Windows 10 Review, Part 3 – The house that Jack built

July 10, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Technical Tips, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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As with many trilogies, the exciting bits of my Windows 10 review happened in the middle (A Tale of Two OSes and It was the best of times, it was the worst of times). Although this chapter doesn’t have as many plot holes as my previous posts, or the multiple endings you’d find in a movie like The Return of the King, it’ll probably be more important to your productive life with Windows. Helm, warp one – engage!

Touch, Notifications and General Task Management

Material Design, anyone?

Material Design, anyone?

After initial pokes at providing a touchscreen UI as far back as Windows XP, Microsoft has delivered a mature, functional touch technology in Windows 10. Finally, the OS feels highly responsive, easy to navigate, and most importantly, stable. The taskbar is slightly taller than in Windows 8, to accommodate the tips of chubby man-size fingers like mine. The Aero interface snaps a window into full-screen or half-screen with minimal hair-pulling. And the process of dragging icons around the screen isn’t as choppy as it was in Windows 8 and 8.1.

The news is not 100% good, though. Microsoft left a few issues hanging around. In my test runs, the on-screen keyboard didn’t pop up every time I needed it to. And trying to highlight text with my finger is still reminiscent of playing a microscopic version of Pac-Man™. Overall, the touch technology earns a solid grade of B.

Microsoft has also brought some new features to the table. There is now a notification area for messages and common settings that you can launch from your task bar (even if I can’t get any notifications to show up).

Nothing to see here?

Nothing to see here?

The OS includes support for multiple desktops, reminiscent of Linux and Apple OS, so that you can spread your windows across virtual space more easily.

Too many chefs... I mean, desktops.

Too many chefs… I mean, desktops.

They even threw in a task manager that is less concerned about switching between programs than it is with graphing the overall health of your running system.

Yup, need to get some more memory!

Yup, need to get some more memory!

Release Details

Thanks to a leak from AMD, I can report that we’re expecting this new OS to hit the market by July 2015—just in time for the back-to-school sales! It’s confirmed that you can get the upgrade for free if you’re running Windows 7 or later (but only for the year following Windows 10’s release to market).

In conclusion, I think you’ll definitely want to install this new OS, especially if your need to make your touchscreen more desktop-like productive, but you don’t have to take my word for it!

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