With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft capped a long campaign of re-designing and modernizing the brand. The sleek Metro visuals, the overhaul of the signature Windows Start menu, and the emphasis on touchscreen compatibility put Windows 8 in the tech spotlight in 2012. However, the drastic interface changes which took place in the jump from Windows 7 to Windows 8 led to a mixed critical reception, where the Metro interface was viewed as not entirely necessary, if at all. Inconsistency and clumsiness in Windows 8 was especially apparent on desktop and laptop computers, due to the tablet-tailored interface. Windows 8.1, the first major update to the new OS, brought a number of small changes which worked out some user complaints but did not address everything. Microsoft, in the end, made out worse than it did after the release of Windows Vista.
Three years later, Windows 10, the latest in the Microsoft OS lineup, addresses the concerns and flaws present in earlier iterations of Windows. Offered as a free upgrade to Windows 8 users, Windows 10 feels like an apology, an attempt to fix something which might have shipped too early to be fully realized.
Visually, Windows 10 is very similar to Windows 8.
The Metro design lives on in a simple bold, interface, where corners are clean and square, bright blocks of color are visible everywhere, and drop shadows are done away with entirely. Windows 10 is striking, clean, and efficient. Most OS graphics have been re-drawn from the ground up, including folder icons and program shortcuts – similar to Google’s Material design, the overall impression of the Windows 10 experience is flat and simple. Nothing gets in the way, and everything is where it should be. The Metro Start menu has been toned down considerably, merged perfectly into a quarter-screen popup more like that found in Windows 7 and earlier.
No more full-screen native apps, either: programs are all stored in the Start bar, visible and easily accessible. Also found on the Start bar is a multiple-desktop feature, adding functionality beyond simple screen-snapping. Business and pleasure can be quickly and smoothly switched with two clicks.
The advent of Cortana, the Microsoft answer to Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant, seems ineffectual and forced, and may be one of the few imperfections in Windows 10. Cortana was one of the major selling points of Windows 10, one step closer to an overtly futuristic fully-automated computer environment. It’s certainly a start, but Cortana is not everything it can be, and adds inconsistency to Windows 10.
A disclaimer on the Cortana welcome screen, found in the Start menu, is little more than an agreement for the complete collection of user data at all times and in all contexts. Search history, web history, location data, personal and contact data are all stored to apparently enhance Cortana’s personalized search features. Cortana combines the standard Windows computer search function with a web search, and does not bring anything revolutionary to the OS.
Compared to Windows 8, Windows 10 is an excellent deal on all counts.
Using Windows 10 feels right on both conventional screens and touchscreens, and the implementation of the Metro design is much more natural than it was in Windows 8. Windows 10 is still being offered as a free upgrade to any current user of Windows 8, and is more than recommended as both a patch upon the errors and inconsistencies of Windows 8, and as an operating system in its own right. Microsoft may have jumped the gun on releasing Windows 8, but Windows 10 is here at the right time.
About Author: This article was written by Andy G, a tech geek and Linux guru from Austria. At the present moment he maintains firmware
and driver download website called http://www.helpjet.net/