What's So Different About Windows 10? - dummies

What’s So Different About Windows 10?

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 10 aims to fix a lot of problems by creating one operating system that works well on everything, letting both consumers and creators work on a single device. To do that, Windows 10 includes two different modes:

  • Tablet mode: For on-the-go information grabbers with touchscreen tablets, the Windows 10 Start menu fills the entire screen with large, colorful tiles that constantly update to show the latest stock prices, weather, email, Facebook updates, and other tidbits. That information appears before you touch a button. And touch is a keyword: The full-screen Start menu works best with a touchscreen monitor or tablet.
  • Desktop mode: When it’s time for work, the traditional Windows desktop brings all its power — as well as its more powerful and detailed menus.

Some people like the convenience of having both types of computers built into one: a touchscreen laptop, for example, or a tablet with a docking station that lets you plug in a mouse and keyboard. Others find the two experiences to be oddly disjointed.

  • If you can stomach the initial confusion, Windows 10 may offer you the best of both worlds: You can stay on the full-screen Start menu for quick, on-the-go browsing. And when work beckons, you can head for the desktop, where your traditional Windows programs await.
  • If you’re sitting at a desktop PC, Windows 10 should automatically open to the desktop. Windows 10 tablets usually open to a full-screen Start menu.
  • If Windows 10 doesn’t open to the mode you prefer, click the Action Center icon found on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen; when the Action Center pane appears, click the Tablet mode toggle button. Your Start menu should quickly return to its proper size.

Microsoft’s game console, the Xbox One, runs in Tablet mode. The Xbox One’s game controller serves as your finger, letting you move from tile to tile by pressing the controller’s arrow keys. (If you’ve attached a Kinect controller, you can control the Xbox One with your hands, as well.)