WINDOOOOOOOOOOOWS TENNNNNNNNNN! Yep. I’m excited for Windows 10 and all the things it will bring to users and developers. If you’ve lived under a rock, Windwos 10 comesout in 8 days on July 29, and is free for anyone with a copy of Windows 7 and 8 and brings a host of awesome with it. Those put off by the Windows 8 start screen will be happy to see a well designed return of the start menu with some start screen style icons for better functionality and less sifting through a giant list of everything on your PC.
To start, it will be a unifying experiences, not just on PC but on Xbox One, Windows Phone and tablets. My favorite part of this is the one app mindset Microsoft is pushing, meaning if you develop an app on PC, it’ll be easily made usable for Phone, Xbox, etc. Until 10, apps are independent of platform, and I think that’s been a HUGE hinderance to the Microsoft ecosystem and why they haven’t been able to grow like iOS and Android. And a small thing related to devs or IT folks, the command prompt will finally join us in 2015 with ability to use keyboard shortcuts like copy and paste. That sounds stupid, but if you know what I’m talking about, you get how great that is.
Then we have Edge, the new IE! Microsoft Edge isn’t Internet Explorer 12, it’s a whole new browser despite the logo being an evolving of the big blue E. Edge is more like Google Chrome, it’s lighter and faster than ever before, and I’ve seen some claiming that’s much faster than any current browser on the market. This marks the beginning of the end of old and out of date IE. While 10 will still come with IE for legacy support of websites, I imagine it won’t take long for a lot of developers to stop supporting it entirely. Governments and big corporations will probably still be running IE 7 though for the foreseeable future because upgrading is too much like actual work. It’s too bad, maybe Cortana will listen to those employees moaning about the terrible out-of-date software when they get home at night.
Wait, Cortana? The blue hologram artificial intelligence companion of Microsoft’s hit Xbox series, Halo? That’s the one! But less represented in a hologram of an attractive woman, and more via a nice voice. Think Siri, now think more awesome than Siri. I haven’t tried Cortana yet, because the idea of trying a beta version through the dev builds of Windows 10 puts me in the position of finding bugs I don’t like and turning off to the feature before she was done. The biggest aspect of Cortana that has me excited is that she’s touted as being a more personal experience than Siri, continuously learning about someone and tailoring her treatment based on their personality. Cortana will function more like a conversation rather than commanding a voice to get information for you. And finally, apps can take advantage of Siri, giving her a depth of function Siri just doesn’t have. Oh, and Microsoft is going to be releasing Cortana apps for both iOS and Android.
Some other features I’m going to just gloss over because they certainly won’t be as widely used: multiple desktops via virtual screens if you don’t have extra monitors (I can totally see having one set for work related tasks and one set for funsies though), task switcher which seems to me like a fancier way of ALT+TAB, and face and voice recognition as security (though a 3d infrared camera is needed for facial recognition). There’s some others, but these are the ones that stand out to me.
Overall, I’m VERY excited about Windows 10 releasing in a week’s time and I’ll be upgrading all my machines to it as soon as I can, you should too! I mean, it is free afterall.