Windows 10: The New Features

With the release of Windows 10, most users of Windows 7 and 8 have the opportunity to upgrade to the newest iteration of Microsoft’s latest operating system for free. After receiving feedback regarding issues with the initial releases of previous Windows, Windows 10 is off to a better start than its predecessors. Here are a few of the new features that are particular stand outs.

The Return of the Start Menu
After a brief absence in the beginnings of Windows 8, the start menu made a frequently requested return to the operating system in 8.1. Now convinced that the start menu is as universally recognized as it is inherently useful, Microsoft have created a button that combines the functionality of older Windows start menus with the fluidity and modern aesthetics of Windows 8’s application viewer. A single, scrollable column allows for an easy way to search for your programs, while applications are positioned in a place easily accessible and customizable.

Microsoft Edge
Popular opinion regarding the infamous Internet Explorer has always leaned towards the fact that other browsers, namely Firefox and Chrome, are just better. To solidify themselves in the browser department, Microsoft went back to the drawing board and created something a bit more robust. Enter Edge, the evolution of Internet Explorer. Now looking far more sleek and coordinating with the aesthetic of Windows 10, Edge is slowly rolling out with new features such as the ability to write notes on web pages to send to friends, and integration with Cortana. Speaking of Cortana…

Cortana
Microsoft’s answer to the iOS personal assistant Siri is the similar functioning Cortana. Taking its name from an artificial intelligence within the Halo video game series, Cortana’s help is summoned with the command “Hey Cortana” and from there you can search for specific programs, set yourself reminders, store information and many other features. The functionality extends to any other device that uses Windows 10, meaning that any other mobile device running the same operating system can synchronize with your main device.

Restart scheduling
Are you sick of Windows informing you of an upcoming update in 15 minutes that requires a restart? Rejoice! Like the majority of Windows users, your problems should now be eased as Windows 10 brings the option for arranging your own designated time for an update. No more random restarts that you thought you pushed back four hours – now the update will be applied for when you want it to be.

DirectX 12
The latest API (Application Processing Interface) from Microsoft is DirectX 12. Not only does it provide a significant boost to video game performance, it also speeds up any Direct3D apps that are written to DirectX 12 – this is particularly useful for graphical rendering software. Those who are wanting to take advantage of this API will be happy to hear that it’s a significant boost in performance compared to DirectX 11. This API is exclusive to Windows 10 so users of Windows 7 and 8 will be unable to use this application.

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