Windows 10's new features

Windows 8 vs Windows 10 comparison: What's the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 8? New features in Windows 10, and why you should upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10

Windows 10 has been officially unleashed on the world. For many people, it is a free upgrade. But should you get it? We compare old and new Windows OSes and explain what is the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 10. It's a Windows 8 vs Windows 10 comparison review.

The Start menu is back – and better than ever

Sleeker, adaptive and more like Windows 7
Yes, the Start menu you know and love is back. After struggling to convince users with the full-screen menu of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has relented. However, this time around, it has made a few welcome changes.
It’s great to see that the Start menu is now transparent and sleeker; it’s a lot easier to navigate when you want to do something quickly. Whereas the original release of Windows 8 hid the Shutdown and Restart controls in a hard-to-find Settings pane – leaving beginners unable to figure out how to turn off or restart their devices – Windows 10 has restored the power button to its rightful place: the bottom of the Start menu.
If you liked the full-screen, tile-based Start menu, it’s still there – for certain devices. Those running Windows 10 on a device with a screen 10in or smaller will only be able to see the Start Menu in full-screen, while hybrid devices such as Microsoft’s Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 will switch between the two depending on whether the OS is running in desktop or tablet mode. If you don’t fall into these camps, you can manually resize it by clicking and dragging the edge of the Start menu.

Improved multitasking

Alt+Tab like never before – and no more full-screen apps

Windows has always been excellent for multitasking, and the introduction of snappable windows in Windows 7 made things even better. With Windows 10, things take another leap forward.
When you snap a window to fill half of the screen in the new OS, your other open windows are arranged into a Task View-like preview; you can easily click on one to make it fill the other side of the screen. You can now have four windows snapped together on one screen, and Windows 10 even suggests apps that work well together with Snap Assist. Handily, it also remembers which apps you tend to combine.
Unlike Windows 8.1, where all apps started in full-screen, apps in Windows 10 start windowed by default. Apps can load directly from desktop, and they behave like any other software – they will even be snapped together through Snap Assist. When Windows 10 is in Desktop mode, each Modern app opens in its own window, alongside your desktop applications. Trying out and playing with apps feels much more breezy and natural, with no need to keep switching between views to multitask.
Windows 10 comes with a suite of native apps for photo, video and music management, as well as maps, contacts, emails and a dedicated calendar app. As with everything Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 10, these apps will look and feel the same no matter what device you use to run them.

Deep-level Cortana integration

Cross-device functionality makes Cortana truly helpful

Cortana made its debut in Windows Phone 8.1, but now the personal assistant is being integrated into all versions of Windows 10.
Cortana is now in full control of Windows’s search functions. Hit the Windows key, start typing and your input is sent to Cortana. In practice, it works just as before – apps and desktop applications appear at the top of the list, and can be launched by simply hitting Return. As Cortana’s capabilities evolve, though, it could end up being more useful than the old Search function.
In Windows 10, it retains its natural language-processing abilities, so you can enter commands such as “What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?” or “Set an alarm for 7pm” – although we’ve found results very hit and miss so far. An optional feature called “Hey Cortana” sets the OS into an always-listening mode, so you don’t even need to click.
Since it works in the cloud, Cortana will sync across all your devices and look at your OneDrive storage, so it will be able to set reminders or find files no matter where you are. It’s also designed to learn what you like over time, offer helpful suggestions or highlight relevant apps. It can also translate documents or speech into 25 languages – handy if you’re a frequent traveller.
Cortana’s final trick could prove very powerful indeed – if app developers take advantage of it. Apps can integrate with Cortana so that specific functions can be accessed by voice control. The built-in apps provide an early example of what’s possible: instruct Cortana to email a friend and the Mail app should pop up with the address field pre-populated.

Microsoft Edge browser

A fast, light, completely reborn web browser from Microsoft

Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s vision of the browser for 2015. Having finally done away with the lumbering beast that was Internet Explorer, Microsoft has built a new, lightweight replacement, almost completely from scratch.
It runs on a new engine called EdgeHTML to ensure speedy web browsing, but it still contains the IE11 engine in case it encounters a website incompatible with its slick, new system. In our tests, it ran the SunSpider gauntlet over twice as fast as Google’s Chrome browser, completing it in 72 milliseconds, compared to Chrome’s 153 milliseconds.
Microsoft has implemented some other handy features. Its Reading Mode can save articles for reading offline on any Windows 10 device; think Pocket and you’ve got the right idea. You can also annotate any web page using text comments or handwritten scribbles, and share your thoughts with friends and colleagues. These annotations and saved pages all sync to OneDrive, so you can access them easily across different devices.
Cortana’s blue circle also appears in Edge. Here, Cortana works in a similar way to the “OK, Google” command. One example seen at a Windows press event pulled through flight details when someone voice-searched in Edge for “Delta”. This should reduce the need for aggressive bookmarking.
Edge also benefits from the sandboxing built into the Universal app framework. As a result, it’s far less vulnerable to hackers and drive-by downloads than Internet Explorer was. So confident is Microsoft in the robustness of its new browser that it’s offering a “bug bounty” of up to $15,000 for anyone who manages to expose a security vulnerability.
Now, if you getting excited with Windows 10, don't be late, here is how to upgrade it!


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