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Microsoft Windows 10 Desktop
Here is the Microsoft Windows 10 Desktop. It looks very much like arnWindows 8 Desktop.
One difference is the “Ask me anything” section of the taskbar–that’s Cortana listening for those magic words: “Hey Cortana!”
You might also notice that there are some Microsoft Office 2013 icons onrnthe taskbar, along with the familiar icon for the Chrome browser. Those wererninstalled on this PC when it was running Windows 8.1, and they were there whenrnWindows 10 finished its install. Windows 10 is basically a Windows Update.
By the way, I’m using an aging HP Pavilion Entertainment notebook PCrn(HP DV7t 1000) for this gallery. Windows 10 runs smoothly albeit a bit slowly.
New smaller Start Menu screen
When you click the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner (or pressrnthe [Windows] key), you’ll see the new smaller Start Menu screen. There arernstill active tiles, but the Start Menu no longer completely covers the desktoprnas it does in Windows 8.
Unless of course you want it to, then you just click the expansion arrowrnto get the full screen.
The general applications that come with Windows, like the photo apprnshown here, have been, for the lack of better word, “tabletized.”rnThis is where you’ll see the blending of desktop and tablet interfaces.
The settings page for the Photo app is an even better example of arntablet friendly interface on the desktop.
I changed the settings to have Cortana call me Mark, but I suppose yourncould choose something more appropriate, like Dr. Evil, if so inclined.
Basic productivity features
As part of the Cortana system, Microsoft is trying to provide some ofrnthe basic productivity features people tend to use on a regular basis. There’srna notebook app, basic email, calendar, and a task list.
Familiar Windows 8 menu
If you right-click on the Windows icon in the corner, you get thernfamiliar Windows 8 menu of system control, setting, and configurationrnapplications.
Windows Update dialog screen
Of course, there’s the familiar Windows Update dialog screen. It looksrna little different, but it still performs the same function.
And Windows Defender is still around to protect us from malware andrnother security problems.
Systems Settings screen
The Systems Settings screen has changed a bit to accommodate the tabletrninterface, but all of the functions are still available.
One significant change in Windows 10 is the increased functionality ofrnthe Action Center, which is now called the Notifications menu. You can see at a glance what updates have been recently applied and get accessrnto useful areas, like system settings, through this feature.
This is a look at the new browser from Microsoft that will come withrnWindows 10. The code name is Project Spartan, but it has already been announcedrnthat the shipping name will be Edge.
Notice the clean, minimalistic look. If you’re not paying attention, yournmay not even notice that you’re in a browser.
The Edge Favorites Bar
The Edge Favorites Bar is more of a Favorites Sidebar. Once again, tornaccommodate fat fingers on a tablet or a smartphone, the bar needs to have somerngirth that’s not necessary on a desktop–a compromise I can live with, Irnthink.
Edge annotation features
As part of its commitment to the theme of collaboration, Microsoft isrnpushing the annotation features of the Edge browser. Using the built-in tools,rnyou can mark up a web page to your heart’s content.
You can make notes for yourself or for your collaborative partners.
You can also cut out sections of a web page you want to highlight andrnshare just that section with friends and colleagues.
Personally, I don’t think I will make much use of these tools, but Irnthink it’s nice to have them available on the rare occasion where it wouldrnprove useful.
There is one new Windows 10 feature that really appeals to me.rnIt’s called Task View, and it’s accessedrnby clicking the icon just right of Cortana on the Task Bar. This feature is thernold [Alt]+[Tab] task switcher on steroids.
One new feature in Task View is the ability to create more than onerndesktop. Now, not only can you switch between running applications, but you canrnalso switch between desktops.
There are also some standard apps that are held over from Windows 8, likernthe Store app. Microsoft would like to have us use the Store much more than wernhave, but the adoption by users has been nominal at best.
There are other apps in the standard set of Windows 10 tile-friendly programs,rnlike the Money application shown here. All of them have the hybridrndesktop/tablet interface. The interface may take some getting used to, but it’s not the worst interface in the world, so give it some time.
Cortana Bing search frustration
One note about Cortana. I was able to talk to Cortana in some fashion,rnbut all she could do was send my uttered phrases to a Bing search. I think shernis just being difficult.
I’m skeptical about the practicality of all voice recognitionrntechnologies, at least when it comes to computing devices. Saying “HeyrnCortana” and then “Nearby Restaurants,” which brings that phrasernto a search engine dialog box, is much less efficient than just typing it. Irnthink we have a long way to go before we can converse with an AI like the Halrn9000, which is a good thing. I’m not looking forward to the day when myrncomputer says those ominous words: “I’m sorry Mark. I can’t do that.”