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Windows 10: Our Initial Evaluation

We just installed a test version of Windows 10 on one of our laptops to put it through its paces. Based on first impressions, we like a lot of what we’re seeing – unlike Windows 8.

For our businesses, which need to accommodate a wide range of technical knowledge among their users, getting everyone up to speed will be much faster. While Windows 10 has some features of Windows 8, it has much more in common with Windows 7 and XP.

The new Start menu gets back to the efficiency many users became accustomed to with Windows 7 and XP, beginning with its location at the bottom left corner of the screen. But it will have some of the visual cues from Windows 8 that made that OS more adaptable to tablets and smart phones. You’ll be able to customize the application programs you want to activate from the Start menu by adjusting the size and location of tiles to click and launch. If your computer is set up with a touchscreen, you’ll be able to tap and swipe just like you do on a device. That feature may prove useful for people who go back and forth between computers and devices.

Windows 10 will let you click a button to see all of your open apps and windows, and a black box running along the bottom of the display will prompt you to create a virtual desktop to keep everything you open there as an independent work space. Users who like to run several different types of programs will be able to create separate desktops for each. Business users will be able to create one desktop for specific applications related to one type of business task. Home office users will be able to separate work and personal-use applications, and home users will be able to group all sort of uses such as shopping, entertainment and gaming.

Microsoft will be getting closer to how we work and play in many other areas. It will include Cortana, its virtual assistant, which will be able to run in the background and offer assistance as you browse. That will be more useful on mobile devices, especially if you need something like a review and directions for a restaurant on your browser.

The new Photos app will scan your devices and OneDrive account for photos and arrange them into a giant collection. It will also automatically enhance all of the photos it finds, fixing red-eye and exposure levels if you like. It will be completely optional, and works on raw files, too — if you don’t like a change, you can undo it so you can undo changes without affecting the original file.

These are just some general improvements we like for Windows 10. What are some features or capabilities you’d like to see in the new OS? Let us know by phone – 973-433-6676 – or email. We can see if they’re included and help you access them.

Remember, Microsoft will offer a “free upgrade” from Windows 7 when Windows 10 is released this summer, but as we’ve noted before, the free version is likely intended to get you into a subscription that will automatically update to maintain system performance and security. We can discuss that, too.