Microsoft launches Windows 10 with an eye on mobile market

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Windows 10.

If Windows 8 was like covering a colonial mansion with a Bauhaus exterior, Windows 10 is more like modernizing a colonial mansion while maintaining its classic, comfortable appeal, and adding the latest in modern materials.There was a time not so long ago when the release of a new Windows operating system was greeted with general fanfare and more than a little consumer excitement. Microsoft went wrong with Windows 8/8.1, and the all-new Windows 10 shows how the company gracefully accepted the mistake and made the right amendments. The OS includes a host of new capabilities, such as the Cortana voice assistant, much faster startup, virtual desktops, touch capability, lightweight Office apps, a notification center, and even a new Web browser that’s faster and more compatible than anything we’ve seen from Microsoft before.

Add to this the fact that Microsoft has emulated Apple’s free OS update strategy by making the upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 free, and the Windows 10 recipe seems destined for massive adoption. The move to address that, Windows 8, wasn’t quite as successful as Microsoft would have hoped, and the company learned a valuable lesson as a result: never mess with the Start menu.

People can adapt to change over time, but try too much too quickly and there’s a high chance you’ll come off the worse in the ensuing battle. remember the time lots of users asked for the Desktop to become an app? A little bit of back tracking and a lot of rethinking later and we’ve come to Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system that has been released in 190 countries. In fact, there’s no more Patch Tuesday with Windows 10, and for most people automatic updates will be switched on by default, which has caused some consternation, but seems like a good thing as far as security goes. However, it still needs some fixes. ” Unlike Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge isn’t stable – the browser crashes pretty often, and you’ll see that the browser freezes every now and then.

The software is available to most individuals in just two editions: Home and Pro (with 32-bit and 64-bit options for each), but all of the major features appear in both. Instead of expecting normal users to know they could just start typing anywhere on their home screens to search, Microsoft has provided Cortana as a visual cue. Unsurprisingly, if you update from Home levels of Windows 7 or 8, you’ll get Windows 10 Home, and if you update from the professional versions of 7 or 8, you’ll get Pro. But by clicking on a “My Stuff” tab that pops up at the bottom of the Cortana pane once a user starts typing a query, users can refine their results to local or Web,” Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet writes. “Her desktop incarnation isn’t tremendously different. If you’re a DIY PC builder, you can buy installation software on USB sticks for the same prices of previous Windows versions, $119.99 for Home and $199.99 for Pro.

The Pro version has business-level security, group policy management and remote login features, but neither version will allow you to play DVD movies natively. The biggest practical change I noticed is that in Windows 10 she supports the “Hey Cortana” feature on any system with a microphone—you can get her attention and give her commands at any time, just by saying “Hey Cortana.” This is only available on a limited number of phone models,” ArsTechnica writes. You have until July 29, 2016 to make the move. (Brand new PCs will, of course, ship with the new OS in place.) The icon launches a program that checks your system and software for compatibility, and you’re notified when the update is ready to install.

Be patient, because delivering an update to potentially a billion computers doesn’t happen instantly; it may be a few weeks before your copy is delivered. That means 1 gigahertz or faster processor, 1 gigabyte or RAM and 16 gigabytes of hard drive space for the 32-bit version or twice the RAM and hard drive space for the 64-bit version.You’ll also need a graphics card and monitor capable of displaying at least 800 x 600 resolution. The new software is designed to recognise the type of device you are using, such as whether it has a keyboard attached, and it will adjust things accordingly. If you’re a PC veteran, then you’ll recognize Windows 10: It’s pretty much Windows 7, with Cortana, nicer typography, and a few new features.” Re/code’s Walt Mossberg states, “I regard Windows 10 as a solid, evolutionary operating system that’s likely to be a good bet for people who like Windows. And when the screen size is smaller it also displays things appropriately, to make sure you aren’t peering at a tiny app on a big screen and vice versa.

It lets the operating system play to the strengths of the hardware it’s running on, even as that hardware changes.” Talking about security, he further adds, “The Hello feature supports three kinds of biometrics: fingerprint, facial recognition, and iris scanning. Windows 10 continues this simplicity and clarity, and there’s no better place to see it than in the new Settings app: There are still two settings dialogs: The traditional desktop Control Panel and this new Settings app, but most users will find that this newer tool serves all their needs, while power users will want the detailed options in the Control Panel. This would pose an issue when trying to lock the computer—it would unlock from recognizing your face as soon as you locked it—but Microsoft has noticed that issue, and so there’s a short timeout period after locking the machine during which Hello can’t unlock it.” Looks like, Microsoft has done everything to bring back the familiar Windows feel that people love, and also combine it with new elements of its last and not-so-loved Windows 8 version.

Anyway, what really matters is that you’ll probably want the 64-bit version unless you have much older hardware or are planning to run ancient software on your Windows 10 machine According to Microsoft there are about 2,000 devices or configurations being tested for Windows 10, but the list of devices include raspberry Pi, Xbox One and HoloLens, Microsoft’s holographic computer system. These serve a few purposes: They can give more prominence to your most-used apps and programs (yes, tiles can run traditional desktop applications as well as modern, touch-centric apps). Instead of the staid, boring Start menu of Pre-Wi ndows 8 software, or the slight-step-too-far Start screen of Windows 8, you get something somewhere in the middle. Cortana will remember your preferences and past queries across different Windows 10 devices, using your login information as her guide, and even across mobile devices such as Android phones. There’s also Microsoft Edge, the new browser that promises to be more intuitive, lightweight and a more than worthy replacement for Internet Explorer.

If you tap the Cortana circle icon, you’ll see your Daily Glance, showing weather, sports scores, and news headlines she’s determined to be of interest to you. Cortana’s personality extends to levity: You can say “Hey Cortana, tell me a joke,” and she’ll respond with one from her extensive repertoire ranging from pretty corny to fairly droll. The Windows Insider programme has been testing Windows 10 for some time, with ordinary users signing up to run the beta software, so it’s reasonably safe to assume that the final product is a stable version. Windows 8 had notifications, but they were ephemeral—if you missed one, whether it was a Facebook message or a severe weather alert, it was gone after a brief appearance.

For example, if you use the Facebook app rather than going to the Facebook Web site, you can see notifications for new messages and you can send sharable content via the app. Windows 10 apps are Universal, meaning they can run on desktops, tablets, phones, and eventually on the Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens reality-augmentation 3D headset. Underneath these apps is Windows 10’s OneCore platform, a common base that underlies all these device types and allows not only apps, but also device drivers, to work with them. In using PCs with touch screens for the past year or so, I’ve gotten to the point of trying to tap my old, work-issued ThinkPad’s screen out of habit from using a Surface Pro 3and a Lenovo Horizon 2s all-in-one PC.

He also noted that when Windows 8 shipped, only 4 percent of PCs on the market had touch input capability, where today that number has gone up to 25 percent. When Windows 10 hits smartphones, Continuum will enable users to plug their phones into large screens and connect keyboards for a desktop-like experience.

Part of the problem was that it enabled new Web capabilities that actually made the modern, interactive Web possible—Ajax, DHTML, and ActiveX—but those same capabilities enabled malware-producing hackers. Microsoft fell behind the curve with IE, while Firefox and later Chrome innovated, and even with big improvements to IE in recent years, it’s time to go has come. There’s still work to do, however: Edge gets 402 points on the HTML5Test.com test compared with 526 for Chrome and 467 for Firefox out of a possible 555 points. The first is becoming more and more important in this day of overwhelming on-page popup ads on news and information sites (present company not excepted), letting you simply read the main article while still seeing photos and videos that are part of it. One of the best things about Edge is simply that there’s only one of it: Windows 8.x offered two flavors with very different interfaces, the standard desktop version and a touch-optimized one.

While Edge works okay with touch, the Windows 8.1 browser was actually better suited to tablets, with swiping to go back and forward in navigation, and bigger, more touchable tab tiles. Not only do you get the modern information apps that came with Windows 8.x—Maps, Money, News, Sports, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, and so on—but you get Microsoft Office. The same holds for the included Mail app (which is called Outlook on the mobile version of Windows 10); it’s perfectly functional, but misses some of the niceties in the Office 365 version.

You still get lots of utility-type apps, too: a scanning app, alarms, calendar, calculator, reader (for viewing PDFs and several other document formats), and voice recorder. The new app lets you organize your photos into albums, apply fixes like red-eye correction, lighting, and color, and effects like selective focus and Instagram-like filters. While OneDrive does a great job syncing Office documents and personalization settings and Skype is a very rich communication tool, there’s still some work for Microsoft to do in integrating them with Windows 10—work that I have no doubt of happening over the next few months.

For example, when using the Photos app, you can tap the Share icon to send selected images to Mail, Facebook, Twitter, or any other app that accepts sharing of that file type—but not to OneDrive. This needs to get to the level of Apple’s Messaging capability in OS X’s Notification panel, which lets you directly reply to messages inside the panel.

They are different offerings however, with Skype being a full VoIP solution, while the Mac is just hooking into the iPhone’s mobile connection via Wi-Fi. While maintaining support for Active Directory and System Center, Windows 10 adds new mobile device management (MDM) capabilities, mobile data protection, and simplified deployment options.

According to PCMag security expert Neil Rubenking, Edge “eliminates many IE features that made the previous browser so prone to exploitation.” Eliminating ActiveX or Java, toolbars, or browser helper objects reduces the browser’s attack surface significantly.

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