Author: Tom McClean
Updated: 14 Jul 2016 21:37
This article was migrated from my previous website.
On the 29th of July 2015 Windows 10 will become available to people across the world. It will be a free upgrade to a lot of users, to find out if you are eligible have a look at the handy article below.
Those eligible for the free upgrade will have noticed a new icon appearing in their taskbar over the past month, this was sneaked in via a quiet Windows Update. The new icon and the software behind it do not appear to do a lot at this stage beyond stating that you have "Reserved your copy of Windows 10", however farsical the notion that software is limited in the same way as hardware coming off a production line!
Humourous or not, this software will soon begin downloading Windows 10 in what is expected to be small chunks until we reach the release date, quite an intriguing way to ensure their download servers do not get hammered on day 1.
So the question remains, should you upgrade to Windows 10?, for me a Software Developer in the Microsoft Stack the obvious answer is yes, I have been toying around with the BETA for several months and although it is clearly BETA software and in some cases ridden with bugs; the features being delivered are promising.
Particularly for a heavy user of computers, the ability to have multiple desktops is a very interesting feature to me, this feature has more or less been available in Linux for many years and allows you to create a seperation of concerns while you use your computer. You can create a "Desktop" of your work applications, and another for other purposes, such as Image editing for example.
What the software does is mean that you only see the applications you have open on the current desktop in the task bar and you can easily switch to other desktops, meaning you do not end up appearing to have a shed load of windows open at all times - even if you really do.
Many people are beside themselves with happiness about the "return of the start menu", I am less ecstatic because I adapted to using the full screen menu on Windows 8.1 and don''t really see what it will soon become to be massive improvement, I am not sold on how it looks.
Cortana however is another feature I anticipate being really useful at home, being able to turn your computer on and bark commands at it could be very useful - though I cannot see this being widely adopted in an office environment. Windows 10 is the first desktop based OS to introduce a personal assistant like you might have on your phone, effectively you can talk to it and should it understand what you said; it may end up doing something worthwhile like launching an application or reading back your agenda to you.
Beyond a few new features; more than I have touched on in this article, and the expected performance enhancements to the way the operating system deals with things at a low level, what will be interesting to see play out is the new mechanism for updating the operating system that Microsoft have announced.
Microsoft; now declaring themselves a "Hardware and Services" company is planning to continue rolling out new features even beyond the release date of Windows 10 via Windows Update. What I expect to see is an incremental operating system so what we see on Day 1 will be far different to a year or two down the line. If you are a user who waits for the first service pack before deciding to upgrade - you may want to rethink that option as Service Packs are no longer expected to be released.
There is a lot more to talk about with the upcoming release of Windows 10 but I will leave that to you, I am looking forward to the arrival of this update and will be installing it on my machines on Day 1 providing I encounter no technical problems!
If you do not know much about what is coming, now is the time to find out; there is just 3 weeks before it is being made available. Let me know whether you plan to upgrade to Windows 10 by entering a comment below!