Windows 10 – almost here & a boon for tablet users

We are only a few days away from the release of Windows 10, which as you may know already is a free upgrade for legitimate users of 7 and 8/8.1. So if you have Windows and a proper license for it, the option is there to upgrade for free.

Which might sound scary to those many of you who did not like Windows 8 – but it shouldn’t be. Windows 10 is designed to appeal both to touch users, and those who felt like a more traditional Windows experience (with the start menu for example). Reviews in already suggest that it is a solid operating system, with a great many powerful features.

The first one that everyone is talking about is Cortana and the search function. Cortana is Windows voice personal assistant. Interesting text and voice can be used interchangeably here, and people have suggested that the search features are powerful enough to replace the start menu. Cortana is able to activate program features by voice as well, so you can for example, turn off the Bluetooth, by asking. It seems like Cortana may be every bit as powerful as Microsoft have been promising. And microsoft are releasing Cortana on Android and iOS. Here is a leaked Android APK beta for Cortana.

The second thing people are remarking on is the quick options for multi-tasking. Windows 10 comes with a variety of gestures and a smart interface that enables you to snap windows, or change windows for multi-tasking with ease. Add to this virtual desktops, and Windows 10 is a multi-tasking powerhouse. Even when you switch to tablet mode, Windows will preserve two snapped windows for you, allowing you to do a side by side.

Windows 10 by all reports is faster, and runs games better.

The action center is also a bit of an answer to something android has been doing for awhile, but it’s a little bit more powerful. It replaced the much maligned charms bar in Windows 8.1. As well as allowing you to switch between tablet and desktop mode, activate flight mode and so on, you can add a note in one note, access settings, turn on VPN and a few more. It also features a new quiet hours mode that allows you to banish notifications when you don’t want to be disturbed – in the world we live in, thats a smart feature.

The start button has returned, and it offers a blend of the modern UI, and the traditional Windows 7 start button – making it familiar enough, while preserving touch apps, at a glance news articles and so on.

Windows 10 also offers a new universal app system, that promises to make things easier for developers and increase the number of touch apps on Windows over time. Firstly the apps are designed to essentially run on any device. Secondly there is easy code for importing the apps from android or iOS. And this way, developers can write their code once, or port it once, and never have to design for multiple platforms again. From a developers point of view, this means it will be cheaper and easier. And hopefully that means that Windows 10 will eventually be full of touch apps for everyone to use.

The introduction of the ‘task view’ allows for a preview style task switching method, that is very tablet friendly, but also allows for virtual desktops.

Overall, Windows 10, from early reviews, looks to be the solid new modern OS design that everyone was hoping for. And I think it will be particularly powerful on tablets, hybrids and phones for its ability to bridge the gap between touch and keyboard input.

Many of these features very much needed refining. For example, whilst on android, switching off bluetooth was a two touch operation, it was a further step, and more complex in Windows 8.1. This strong interface optimization will allow Windows 10 to be the first strong, true hybrid OS. And I think we will only see the impact of that user power more as time goes on.

However, one final caveat – an upgrade process will likely not be perfect and need some trouble shooting. It’s quite likely that not everything will work perfectly on the release day of any new OS. If you wish to avoid this possibility, perhaps wait to hear back from other users before making the switch.

BTW, I sell one tablet with Windows 8.1. Using the product key, you should be able to upgrade, to Windows 10 when it comes to the day. And on request I may be able to do that for you, before sending the device out. Because they are dual boot devices however, it is possible you will lose Android (which isn’t so bad, because you also would gain much needed space). When I figure out more about this, I’ll let you all know.