By Ruben Naicker, Microsoft Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation
The impending release of Windows 10 was officially announced to the public in October 2014. This next-generation Operating System (OS) will feature an updated user experience with enhanced security and management capabilities, which are essential for business users and consumers alike. The release of Windows 10 in 2015 is cause for much excitement, as new features are unveiled that will change the Windows experience forever. So what can we expect from the latest version of this popular OS?
The aim of this new release is to improve the way users work, connect and play, while maintaining a consistent and seamless experience across all Windows-enabled devices that adapts dynamically to the constraints of the device being used. In addition to the announcement of Windows 10, Microsoft has also introduced the Windows Insider Program (WIP). WIP represents the company’s largest open collaborative development effort to change the way Windows is built, developed and delivered to best meet the needs of customers.
Windows 10 is built on these principles, and features enhancements such as enterprise-grade security, identity and information protection features to improve resistance to breaches, theft and phishing. Other enhancements include an expanded start menu, snap enhancements and a new task view button. Windows 10 builds on the touch-optimised functionality of Windows 8, carrying this familiar experience forward while at the same time offering new levels of flexibility to enable users to work the way they want, on the devices of their choice. It is also optimised for mouse and keyboard, with the intelligence to adapt to the device you use. The early technical preview of Windows 10 demonstrates new levels of flexibility, navigation and familiarity through the Windows experience.
The expanded Start menu is one of the key enhancements to Windows 10. The familiar Start menu provides quick one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and includes a new space to personalise the menu with favourite applications (apps), programs, people and websites. Snap enhancements ensure that working with multiple apps is easier and more intuitive, with a new quadrant layout that allows up to four apps to be snapped to the same screen. Windows 10 will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and it will even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps. The new Task view button on the task bar will enable one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
Windows 10 also supports multiple desktops for enhanced productivity. Instead of too many apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, it is now easy to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects — whether for work or personal use. In addition to this, apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximise, minimise and close with a click.
Further to these improvements, security is a key concern with the release of Windows 10, in order to protect users from new cyber-threats in a changing world driven by new business models, cloud adoption, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT). Windows 10 incorporates enhanced features from previous security offerings into the new OS, providing identity, threat and malware protection features built-in; protection that follows data wherever it resides; two-factor authentication that is easy to use and manage; and secure remote access with per-app VPN and enterprise data protection features.
Windows 10 is an exciting fixture on the calendar for 2015, building on Microsoft’s advantage by unifying and delivering the only modern universal app platform and store that scales across a wide array of hardware. It will offer users one consistent experience tailored for each device, which benefits not just developers and hardware makers, but everyone who uses Windows. As the year progresses, we are sure to see more exciting updates as the official, as-yet-undisclosed, launch date draws near.