Windows 10 - What to expect

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Next week on Wednesday the 29th July 2015, Windows 10 will finally be made available to the general public. If you have reserved a copy using the Get Windows 10 app it will automatically start to download and prompt you to install when ready.

Assuming there are no hiccups and the installs go okay, what can you expect?

First of all, Microsoft have listened and have brought the Start menu back! It'll look a little different to the Start menu in Windows 7, as it now sports the live tiles from the Windows 8 Start Screen which appear on the right hand side of the menu. This should mean a less jarring experience for people used to the Windows desktop.

Microsoft Edge is a new addition. It is a brand new browser for surfing the Internet that is set to replace Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer isn’t going away entirely just yet and is being kept for the time being for compatibility reasons.

Windows 10 allows you to snap up to four apps in place on screen and borrowing from the Linux and Mac worlds, you will also be able to add virtual desktops. Virtual desktops give you additional ways to organise your things. You might have work related stuff open on one desktop, music on another and games on a third.

The Cortana personal assistant is also going to be a part of Windows 10. Similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, Cortana can be asked questions, set reminders and generally do lots of clever things you hadn’t realised you needed doing until it has done them.

Windows 10 follows on from Windows 8 and 8.1 and promises a more seamless experience across 2-in-1 devices (the devices that are both laptops and tablets), with apps that are optimized for both different screen resolutions and touch devices.

Finally (and this is good news for games players) Windows 10 brings the XBox to Windows, allowing you to play games with your XBox friends, record gaming sessions and do all the things you can normally do on an XBox.

If you haven’t reserved a copy of Windows 10 yet, don’t fret. You have a year to claim your free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8, and I am sure you will hear more about it in the coming months.