Microsoft Unveils Windows 10

The Beast of Redmond goes back to desktop basics.
IN THE W0RLD of desktop operating Systems. Windows XP had one of the longest litespans in the business. Windows 8. not so much. It was little shocking. then, when we started hearing rumors of Windows Ỹ as far back as Christmas of 2013. despite Windows 8 still vvorking out its kinks at the time. In retrospect. it should come as no surprise that Microsott is distancing itsell from Windows 8 by an entire version number, despite the two OSes not being all that different. |You can, in fact. run Windows 10 in VirtualBox just by telling the program that it‘s running Windov/s8.1.l

Given Windows 8’s lack of populanty. it occurred to us that our readers may not even be interested in checking out Win10. since it so closely resembles Win8. So we gave Microsoíts “Technical Previev/” a spin for you. and we now have an after-action report.

Some System icons look diíỉerent, and a few window animations have been altered. as have window border styles here and there. And as youve probably heard. the Start menu is tinally back— not just the Start butlon that we v/ere begrudged in Windows 8.1 aíter a year and haư of having no button at all.

It’s basically the same type ot menu that we ve had since Windows 95; a short list of our most popular programs. a nested menu of all programs we ve installed. and shortcuts to various System tolders. If the Windows 10 installer detects a desktop PC instead of a tablet. it will detault to loading desktop mode instead of the tiled Modern start screen introduced in Windows 8

YouTl also notice a panel of Windows 8-style tiles that s integrated to the right 0< our beloved Start menu. You can resize them. move them. or delete them. If you delete them aU. the panel will collapse. and you‘11 have a conventional-looking Start menu.

Right next to the Starl menu button is a magmtying glass icon. This is a shortcut to Bing that oííers search suggestions as you type, and it also doubles as a search of your Computer.

You can find System settings here. as vvell as locally slorẽd documents, images. and videos. In this version of Windows 10. at least. we didn t come across an option to select a diỉterent search engine.

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To the right of the magniíying glass is an icon that looks like overlapping squares. This Controls your Task View. or Virtual desktops. and simulates having multiple monitors. Clicking the Task View button gives you a small previevv of the contents of each Virtual desktop. and you can add and remove each desktop with a click of 3 button. We vvere able to add up to 10 of these betore the V’ button ran off the side of the screen. Your desktop shortcuts, wallpaper. and taskbar items, however, don t change from one Virtual desktop to the next. so its utility isa bit undervvhelming.

It s not a bad thing to be just a little bít dilíerent from the last operating System. Atter all, Windows 7 ís actually not too different írom the íinal version of Windows Vista. Yet Windows 7 was one of the best-selling operating Systems Microsott has ever produced. A large part of it is perception. Visla evenlually íixed all of its problems, except for the one thing it couldnt fix—being called ‘Windows Vista.” Maybe Microsott can make the Win7 lightning strike tvvice.

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