Windows 10- By David Lee and Bryan Min
On July 29, 2015, Microsoft released its newest operating system, Windows 10. Microsoft demonstrated its innovation in Windows 10, introducing many great things such as an evolved Start menu and the addition of Cortana, Microsoft’s counterpart to Apple’s Siri. Many are choosing to upgrade because those with an authentic copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8 are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of its release. However, it still is possible to upgrade from a non authentic version, making Windows 10 virtually free for any user. Although Windows 10 has its faults that separate it from an ideal operating system, many, felt that Windows 10 was a breath of fresh air from Windows 8, and it garnered overall positive reviews as a great success.
Using Windows 10:
What makes Windows 10 so different from Windows 8/8.1? There are still a lot of elements from Windows 8 in Windows 10, but many new features have been added. Firstly, the Start menu is different. This feature generated praise from its users, as it was a redesigned version of the old Start menu, including frequently used applications to create an air of familiarity and simply the UI of Windows 10. This was the feature that I appreciated the most. On the bottom of the main page is the taskbar, which can be customized with desired applications. This taskbar is reminiscent of the dock on OS X, in a good way. Another addition to Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s replacement for the ever-so-popular Internet Explorer. Edge has won me over Google Chrome or other Internet browsers because there are so many features that make it actually useful. With any touchscreen computer, notes can be taken and saved directly on the browser instead of opening another application to take notes. Every new tab opened pops up a newsfeed and, while I personally like to read the articles, this feature can be turned off if desired. Hovering over the tabs on Edge opens a small preview of the webpage, which is a small addition that’s really helpful for people that like to have multiple tabs open, like myself.
On the right side of the screen is a notification widget. In it are any notifications the computer may receive, but in a new addition are a few other quick settings for Wifi, bluetooth, airplane mode, and other connectivity adjustments. I find it useful, but maybe customizing these quick settings would become handy. Another new feature is the addition of Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft’s voice command system and she is useful in some ways like setting a reminder, searching for restaurants, fetching the day’s top headlines, and much more. In essence, Cortana is Microsoft’s counterpart to Apple’s assistant, Siri. Cortana is useful, but at the time voice command technology is not prominent enough to warrant use. It is, still, a pretty nifty feature to be able to talk to my laptop. Overall, Cortana is a helpful feature, but not a necessary one.
In its previous update Microsoft insisted on a password for all its users, and the same is true for Windows 10. However, there are now more options for safeguarding data. Users now have the option to instead create a 4-digit PIN, making unlocking the computer as simple as unlocking a phone or using a credit card. Microsoft's third and most interesting method of security, is Hello. Hello uses biometric security to lock computers. Using either a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition, Hello can and will log a user in automatically. Although Hello was heavily advertised by Microsoft, barely any computers can take advantage of it. Fingerprint scanners and depth cameras on computers are rare, and definitely weren’t on my laptop. But still, Hello is well-received throughout the Internet, and I like the direction that Microsoft is going with this.
Windows 10 is slightly more power efficient. It gave me an extra one hour of battery life, RAM and CPU usage were reduced, and the powerful interface minimized the energy usage of other apps. I was surprised to see that the upgraded operating system actually saved battery life, and in this aspect it was nice to see Microsoft innovate their operating system without sacrificing power efficiency. Moreover, Microsoft catered more to those that wanted better multitasking. Resizing multiple apps on the same screen is made much easier now, with easier and automatic resizing of apps to ensure that no blank space is unused. Microsoft added its own version of a task switcher, a feature that was previously exclusive to Apple computers. Microsoft also added an improved photo app, boasting a cleaner interface and automatic creation of albums. Other apps that can be downloaded at the Windows app store, called just Store by Microsoft, are not as plentiful yet. With my upgrade, Microsoft Office didn’t come automatically installed and I had to go on the app store to download them. Another thing I noticed about the app store was that the store wasn’t encouraging me to update my apps like others do. I had to manually look through my downloads and manually update everything, and I can see this leading to some outdated apps in the future.
Opinions on Windows 10
I enjoyed that Windows 10 gave a fresh feel for the Windows OS. Moreover, it was nice having new updates while still keeping the older computers up and running. Microsoft planned to have Windows 10 as an operating system that will keep on updating; so rather than rolling out new operating systems, Microsoft will continue to add updates to Windows 10. Cortana was also a nice addition to the task bar, and the Start page is now back to the left-hand corner instead of the full screen allowing for more control overall. Windows 10 finally made the right move, by combining what everybody liked by combining the positives of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to create an OS that is appealing for everybody.
However, Windows 10 isn’t free of its flaws. While adding many new features, it also got rid of some old ones, like Windows Media Player or classic games like Minesweeper and Solitaire, as well as useful desktop gadgets like clock and weather. While these are minor changes and have other substitutes, I was still a little sad to see them go. Also, Windows 10 users have to update their computers every two weeks because the operating system can’t identify the components in the computer and all drivers has to be updated, which is most likely going to prove to be quite annoying.
Despite its flaws, I believe that Windows 10 truly is a breath of fresh air for the struggles faced in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and I believe that Windows 10 is an overall success.