Windows 10 Release Date is currently set for July 29, 2015. If you are lucky, running Windows 7, or 8, you may see a popup asking you if you want to register for a free (yes, totally free) update to Windows 10!
Windows 10 is Microsoft’s newest Windows operating system. As mentioned above if you are running Windows 7 or 8, you may get a chance to have a free upgrade to Windows 10. Currently still in beta, you can download a technical preview here. Windows 10 will also be available for Windows Phone soon after Windows 10 is released (currently their is no Windows Phone 10 release date). You can find out how to download the technical preview for Windows Phone here. Since it is still only a tech preview, you must remember that Microsoft offers no coverage over lost information during the update. A interesting detail to notice, is that Microsoft skipped Windows 9, and went straight to Windows 10. This seems to be a pattern among most technology companies, other than Apple (apple.ca).
From my personal experience running the tech preview, I think that this will be a long awaited update among Windows users (though I am currently unsure if I will upgrade or stay with Windows 7) because of the much smoother interface, the return of a better start menu, and more! (See my list of new features near the end of this post) The things that catch my attention most, are the new, smoother User Interface (UI, or Graphical User Interface: GUI), and the brand new start menu, which is basically a combination of the Windows 8, and the Windows 7 start menu. The new start menu allows you to have a list of programs for quick access, and below them quick access buttons for Power, Documents, and Settings. To the right of the quick access programs, is a the Windows 8.1 (smaller version of the Windows 8) start menu. So basically, Windows 10 combines Windows 7 start menu (to the left), with the Windows 8.1 start menu (to the right). It’s pretty cool!
Something that might interest you Windows Phone users, Microsoft finally brought Cortana to Windows! For people who do not have a Windows Phone, and don’t know what Cortana is, I’ll explain it next. Cortana is a highly intelligent, voice assistant, that allows you to ask it to do thing such as “Remind me to call Dad in half an hour.” or “Email Bill and tell him Your presentation yesterday was great! Thanks for all your hard work!” and much more. A big disadvantage for kids wanting to use Cortana, is that according to Microsoft, you must be 13 years or older to be able to use Cortana. This I find quite surprising since a child under 13 years old can still download apps, music, or Xbox games from the Windows store. Another very interesting thing, is that the child can go to their personal details on their Microsoft Profile, and change their birth date! (But, you must remember that to do so would be lying)
A new feature introduced in Windows 10 is called Tablet Mode. This mode allows you to switch between a full Windows 10 experience and a less complicated, touch friendly experience. This can come in handy especially if you have a 2–in-1 computer that can switch between being a laptop, and a tablet. With devices such as the Surface Pro 3, when undock the screen from the keyboard, Windows recognizes that is disconnected from keyboard and mouse input, and automatically switches to tablet mode. You can also manually switch between the two modes with the new Quick Settings menu at the bottom of the notifications menu (explained next).
One of the new features of Windows 10 is the notifications bar. On the bottom right corner of the screen you can see a button that looks kind of like a text messages icon for a phone. When you click on the icon a windows will slide open from the right side of the screen. I personally notice that the notifications bar looks kind of like the Mac OS X notifications. But still, this is something that I am very glad to see. At the bottom of this notifications bar is a small quick settings area where you can do things such as toggle Wi-Fi of Bluetooth. You can customize what things show up in quick setting in the settings app.
One of the coolest things built into Windows 10, is the Microsoft HoloStudio. This is basically a 3D studio allowing you to design objects for the Microsoft HoloLens (if you don’t know what the HoloLens is, click here to read my article on it). You can also design objects such as a game character, that can be interacted with on the HoloLens. I personally have not spent much time using it, so I can’t tell you any more. But keep checking back because I will do a review I the HoloStudio once I use it more.
There is support for developers who want to make applications and 3D objects for the new Microsoft HoloLens through HoloStudio.
What I think is the coolest (but most expensive) feature of Windows 10, is called Windows Hello. Windows Hello is a feature that lets the computer scan your face using a special camera, and automatically log you in without a password if it detects that you are actually you (not some other person. The disadvantage of this, is that it requires a high-end computer to have the right camera. So sadly, not all Windows users will be able to use it.
There is also a new app store for specifically for Windows 10 included, though you can still currently access the Windows 8 app store. I currently do not know the difference, but keep checking back at my blog, as I will do a article specifically on it.
New Windows 10 Features:
- Smoother Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- Better, and WAY cooler Star Menu
- Tablet Mode
- New Notifications Design
- Support for the Microsoft HoloLens (read about it here)
- Windows Hello
- New Windows 10 App Store (Windows 8 app store is also included)