1. The New Start Menu
Microsoft has (thankfully) returned
the Start menu to the lower left-hand corner of the user interface, and this time, the menu doesn't focus exclusively on desktop apps. There's a host of information that can be found in the Start menu, with Microsoft having added a metro-style dash, which incorporates Windows 8-style tiles into the menu. For those who don't want live tiles, they can be turned off.
2. Windowed Apps
Windows Store apps have been given a refreshed look. Instead of being immediately dumped into a full-screen style app, they will be windowed, offering a mouse-friendly toolbar. These apps will also alter their interface to best fit the size of the user's display.
Some might not be ready to delve into the use of a personal assistant, however, Cortana is really convincing for those on the fence. This is the first time we have seen Cortana on desktop, and it's a very nice addition to the software. Cortana will ask for access to your personal information, after which it will use that information, coupled with cloud-based intelligence, to provide you with the information you seek.
Hello will help users log into their systems without having to type in a password. Instead, users simply sit in front of their computer — and the computer will recognize them and log in. Android has had a similar feature for a number of years now, but Microsoft suggests that its tech is more advanced, with special camera requirements and infrared use. Not many computers can use Hello just yet, but it's sure to appear on more computers as time goes on.
There will certainly be skeptics for any Internet browser from Microsoft – given Internet Explorer's past – but early reviews suggest that Edge is actually a pretty neat browser. It's been completely overhauled, including Cortana support and a note-taking mode that allows users to draw on web pages. It's important to mention that Edge does not support plugins at this time, but the feature is on the way.
6. Action Center
Action Center takes the notification panel in Windows 8.1 to a new level. The Action Center is accessible through a simple swipe from the right of the screen, or by clicking on the Action Center icon in the taskbar. It essentially organizes all notifications from apps and provides access to a number of settings that are often used.
7. Virtual Desktops
Virtual desktops have long been a feature that users have asked for, and at last, Microsoft has answered them with Windows 10
. Virtual desktops basically allow users to organized full-screen apps or other "desktops" as they like, enabling them to switch between these desktops whenever they want.
8. Xbox Streaming
Many Windows users are also Xbox users, making this feature a huge step forward. This is especially important for those with multiple people in one household, as it allows Xbox
players to play even when the TV is in use. The feature is currently still in beta, but it works pretty well over Wi-Fi and allows users to utilize the Xbox USB controller. Users can also record up to two hours of their playing to their computer's hard drive.
One of the biggest features in Windows 10 is Continuum. It allows users to seamlessly utilize devices that have both desktop and tablet modes, without having to change the layout of their desktop. On the Surface Pro 3, disconnecting the keyboard will cause apps and the start menu to go into full-screen mode.
The feature will also allow smartphones to be used as desktop computers when connected to the right display.
10. Core Windows Apps
Maps such as Mail, Calendar, Photos and Maps have all been revamped, and this time around, the apps are good enough that people may actually want to use them. Apart from the new interfaces, the apps also feature Cortana integration, allowing the personal assistant to feed the user information based on their emails and calendar.