. Plus as an extra bonus, the text on the new command prompt window will re-flow automatically when the window is resized.

  1. But wait! There’s more for Business and Enterprises!

Windows 10, with all its improvement, was developed for business and enterprise in mind. They have included a customized app store, built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM), and new dynamic provisioning capability to be able to configure off-the-shelf devices without reimaging. There is also plans for the new Universal App Store to allow for volume app purchases based on existing organization identity, flexible distribution, and the ability for organizations to reclaim or reuse licenses. Microsoft is making every effort to evolve Windows 10 and get businesses on board in hopes that they will adopt it into their own organizations faster than any other Windows release.

Windows 10 is expected to be release late 2015, but if you want to get a sneak peak of Windows 10 for yourself, you have until April 15, 2015 to download and use the Technical Preview and Windows 10 Enterprise Technical Preview.

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