Yesterday, Microsoft announced its first universal operating system for all devices called Windows 10. All the rumors regarding Windows 9, Windows Threshold etc have been put to rest as Windows 10 is being prepared for launch next year. Microsoft has really adopted the strategy of listening to its customers and implementing those ideas in the final product. We have seen this behavior with Xbox One and now the release of Technical Preview to public reveals a similar strategy. Windows 10 is a mixture of Windows 7 and Windows 8 resulting in a traditional experience of old school desktop interface paired up with the Modern UI. Let us see what advancements Microsoft has made in the new operating system.
Microsoft Windows 10 System Requirements
Microsoft Windows 10 has similar system requirements to Windows 8, which include:
- 1 GHz or more CPU supporting PAE, NX and SSE2
- Memory: 1 GB (32-bit) and 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard Disk: 16 GB (32-bit) and 20 GB (64-bit)
- GPU: DirectX 9 supported GPU with Microsoft WDDM Drivers
Windows 10 does not require a beastly system but users migrating from Windows 7 should take in to the account the support for PAE,NX and SSE2 which was not required for the earlier OS but its compulsory for Windows 8 and above OSes.
Microsoft Windows 10 Features
Microsoft Windows 10 is going to be familiar to users who migrated to Windows 8 from Windows 7 while users who are migrating from Windows XP and 7 might find the changes more interesting. For the first time, Microsoft is building an operating system which will run across a broad range of devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and even Xbox gaming consoles. With one OS for all, the company is also bringing one Store for every device to ensure the uniformity. This will certainly ease up the hard work for developers who spend countless hours to optimize games and apps for different devices. This also means that we might end up enjoying PC games on Xbox or vice versa (still a long shot).
“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead.”
Windows 10 is part of Satya Nadella’s vision as the new CEO of Microsoft and in my opinion this is the right direction for the Redmond giant. The new Windows will also bring a lot of security enhancements to protect users from breach, theft or phishing. During the launch of Windows 10, Terry concentrated more on Windows 7 users who refused to adopt Windows 8 and those users are part of the company’s enterprise clients. There is no denying of the fact that Windows 8’s adoption rate was quite poor but with the one OS vision Microsoft can change that.
Expanded Start Menu
The most important feature of Windows 10 is the Start Menu which was demanded by almost every Windows user since the launch of Windows 8. It is also one of the major reasons that Windows 7 users refused to migrate to the new OS. The new Start Menu includes the traditional elements as well as thew new Modern UI styling. Users can pin Metro apps on the Start Menu while the core functionality remains identical to the traditional Start Menu all of us are used to.
Apps that run in a Window
Windows 8 was designed and optimized for touch-enabled devices including the Metro apps. It was really frustrating for desktop users who are used to navigating with a mouse and a keyboard. Now, Windows 10 will run apps in a window mode allowing users to adjust the size of the app and also minimize and move it anywhere on the desktop.
Personally, I loved the feature of using two apps simultaneously on one desktop and Microsoft has retained the feature with a few enhancements of-course. The new Snap feature allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also make smart suggestions on filling available screen space and show other apps and programs for additional snapping.
New Task view Button
The new Task view button on the task bar is a very handy feature which enables one view for all apps similar to multi-tasking windows of Android and iOS. You can quickly switch between apps with just one touch or click.
One of the most attractive feature of Windows 10 is multiple Virtual Desktops. This enable users to set different virtual desktops for anything. for example – Work, Home, Entertainment, Gaming etc. Users can easily switch between these virtual desktops without disturbing their work flow.
Copy and Paste in Command Prompt
Microsoft also made some minor changes in its Command Prompt. Developers can now use copy and paste keyboard commands which was needed for quite some time. The core functionality is still the same but this new addition was desired by many people.
Many more features are yet to come in the final retail version which will launch sometime next year. For the time being, you can play around with Windows 10 Technical Preview and give your feedback to Microsoft. Head over to http://preview.windows.com/ to download the iso now.
Some Suggestions to Microsoft
In the meantime, I would like to suggest a few ideas to Microsoft for the success of its upcoming OS. The first one would be to design its own Windows based smartphone similar to Google’s Nexus devices in order to build a fan base and increase the adoption rate. At the same time, new Windows based tablets with powerful specifications such as NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoCs and allowing support for technologies such as Game Stream and support for Xbox One controllers will attract more developers and users towards Windows. Lastly, since Windows 10 is going to be an uniform OS across all devices including Xbox then porting some PC exclusive games to Xbox or Xbox exclusive games to PC whill definitely attract many gamers towards the console and Windows as well. I for one would love to get my hands on games such as Forza Horizon 2, Halo, Sunset Overdrive etc on my PC.