Been a long hard journey for Microsoft with the release of Windows 8, the OS that was supposed to merge Computers with the tablet world. The idea was there, but the execution not so much.
You could see the potential in what they were trying to do, and it was a bold move. A risky one for sure. They quickly built on their new hybrid system and released Windows 8.1, which improved on a lot of things. It made more sense, touchscreen PC’s benefited from it hugely. Microsoft knew they had to stay up to date as they were losing the race with Apple & Google.
With the release of Android L and Yosemite [Google and Apple’s OS’s]. We saw a connected environment, where Mobile phones, Tablets and computers all talked to each other. Everything in sync. ‘Connected’. That is the future both companies invested heavily in.
Microsoft knew they had to do something, they had to come out with a bang. And they did just that; On the 30th of September, 2014. Windows 10 was announced. A system that has been taken back to basics, merging the best of Windows 7 and 8.1 and adding a whole lot of awesomeness. Now going back to the connected future, Windows 10 will not only be available on Computers, Tablets and Laptops. The Windows Mobile platform and Xbox One will see an update to 10 as well. Just log in with your Microsoft account and all of your information will be accessible from every one of those devices.
So to show off their new system and get it out to people faster, Microsoft released a technical preview of Windows 10. Basically a beta version of their OS. It’s free for all to download and test out. I obviously made the plunge :P.
Now to my quick impression of Windows 10. Currently on the latest Insider preview (Build 10122) which was released around the 3rd week of May. Been using this on my Laptop for 2 days now, and a week on the previous build.
UI: I’m really digging the new dark grey transparent look. The whole OS feels refreshed, everything seems so much more sharper, flatter and Edgier. Even though it does look identical to previous versions, once you actually use Windows 10, you’ll notice those subtle differences which make it a whole lot better. The start menu is back, and beefier than before. It is now merged with Windows 8’s tile menu. So you get the best of both worlds. And when you click on an app, it now opens up in it’s own card style window, giving you greater multitasking control from the previous full-screen view. So rather than the OS feeling disconnected, they’ve done what they always wanted to do, have apps running on the desktop simultaneously. You can however switch modes and get a Tablet UI enabled. This makes the start menu and every app automatically open up in Full Screen. Works really well. Their vision has been realised and it will become even better in the future. Specially with the announcement of iOS & Android app support, where you can basically run those apps on Windows 10 (depending on the devs).
App store has definitely seen a face lift; works better, now that it’s a separate explorer. The UI is clearer and easier to navigate. It’s come a long way since Windows 8 got released, there are tons of apps and most of the major ones from Android / iOS are there as well. So you should be able to find what you’re looking for.Cortana, your new personal assistant. She’s pretty powerful for a new starter. Has the same humorous replies as Siri and gives you detailed explanation to your questions using Bing search, like Google Now. It’s always running on your task-bar and as long as you have a mic + Internet connection you can fire a command with out having to click a button, all you say is ‘hey Cortana’. Pretty cool, works pretty much like Google’s ‘OK Google’ command :).
Performance: In this latest build, I have definitely noticed a performance boost. The previous one was actually a step backwards from 8.1, it lagged / stuttered a lot. But thankfully that was quickly rectified. I’m loving the smooth transitions and animations. Used the new Spartan browser, and it does seem very snappy, definitely looking better than Internet explorer already! xD. Most items opened up instantly, from apps, documents,videos to making quick Cortana voice commands.
Oh yeah, Direct X 12 will be baked into this OS and Microsoft have promised a major graphical improvement. So it’ll be great for gaming! (Have not tested any games).
There’s still a lot of bugs here and there which do make the system glitch at times. But that’s to be expected as it is an Alpha/beta build. I am loving it so far, Microsoft have done an amazing job, this will definitely be a success!