From a recent review on ""

Windows 10 is shaping up to be the upgrade that many users were hoping for from Windows 8. Not only does it more cleverly integrate the new touchscreen-centric features with the traditional desktop ones, but it also brings a whole host of new features.

Joining the virtual desktops and improved command line that we first got to try back in October 2014, Microsoft has now revealed the final release of Windows 10 will include the search and personal assistant Cortana (that was first introduced on Windows Phone), a new web browser called Spartan, a tablet mode, a new notifications centre and a powerful Xbox app that includes Xbox game streaming and built in game recording.

Although the final Windows 10 release date is still some way away, you can install the Windows 10 Technical Preview to try out many of the new features. In the latest release is Cortana, an improved Start Menu, a basic version of the Xbox app and the notifications centre.

The most obvious thing about Windows 10 is that, yes, the Start Menu is back, and it’s just as welcome as you might expect. The full-screen Start Screen of Windows 8 was a UI design fail of epic proportions and being able to go back to the familiar pop-up menu is so much more efficient.

Of course, it isn’t just that the Start Menu is back. It has also changed. Now the Live Tiles of the Start Screen are embedded within the Start Menu, providing yet another area for shortcuts (along with the taskbar, normal menu items and desktop) to opening your apps. Those Tiles that are actually Live will also show previews of app information, such as a message notification or the day’s weather.

New to this latest release of Windows 10 is that the Start Screen can be made to go full screen. Now this may sound just as bonkers as the Start Screen, but crucially it still functions like the Start Menu so you can still see the task bar, your favourite apps, the power button, search box, etc.

Live Tiles make a bit more sense in this mode, too. Tacked onto the normal size Start Menu they felt a bit token, but in fullscreen mode you can really stretch them out to take full advantage of them being Live. In fact, we'd like to see the option to make them even bigger so you can fill the screen with detailed useful information like weather and news.



Start Menu Fullscreen

You can also just resize the Start Menu to get a similar affect without completely filling the screen.

Also improved in this latest version is that the search bar is now on the taskbar rather than the Start Menu. This makes it more immediately accessible and means you don't have the doubling up of search features like on the previous release.

There are a few things we're still not so keen on, though. You still can't access the Control Panel by default and the power options are at the top of the menu, tucked away between the Live Tiles and user profile button. In fact, it's even worse in fullscreen mode as the power button goes all the way to the top right of the screen!

One of the biggest new additions to Windows 10 is Cortana, which is a glorified voice search and personal assistant. First launched on Windows Phone as a rival to Siri and Google Voice, it provides context aware search and will provide alerts based on things like upcoming world events, appointments in your calendar and what’s happening to the traffic nearby.




It also has quite a powerful casual language recognition system that works great if you’re using voice control. So the user can, for instance, say ‘what’s on TV tonight?’ or ‘am I free on Wednesday?’ and Cortana will respond based on what it knows about you.

 Looks pretty good to this windows 8 hater..  ;)

See you all next time...Pete


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