What’s New in Windows 10?

By Andy Rathbone

Microsoft hopes to fix a lot of compatibility problems with its upcoming Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 looks and behaves the same across all of your devices: smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop PC. You can store your files in one secure spot on the Internet, where you can access them from almost any device.

To clinch the deal, Windows 10 phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs can all run the same apps, keeping everything simple. In short, Windows 10 aims to finally unify your computing life, making it a lot easier to find and edit your information.

Windows 10 runs on phones, tablets, and PCs

Windows 10 places the same menus on phones, tablets, and desktop PCs; Windows simply adjusts itself to fit whatever sized screen you’re facing. On a desktop PC, for example, the Start menu stays in the desktop’s lower, left corner, where it’s easy to click with a mouse.

image0.jpg

On small-screen smartphones and tablets, the Start menu fills the screen with big buttons for more finger-friendly computing.

image1.jpg

If your tablet doubles as a desktop PC, Windows 10’s new Continuum feature adjusts automatically to how you’re working. Plug a keyboard and mouse into your tablet, for example, and Windows 10 asks if you’d like to switch from the finger-controlled Tablet Mode to the mouse-and-keyboard controlled Desktop Mode.

Unplug the mouse or keyboard, and you’re back to Tablet Mode where your fingers can take over on the touchscreen.

Accessing files and programs from Android and Apple computers

Interestingly enough, your Android phone, iPhone, and iPad can also benefit from the Windows 10 experience. They can’t run Windows 10, of course, but they can run free versions of Microsoft’s popular Office software. Microsoft also released a free copy of OneDrive, its Cloud storage service, for those competing devices, making it easier than ever to edit your files with Office.

In short, Microsoft wants you to be able to access all your files and Office software from any device.

Sticking with Windows 10 on every device, though, brings a perk: your PC, tablet, and smartphone menus stay the same, and your files and settings stay synchronized on each gadget.

The return of the Start menu

Windows 10 also fixes a problem that’s plagued Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 owners: The Start button and menu return to the desktop’s bottom lower corner where it’s been for the past 20 years. Click the Start button, and the Start menu appears, letting you launch your desired program or app with one click or the tap of a finger.

The Start menu includes a list of apps, holdovers from Windows 8 and 8.1. Apps can easily be trimmed from the Start menu, though, for those who prefer the classic look of Windows 7.

Free update to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 owners

If your computer runs Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, Microsoft offers Windows 10 as a free upgrade that installs itself on your computer over the Internet. While installing, it saves your files, settings, and programs. That’s easier than buying a new PC, and dealing with the hassle of moving all of your old files and programs onto your new PC.

Windows 10 may not be the panacea for all computing problems, but if Microsoft’s promises hold true, it’s a big step in the right direction.