Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Windows 10: 1 Month On

                        Windows 10 is now on 75 million devices. Is yours one of them?

So, Windows 10 has launched, and chances are that you’ll either have the upgrade by now, or you’re waiting for ‘Service Pack 1’, and for any bugs or compatibility issues to be ironed out. The thing is, of course, that there isn’t going to be a Service Pack 1, and that there’s been very little noise about issues at all. That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but it seems like it’s safe to say that the launch has been a smooth success.

Now that we’ve had a month to play around with the full release, this is a fantastic time to evaluate what the OS is actually like: Does Windows 10 change the way we use our devices? Is Edge really that good? Why do I need multiple desktops?

Well, let’s find out.....

It’s fast.
I’m not the type of person who gets excited when I hear about increased boot times, especially when they’re almost always exaggerated for ‘best case’ scenarios. Saying that, there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of time that it takes for my fairly average laptop to boot up using Windows 10. Considering that Windows 8 was already quite fast, those moving from Windows 7 should notice a big difference.

Like multiple tabs? Meet multiple desktops.
Considering all the fuss that was made about the new Start button, Edge, and all of the other new stuff that comes with Windows 10, it seems like this feature has been a bit overlooked. Initially, I didn’t get much use out of it, and it seemed more gimmicky than anything else. After one month, I feel like multiple desktops could genuinely change the way you manage your tasks. I say this, because it already has for me. If I’m working on multiple projects, say writing this article and working on my novel-in-progress, I’ll dedicate a desktop to each of them. By doing this, desktop number one can have my main novel document open along with the plan and some sketches I’ve made of some characters. Then I move to desktop two and it’s all business, with just this article and some work emails that I have to deal with open in the background. It may sound trivial, but multiple desktops provide a perfect way of organising tasks and dealing with clutter. As someone who habitually has a minimum of 8 tabs open when I’m browsing the internet, being able to have multiple desktops is one of the features I’ve enjoyed using the most.

Tablet mode is clever.
Tablet mode is basically a part of continuum, and is ideal for those who have an all-in-one system, or a tablet connected to a keyboard and mouse. It enables you to switch from the mouse and keyboard side of desktop mode to the tapping and swiping that comes with tablets. This can be automatic, for when you disconnect your keyboard, or you can trigger it manually from the action centre in the task bar. You can tell this has been built into Windows 10 from early on, rather than a vague afterthought: it just works.

Edge is promising.
The first impression most people get is with how quick it is, and despite letting my cache and other temporary files fill over the past month, it’s rarely shown signs of slowing down. ‘Reading Mode’ is also a breath of fresh air. At the click (or tap) of a button it feels like Kindle has come to Windows, as all of the clutter is taken away and text is put in clear chunks. This is particularly beneficial in tablet mode when you don’t have a lot of screen to spare for all of the extra stuff that usually accompanies articles. Looking further forward, it would be nice to have access to the extensions I know and love in Chrome, but this is on the horizon, so it’ll be interesting to see how Edge performs once you’ve got a few (or thirty) extensions running in the background.

The Start button is old and new.
Microsoft have been clever with the Start Button. It’s made a grand return, but there’s a lot of new stuff that comes with it. You have the list of programs or apps that you use on the left, along with quick links to settings, file explorer, and the power button. The tiles from Windows 8 are present on the right of these, but in a much smaller way. I had a play around with it, and, though I was a bit sceptical at first, it didn’t take long until I got a set up that I liked. I now click the start button so see a quick overview of the upcoming weather, and I have a quick link to my email and the MS Office apps below. The start button is so customisable that I can’t imagine there being many people who can’t find a set-up that they like.

Windows 10 has done very well for itself after a month. It’s now running on over 75 million devices, and has received a highly positive reception. There are still some teething issues, but this will always be the case for any major OS release. At this stage, I don’t think the launch can be classed as anything less than a resounding success. Now we can start getting excited about what’s next on the horizon…

Have you got Windows 10 yet? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments section.
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Post by Phil Lamplugh

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