Windows 10 is a much needed upgrade to the badly reputed Windows 8. Its also an important upgrade to Windows 7. But Windows 10 is more than just an OS. It is a collection of OSs. I’ll explain.
Up till Windows 7, the Windows platform was meant for computers. Keyboard, mouse was a necessity. However, the Smartphone market was beginning to grow and Microsoft has to put something out there. What resulted was Windows Phone: Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft had other ideas though, and with Windows 8, everything changed. The same OS would run on computers, laptops, tablets and “convertibles”. Both touch and mouse were supported. However, Microsoft failed. Windows 8 lost all the ease and functionality of Windows 7 and ended up being “a good for nothing” OS. Windows Phone 8 worked, but could never compare to the top players, Android and iOS. The Windows Store never had the apps simply because it was an isolated platform that no one liked.
Microsoft accepted their mistakes, and so came Windows 10. Windows 10 is a union of Windows Phone and Windows desktop OSs. It brings together the best from Windows 7 and 8. But not everything has changed. There is still that Metro look from Windows 8, with similar looking apps and a similar Store. The Start menu, the highly reputed portion of Windows OS all time, comes in the classic Windows 7 style with jump menus and long, but more modern, lists. Its a well thought out coalition for sure.
Windows 10 is available for Beta testing using the Insider Program and I had to check it out. The latest build has huge design improvements and was showcased at Build 2015 two days ago. Here are my first impressions:
1. Beautiful design: The same animations but greater uniformity. Windows 10 has the animations of Windows 8, but the subtle changes in UI, like a circular account picture, the use of colours and the simplistic, modern design bring the OS to life. Coming from Mac OSX, I found Windows 10 amazing looking, for it borrows some elements, like translucency, straight off OSX. All the windows are perfect rectangles. All the icons buttons are curves. The fonts look pretty good too. Personally, I’d choose Windows 10 any day over the boring Windows 7 and the lacking Windows 8.
2. Start Menu: Finally, Microsoft got over the Metro style tiles for simple jump-lists. Not that that is gone, but its well integrated into the start menu and looks like a uniform transition. Unlike Windows 8, the Windows 10 start menu doesn't take up the whole screen, although in tablet mode, it automatically becomes that (or you can choose to expand it). Windows 8 apps no more run only in full screen; the windows of Windows are finally back, and they work well with the Metro apps.
3. Lock Screen: Windows 8 brought a redesigned lock screen, and Windows 10 has the same. Its better now, though, with random pictures, new tool recommendations, app recommendations and bulbs and like here and there for various functions. It brings good character to the OS. This feature is called “Spotlight” and is optional to use, but I highly recommend using it.
4. Crash. Before I could explore all of the OS, it crashed. Agreeably, the latest build of the OS is no where close to consumer ready and needs a LOT of improvements.
And here I am writing this article. I did explore Microsoft Edge (aka Project Spartan) as well as Cortana quiet a bit, and they are surely plus points. I'll cover those in detail in the next post.
I am liking what Microsoft is doing to Windows. Windows is finally going to be a real platform, worthy for development. That is because every app on the store, EVERY, will run exactly the same on desktop, tablet, laptop, phone and hologram mode. This means developers can submit one piece of code that’ll be cross-platform compatible right out of the box. That also means the that the app on the phone will have all the features the app on the desktop will. And all your favourite mobile apps will work as it is on desktop. Now that is seriously unique to the Windows 10 platform.
What Windows 7 gave to Microsoft, Windows 10 might too. Windows 10 will be a free 1 year upgrade for Windows 8 and 8.1 users. More details on pricing are yet to be released, and we still don’t know when the OS is coming to the public. Whatever it is, the future seems bright for Microsoft.
This is is for article 2 of the Build 2015 trilogy. The next article will be on Edge and Cortana, so do remember to check back soon.
Get Windows 10: https://insider.windows.com/