Microsoft introduced Windows 10 today. The day has been long awaited by any Windows 8 users hoping the new operating system will resolve some of the problems of its predecessor.
If you’ve been waiting for the latest version of Windows for your small business, here’s an overview of the new system and what it offers.
First, this is a complete update for Windows, available in seven different versions. It covers everyone from individual users to small businesses and large enterprises in 190 countries and 111 languages. Microsoft skipped Windows 9 altogether to avoid any association with Windows 8, as well as it being viewed as an incremental step from 8.1.
If you’re running genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows 8.1 (Update) you qualify for the free upgrade. For everyone else, the Home edition will cost $119 and Pro will set you back $199.
Windows users will likely see a Windows logo near the clock on the right side of their task bar. It’s probably been there for a while. Clicking that will direct users to a place where they can reserve a copy of Windows 10. After July 29, those that clicked to reserve Windows 10 will get a notification when it is ready to be installed.
Return of ‘Start’ Menu and More
Although not necessarily new, the ‘Start’ menu is back, to the delight of many. Additional features include:
- Edge Browser – The browser has been designed from scratch to make the online experience more user friendly. It lets you share webpages, make notes and save with colleagues, friends, or family. And, yes, this means it’s the end of the road for Internet Explorer (at least on devices running the new operating system).
- Cortana – A voice-activated assistant that integrates with Edge and other Windows 10 functions to simplify online search, send email and remember appointments. Small businesses can put Edge and Cortana together for video conferencing, multi-tasking, access apps and collaborate.
- Continuum – A solution that automatically adapts the Windows interface to fit the device being whether it is a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
- Universal Windows Apps – It will work across all devices, giving business persons access no matter how many different smartphones and tablets they have. Windows 10 will come with built-in universal apps for messaging, mail, calendar, people, photos, videos, maps, and music.
- Media – Windows Media Center has been replaced with Groove and Movies & TV as a modified version of Xbox Music.
- Security – New security features include biometric support for facial recognition and fingerprints. A new Passport to login to Websites, networks, and apps without passwords.
Usability is the one word that pops up when you start playing around with Windows 10. Whether it is the Home, Pro or Enterprise edition, individuals and businesses of all sizes should be more efficient with this operating system.
I have been waiting for this for a long time. Let’s hope it is as good as it is supposed to be.