Microsoft Windows 10 : Initial impressions

As Microsoft Windows enters into it’s 10 iteration, we bring you a sneak peak into what major changes you can expect from this most awaited version of Windows. First and foremost, the one change everyone has been looking forward to : The Start menu is back! The layout has changed and while it does take some design cues from Windows 8.1, it is essentially similar in functionality to the older iterations of the start menu. Start The Action Center has also been revamped and now features quick settings, a welcome addition. It also somewhat acts like a notification bar we’ve come to enjoy on modern day smartphones. The icon pack for Windows Apps has also been updated and the new icons feature a new, pleasing 3D look. OneDrive integration is also better than ever. The settings tab is now revamped, featuring better classification of available settings. There’s a new Power Saving Mode too to help extend battery life. ACMoving onto the newly introduced features, we have Cortana, the much awaited Voice assistant, which nicely integrates into the taskbar at the bottom and acts as an ever ready search box where you can find anything ranging from apps to settings and files stored on the computer or search the web. Then there’s the new Task View which shows all the currently running windows on a single screen. CortanaThere’s also the new Quick Access tab on the taskbar which shows all the recently accessed files and folders, make it easier for the user to continue doing whatever they were up to. There is also native support for decompressing ZIP files which is another useful addition. RAR files are not supported however. Direct X 12 support is also built-in, ensuring a smoother gaming experience. TaskView We then move on to Microsoft Edge, which is a new blazing fast web browser introduced in Windows 10 and is already leagues ahead of Internet Explorer. It’s quick to launch and provides a great web browsing experience. Limited availability of extensions and Add-Ons could be an issue however for those who use these too often. Edge As far as media playback os concerned, Windows 10 has you covered. It now natively supports additional formats such as mkv for videos and flac for audio, limiting the need of a third party media playback app. HEVC(x265) videos however are still a no-go. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that Hi-Res Audio upto 24bit/192kHz is now supported out of the box, which is another welcome addition. Settings As far as App compatibility is concerned, so far I couldn’t find a single app which I used on Windows 8.1 that didn’t work on Windows 10. Some people running older machines however may experience problems due to lack of Driver support from their manufacturer, but with Microsoft offering a free upgrade to Windows 10, manufacturers are expected to come around and provide proper Driver updates soon. All things considered, Windows 10 is a great update and one which is bound to change the user experience for good. So grab this update with both hands as soon as it is made available to you!

-Animesh

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