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Mar
11

Windows 7 vs Windows 10: Is it Worth the Upgrade for Everyone?

As an almost lifetime Windows user, I try my best to keep up with the latest operating systems. I started with Windows 98, ran through 2000, enjoyed XP for a long time, and then upgraded to Windows 7. When Windows 8 came out I did my best to ignore it. The Windows 8 interface was clunky, tricky and problematic. I watched a lot of friends struggle with it, and decided to keep Windows 7. Now that Windows 10 is finally out, I find myself wondering is the upgrade really worth it, or should I keep Windows 7?download

I can think of one advantage for a lot of Windows 7 users. Microsoft is offering the upgrade to Windows 10 free for a limited time. After that it will cost you. So if you like free things this might be a good time to take advantage of the upgrade. Another important reason to upgrade is support. Microsoft is famous for dropping support for previous Windows versions when the newest ones come out. This will happen with Windows 7 soon enough, and unless you are a computer whiz you don’t want to be left without technical support.

Another good reason to make the switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is the improvements in performance. Windows 10 will improve several areas of your computer’s performance, like boot time, and gaming performance. Windows 10 has Direct X 12, while Windows 7 users are stuck with Direct X 11. Windows 10 also offers some improvement in the areas of power management, and hardware acceleration, which means you can stay on longer, and it won’t beat on your machine or phone if you do.

There are some other great performance improvements as well. Anyone who has ever tried to find files in Windows Explorer with Windows 7 knows it can be a pain. Windows 10 makes that easier with improvements on some things they tried to introduce with Windows 8. The Share ribbon makes it easier to move files from one place to another, and also makes it easier to add files to things like Skype and Outlook. Windows 10 has also brought back the Up button, which a lot of people loved and missed when it wasn’t included with Windows 7. All the buttons are up in the top ribbon which makes them easier to find when you need them.Windows-10-Preview-Users-Will-Get-RTM-for-Free-484829-2

Those people who have multiple monitors hooked up to their home computer will be happy to learn that Windows 10 has made some improvements on dual screen performance. Sure you can do dual screen with windows 7, but you can only use one background for each screen, and you can’t split certain tasks like slideshows between screens. With Windows 10 splitting things up is now a lot easier, and you can put whatever background you like on each of your displays individually.

Windows 10 has some exciting new features that could make the switch worth your time. With Windows 10 Microsoft has introduced Continuum. Continuum makes it possible for you to run the same version of Windows on all of your computing devices including laptops and smart phones. This is kind of like the one that Apple came out with earlier, but since a lot of Windows users avoid Apple like the plague we are all happy to see this come out in Windows.

And of course we can’t talk about Windows 10 without mentioning Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri. But Cortana is bigger, better and smarter. It does a lot more than Siri does. It can help you organize and find files when you need them. It can help you keep track of appointments on your calendar, and it also improves the search experience by doing it for you. You just type or tell Cortana what you are looking for and it finds it. (Since it’s an app and not a person, I am not going to use the word “she” to describe Cortana.) You can type to access Cortana, or if your computer has a microphone, you can talk to Cortana. The Cortana app also “learns” about you as you use it. It’s easier to use because you don’t have to go through a list of commands to access it, you can use your normal voice as long as it can be picked up by the microphone. You can also ask Cortana questions, and it will find the answers for you if they can be found by searching on the ximg_55ba0fbf3d313.png.pagespeed.ic.DNHz9LWxXeinternet.

Well after the big disappointment that was Windows 8, the people at Microsoft have saved some face with Windows 10. Some people might not like the fact that they look a lot alike, but all the other good things certainly outweigh cosmetic concerns. Windows 10 has retained some of the “flat” look that they introduced with Windows 8, although they did get rid of the garish colors. After a lot of research this author is going to go as far as to recommend you try Windows 10 for yourself. It’s still free until July of 2016, so what do you really have to lose?

 March 11th, 2016  
 Simon  
 OS News  
   
 38 Comments
Mar
03

Windows 10 Mobile – What to Expect

Apple’s stranglehold on mobile operating systems has begun to loosen in the last few years. With Android still appealing to those looking for cheaper smartphones and Microsoft breaking into the mobile market with their Windows phone, it looks as though the tech wars of the 90’s have been reborn. With Windows 10 coming our for mobile, Microsoft seems to be ready to challenge Apple’s dominance in mobile OS. Here are ten things you can expect from Windows latest mobile operating system.454774-windows-phone-10

1. Cross-platform connectivity

Windows 10 is an attempt to interconnect its array of devices using the same apps on desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones and even its Xbox One gaming console. They are even reporting that it will work with the upcoming HoloLens virtual reality device. At MWC 2015, the company announced that any device currently running Windows Phone 8.1 can be upgraded to Phone 10 by December 2015. This also means that you can use any app you download on your phone from any Microsoft device. An app you download from the Windows store will even work on your PC if it has WIndows 10 installed and will sync with all your Windows devices instantly. Microsoft is calling this feature “windows_10_mobile_salesUniversal app”.

2. New OS visual design.

The look of the Windows 10 OS has been dramatically altered. Every page now sports a translucent background which indicates that placing an image for your background will still be visible no matter what content your interacting with without being a distraction.

3.Improved User interface

Windows 10’s settings screen menu resembles a PC menu rather than a mobile OS menu. Also, the new “Download Tank” allows users to access recently downloaded apps with a quick right-swipe. Some may prefer this to feature most often used or favorite apps in this tank not on the home screen, but it’s hard not argue that this is still a step towards streamlining app access instead of scrolling down the app index to the alphabetical location.

4. Updated notifications and saved progress across platforms

This function allows to check alerts on one device and not be reminded to check the same alert on anther device. This interconnectivity even extends to activities started with an app on one device and continuing it with your saved revisions on another Windows device.

5. New Web Browserwindows-10-mobile-06_story

Microsoft that renamed it’s older Internet Explorer browser to Microsoft edge. This latest version of Windows classic web browser promises to be just as customizable and user-friendly as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Browser histories will be save on all devices with Windows 10 install, both desktop and mobile.

6. Improved Personal Assistant

Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, has been upgraded to include better voice command and search responses, more connectivity with other Windows apps and more accurate search results. While initial results showed a slight decrease in voice responsiveness from Windows Phone 8.1, the developers ensure tech journalist reviewing the preliminary models back in the summer of 2015 that it will be up to that previous OS’s standard. Microsoft is also promising that Cortana will also send email via voice command upon Windows 10’s release. Third party apps specifically for Cortana are also currently being developed and could emerge in 2016.

7. New Text Editing tools

The new OS can edit text in the same way as Microsoft Word. This means that you’ll be able to cut, paste, copy, customize text and fonts and sizes in the same manner as you would a Office document.

8. New Task Switcher

Holding the back button will allow access to four different apps in this switcher rather than scrolling sideways between all the apps you’re currently using, creating a smoother experience.

Conclusions

This newest Microsoft mobile OS seems to offer more collaborative functionality, improved design and a mobile experience closer to that off using a desktop PC rather than a typical smartphone or tablet experience. Whether or not this reimagining of Microsoft’s mobile design will succeed commercially may depend on the user’s comfort level. Those with more desktop experience most likely will be relieved to see a smartphone or tablet behaving like the mini-computer it is. But the modern incarnation of the smart device has been a feature in our lives for so long (Apple’s iPhone came out way back in 2007) that users who have grown accustomed to swipes and touch screen controls may see this as more confusing instead of easier to use. It all depends on what you’re used to the most.

 

 March 3rd, 2016  
 Simon  
 Mobile News  
   
 0 Comment