Tech Tips

Windows 10: The Awesome and the Annoying

After the anticlimax that was Windows 8, Windows 10 feels like a fresh breeze to weary users. Of course, it leaves everyone wondering where Windows 9 went─ but according to Microsoft, the leap forward from 8.1 is so impressive, it deserves a bigger number. You decide, after checking out these new features of Windows 10.

Return of the Start Menu

Fans of the classic Start Menu can start their happy dance, because the Start Menu comes back in Windows 10. With its new tile-based format, you can customize it to include only what you want to see. Just click Settings, then Personalization to change sizes, tweak the live tile option, or disable items.

Re-Introducing Cortana

Cortana made her first appearance on the Windows Phone 8.1. She steps out again in Windows 10, tapping into personal data and Bing search power to unearth almost any bit of information you need. Whether you enter a text command or give orders vocally, Cortana acquiesces by quickly accessing your files, playing your music, creating alarms and reminders, or adding a bit of humor to your day with a cool one-liner.

Life on the Edge

Edge─ it’s your new favorite browser. Try out the Reading View, which lets you tuck interesting blogs or articles into your Reading List app, or enjoy Cortana’s helpful participation as you look through maps or Yelp reviews. The browser lets you take a screenshot, draw on it via digital ink, and share it with friends. Edge sets the bar for sleek, speedy web surfing.

Hello, World

Want better security in an increasingly dangerous cyber-world? You’ll like Windows Hello, which allows you to implement biometric security for your machine. Use your iris, fingerprint, or face to create an easy yet ultra-secure login option. For applications that do require passwords, Windows Passport recalls and protects that information for you.

The Absence of Apps

What’s annoying about Windows 10? The Mail app and the Calendar app are simply functional─ not as in-depth and attractive as Microsoft’s Outlook for iPhone. Microsoft Paint, a staple of the Windows OS, lacks an update and doesn’t improve the photo-editing experience. A few other favorite apps, like Steam, Facebook, Spotify, or Twitter, either fail to make an appearance or fail to impress. However, for users who don’t get their apps from the Windows Store anyway, this downside isn’t likely to be a dealbreaker.

Game On!

Windows 10 has good news for gamers─ a feature that allows users to stream games from a console to various Windows 10 devices. The Wi-Fi streaming option lets you enjoy the same game on more than one device, which also means that your Xbox Live online gaming party is so on, no matter which device you decide to use.

Whether you’re gaming, working, or web-surfing, there’s something to like about Windows 10. At the very least, it far outstrips its predecessor for sheer user-friendliness. Whip out your copy, install it, and prepare to be impressed.

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon has been writing on tech and malware subjects for 6 years and has been working in the internet and tech industry for over 15 years. He currently lives in Southern California.

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