Apparently windows can’t count, as the release of Windows 10 follows Windows 8. Sci&Tech writer, Roshni Patel, investigates the highs and lows of the new Operating System.
This month sees the grand unveiling of Windows 10. After many months of rumours and speculation, users hope for an operating system that will replace the confusing and often annoying Windows 8. The name is a leap, as is the operating system, says Microsoft boss, Satya Nadella. He explains that the name ‘Windows 9’ would not fit the new and better designed operating system, describing Windows 10 as “the first step in a new generation of Windows”. But what can users expect from this new operating system?
The return of the sorely missed start menu, for starters. Microsoft have finally listened to the people’s outcry and conceded to ‘take a step backward’ and return a familiar Windows 7-esque start menu. But defiant in their defeat, the designers have opted to increase the width of the old-school start menu to display some of Windows 8’s tiled interface. There is also an added option to fill the screen with tiles in tablet mode, much like the original, tiled ‘metro’ design of Windows 8.
Multiple desktops, a common feature of the Mac OS, have finally been introduced to Windows. This allows users to compartmentalize their work, instead of having lots of files and programs open at once. Many people will find this feature useful in their attempt to multitask and, although it isn’t possible to create an infinite number of desktops, you can regain some measure of control and organisation over files and apps.
For all users of 2-in-1 tablet/laptop combinations, Windows 10 brings a new feature, called continuum. This is an innovative idea of displaying the desktop version of Windows when docked to a keyboard and the touch friendly tablet version when not. It provides an almost effortless transfer between work and play.
The new Windows 10 is a blend of the best and not-so-good parts of all the versions before it. Microsoft hopes this will become the ‘one OS to rule them all’, as it claims to work seamlessly across multiple devices: phones, tablets, desktops and even Xbox. In theory, it should create greater unity between devices and less confusion.
Two years ago, with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft made a radical change hoping to successfully integrate touch screen interfaces with their desktop interface. It is unclear as to whether the new, down-to-earth Windows 10 can convince everyone that Microsoft is still capable of creating products that work. Almost 75% of people still use Windows 7 or earlier models. The pressure is on for them to create a version that organisations and customers can migrate to and adopt with pleasure.
The alpha release is available for all those willing to give Windows 10 a try. The rest of us will have to wait until mid-2015 to see if the fruits of Microsoft’s labour are worth the wait.