Microsoft has launched Windows 10, the latest version of its Windows operating system, to rectify the drawbacks of Windows 8 and make a smooth transition from Windows 7. With Windows 10, Microsoft aims to diminish the undesirable effects on the Windows 8 desktop users caused by the overly emphasized touch-centric Metro User Interface. Now, the front facing user interface in the new operating system, Windows 10, seems to be intended to feel more familiar to Windows 7. Windows 10 offers new features such as a modified Start menu, Task view, Virtual desktops, unified app store, etc.
Since Windows 10 is currently not available for download, we have examined and reviewed the features of Windows 10, and took a close look at how Windows 10 stands in comparison to the previous versions of Windows. If you want, you can know about the features of Windows 10 in detail here.
Windows 10 in-depth review
One feature of Windows 10 which is grabbing most attention is the revived Start menu. The new Start menu of Windows 10 looks like a blend of the Start menu of Window 7 and the Start screen of Windows 8. In Windows 10, the left part of the Start menu has shortcuts to some folders and apps such as Documents, Pictures, PC settings, File Explorer, etc. The power options which includes shut down, restart, and sleep have moved to the top of the Start menu.
Now a customizable region containing the live tiles of Modern Metro apps is added on the right side of the Start menu. It's quite a nice addition to the layout of the Start menu both visually and functionally as it lets you to take a quick look at the status of the apps you are using, for example, you can see the weather forecast at your location, news updates, what's new in the app store, etc.
The Start menu of Windows 10 now features a more powerful search tool at the bottom. Not only it lets you search for local files and apps on your device, it can also be used to search the Windows store and the Internet through the Bing search engine. This feature to search the Internet from the search tool in Start menu is not available in Windows 7 and previous versions. For a detailed comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems, you can see our guide on Windows 7 vs Windows 10.
In Windows 7 and Windows 8, the Snap feature lets you to drag a window towards the left or right border of the screen and position it in such a way that it takes only the half part of the screen. This feature helps you to open and work with two windows at the same time.
In Windows 10, the Snap Assist feature is taken to the next level. Depending on the size of the monitor, it now lets you to snap windows to just a quarter part of the screen, so you can open and work on four applications. Like the Virtual Desktops, the Snap Assist feature aims to improve the multitasking experience of the users.
The Virtual Desktop feature is perhaps one of the most useful features added in Windows 10 for those users who keep multiple file explorer windows open and use many applications at the same time. Virtual Desktops or any similar feature was not available in any previous versions of the Windows operating system.
Virtual Desktops enables you to create multiple desktops to organize your apps and file explorer windows in groups and make your desktop workspace clutter free. You can use virtual desktops to group together apps and files for your work in one desktop and run multimedia apps to watch movies, listen to music, or play games in another desktop.
If you want to know more about Virtual Desktops, you can see our guide on how to use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10.
Windows 8 featured a new Start screen filled with large size colorful live tiles of Metro apps. While this new interface works well on small touch enabled devices such as tablets and smartphones, it was not intuitive at all on laptops and desktops with mouse and keyboards.
To rectify this issue and to improve the user experience on 2-in-1 PCs, convertible laptops, and hybrid devices like Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 comes with a new feature called continuum. Continuum enables Windows 10 to detect when a keyboard is attached to or detached from the device and adapt its interface accordingly to both touch-optimized and non-touch devices.
When the keyboard is detached from a hybrid device, Windows 10 gives you the option to switch to a touch-enabled interface which is appropriate for tablets.
In Windows 8, Microsoft introduced Modern Metro apps, and unlike the normal desktop apps, the Metro apps always opened in full screen mode. The Modern apps cannot be minimized and resized like the desktop apps. The difference between the two system of apps, Modern apps and desktop apps, caused a lot of confusion among the users of Windows 8 and 8.1.
If you want to know how Windows 8.1 stands in comparison with Windows 10, you can see Windows 8.1 vs Windows 10.
Now, in Windows 10, desktop apps and modern apps open in simlar windows with identical options for minimizing, maximizing, closing, or resizing them which allows for a more unified experience. This is one of the most important usability enhancements from Microsoft in Windows 10.
Apart from the user interface and usability improvements in Windows 10, Microsoft has revamped the engine of the operating system. Windows 10 has significantly enhanced startup and shutdown performance when compared to Windows 7. While in comparison to Windows 8 or 8.1, Windows 10 has moderately faster startup and shutdown time. Windows 10 is expected to load even faster on laptops and desktops with solid-state drives (SSD).
In addition the enhanced startup and shutdown performances, Windows 10 has improved multimedia capabilities, better 3D graphics support, and gaming performance. These improvements will give you superior experience while watching movies, playing your favorite games, or working on your 3D modelling program.
Windows 10 will also ships with DirectX 12 which enables full utilization of the modern GPU hardware in all types of Windows 10 devices ranging from tablets and smartphones to laptops, desktops, high-end PCs, and Xbox One.
Windows 10 also features slight improvements in file transfer speeds. The new improved interface shows file transfer rates in real-time in a graphical format. Overall, Windows 10 is less resource intensive, slightly faster than the previous versions, highly responsive to the user's command, and evidently more performant on a modern hardware.
Security and Business features
According to Microsoft, they are concerned about the growing number of security breaches Windows users are experiencing and they want to make their latest operating system, Windows 10, much more capable to resist such breaches. In Windows 10, Microsoft has added a number of new security and enterprise features to make it more secure for both individual and corporate users. Windows 10 includes enterprise grade security, features to protect information and identities, and simplified security management for the modern needs of individuals and enterprise.
The Bitlocker drive encryption which was introduced in Windows 7 is taken to a new level in Windows 10. While Bitlocker only protects your data while it resides on your device, Windows 10 will have an additional layer of security at the file and application level. The new layer of protection is capable to protect your important data even if it moves from your tablet or computer to cloud, a removable USB drive, or email.
To further enhance the resistance to security breaches, theft, and intrusions, Windows 10 has inbuilt support for multi-factor authentication. Windows 10 will also provide companies with more choice, flexibility, and the necessary tools to deliver a much more secured and controlled VPN access.
Windows 10 has many new features for the enterprise such as better Mobile Device Management capabilities, a unified and customizable app store, in-place upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 8, the capability to lock-down mission critical environments to receive only security and critical updates to their systems, etc.