Windows 10 is coming this Summer, and it includes some interesting and worthwhile changes. We believe most users should upgrade. Why?
1. The Start Menu is Back!
One of the design changes that confused people the most was the elimination of the Start menu. Microsoft replaced it with application tiles in Windows 8. Windows 10 will feature a Start menu that looks much the same as the one in Windows 7, along with some enhancements like the ability to resize portions of it, the ability to group Apps, and more.
2. The Upgrade is Free for the First Year
Most home and small business users will be able to upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 at no cost for the first year. Microsoft is also promising to provide security updates and feature upgrades for the “expected life” of devices. We’re not sure what is meant by this exactly, but it appears that if you upgrade for free during the first year, you may get the next 1 or 2 versions of Windows for free as well. Top my recollection, Microsoft has never offered free operating system upgrades before, and I doubt they will be offering them for long.
I wonder if this move is the start of subscription-based Windows software?
You may have seen the ads for Windows Phones that feature Cortana (a software “helper” much like Apple’s Siri). Cortana is designed to help you search for information both on your computer and on the Internet. It goes much further than that though. In the ads, Cortana reminds the user that he should leave now if he is to make it to his appointment on time, and since today is his anniversary, it suggests that he stop along the way for flowers. Presumably, it will locate flower shops along the way and offer to direct him.
Microsoft is releasing a new Internet browser called Spartan. It has cool new features, like the ability to “write and draw” on web pages, and save and share your comments.
5. Automatic Updates and Feature Enhancements
Microsoft will keep Windows up-to-date with security fixes AND feature enhancements. This will help reduce viruses and identity theft, and make sure Windows 10 users have the most current software.
6. Face and Fingerprint Authentication
Windows 8 will offer the ability to use your fingerprint, or your face instead of typing in a password. This feature, along with 2-factor authentication, could revolutionize security! For example, you could register your computer, phone and tablet (factor 1), then register your face, fingerprint or password, (factor 2). Participating software and websites (think Financial institutions, shopping sites, etc.) could require both factors to authenticate you. So your bank could require that you use a known device and your face, fingerprint or password, before allowing access to your online account. Such a system would really increase our safety and security over the current 1-factor systems in use today.
Disclaimer: The above information is believed to be correct, but is subject to change as Microsoft finalizes Windows 10.