Microsoft is still recovering from the negative feedback that was widely rightly given to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Windows 8 and 8.1 were designed for desktops, laptops and tablets with touch screens and those of us with normal desktops and laptops had to suffer with an OS that did not suit. Their latest and also last version of Windows (from now on there will only be updates to Windows 10), Windows 10 is launched today and I can confirm that it is a revelation that must be put on your computer.
Having used a desktop that ran Windows XP and then a laptop that used Windows 7, I was spoilt by Microsoft as they were both stable OS’s that hardly crashed and were easy to use. When I had to replace my Windows 7 laptop I could only get a laptop which ran Windows 8 and was then upgraded to Windows 8.1. I was disheartened when the Start button which had been a mainstay since Windows 95 was no longer present in Windows 8. It was kind of brought back in Windows 8.1 but it was still not what I and other users were used to.
Windows 10 which is a free upgrade for users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 brings back the start button and will automatically detect what device it is on and work accordingly. If you have a normal desktop or laptop it will detect this and will not make the big mistake that Windows 8 and 8.1 made. Windows 8 and 8.1 was designed for devices that utilised touch screens and you were stuck with a tile interface. The tile interface is still there but thankfully it is no longer the centre of attention and you can customise how you use Windows and also the tile interface. The tiles interface is now live tiles which is linked online and can tell you the latest news, the weather and also provide updates from your social media accounts. If you get a tweet or a new follower in Twitter you will be informed.
If you had multiple users using a computer, you had to setup multiple user accounts. Windows 10 has made it easier for multiple users, with multiple desktops replacing multiple user accounts. With each desktop you can drag and drop in what folders and software can be accessed. Another bug bear in Windows 8 and 8.1 was that every device was treated exactly the same, resulting in a user of a surface tablet receiving the same user experience as I did on my €450 Toshiba Laptop. Thankfully Windows automatically detects what device you are using and adjusts accordingly. If you have a laptop which has a detachable laptop that you can remove, Windows 10 will detect that the keyboard is removed and transform into Windows 10 touch screen tablet mode.
Microsoft has finally solved the elephant in the room that is Internet Explorer. When Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 4 I attended the Irish launch and I was impressed with it. It blew all its competitors out of the water and there was a bright picture predicted for Internet Explorer. Sadly Microsoft started to rest on their laurels and the team that developed Internet Explorer 4 were moved onto other projects, resulting in future versions of Internet Explorer not cutting the mustard. Their new Edge browser which replaces Internet Explorer is Microsoft finally admitting that they got it wrong with Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Edge has a few new tricks up its sleeve, some of which are borrowed from Apple. Apple introduced the option that allows you to view a web page without any ads, so you just see the text, pictures and any videos that are relevant to what you are reading, and Microsoft have brought this into Edge, giving you a new reading experience. Edge also allows you to bookmark any webpages and pdf files you are viewing so that you can view them offline. This can be very handy if you are on a long haul flight with no access to Wi-Fi.
I can highly recommend downloading Windows 10 but if you are running any legacy programs on your computer, do tests to make sure that they are compatible because when I was previewing Windows 10, Microsoft were not sure if this was possible. Also later this week Irish Tech News will be publishing a quick user guide to Windows 10, which will go through the main features and get you started.