Microsoft Windows 10: What To Expect

Microsoft Launches A New Operating System

In case you didn’t get the memo, Microsoft is preparing to launch the successor to its Windows 8 operating system. Originally announced September 30, 2014, Windows 10 is being hailed as the company’s “most comprehensive platform ever,” which is a pretty bold statement considering the fact Microsoft has released dozens of OS throughout its history. So, what kind of features can you expect to see in Windows 10?


The Start Button Has Returned

Many users have criticized Microsoft for removing the Start button in Windows 8. Normally found at the bottom left-hand corner of the Taskbar, it allows users to access files and folders on the fly. This feature was nixed in Windows 8, however, with Microsoft replacing it with a so-called “start screen.” The good news is that Windows 10 will bring back the Start button, along with a new customizable space for your apps and Windows Tiles.

Adaptive User Interface

The user interface (UI) of Windows 10 will adapt based on the device and input controllers being used. Microsoft says it will contain two separate UI modes: a traditional mouse-and-keyboard mode, and a tablet mode.

Furthermore, Windows 10 will automatically change to the appropriate UI mode thanks to a new feature called Continuum. If you connect a keyboard to your tablet computer, for instance, it will switch to mouse-and-keyboard mode.

Enhanced Security

As an Austin Managed IT Services company, we’re constantly preaching security to Austin businesses.  And while Microsoft didn’t seek our recommendations on Windows 10, we’re glad to see Windows 10 will feature multi-factor authentication technology for enhanced security. Users can even login to their device via face, iris or fingerprint recognition, assuming their device has the necessary hardware to support these features. This should be a welcomed changed from the traditional passwords and PINs.

Windows 10 Data Encryption

Previous versions of Windows, including Windows 7, used BitLocker to encrypt and secure data. The problem with BitLocker, however, is that data is no longer protected once it leaves the device. Windows 10 will fix this issue by maintaining a secure environment in which BitLocker is able to protect data wherever it goes.

“With Windows 10 we are able to provide an additional layer of protection using containers and data separation at the application and file level – enabling protection that follows the data wherever it goes.” explained Jim Alkove, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management.

Runtime-Based Recovery

The recovery function is also being revamped in Windows 10. Rather than using a partitioned drive, it will use runtime system files, preserving any patches and updates that were made while also reducing the space requirements. This eliminates the need for a separate partition drive for recovery files, which is often a pain to create.

Xbox Integration

Microsoft has also said that Windows 10 will be integrated more heavily into its Xbox One gaming system. Users can browse their game library straight from their PC and even access their game DVR.

Automatic File Compression

Windows’ system files can take up a huge chunk of storage space, especially when it’s installed on a tablet as opposed to a desktop or laptop. But Microsoft plans to reduce the storage requirements of Windows 10 by introducing automatic system file compression. All system files pertaining to the OS will be compressed, reducing their total size by roughly 1.5GB for the 32-bit version and 2.6GB of the 64-bit version.

New Web Browser

Windows 10 will come with a new pre-installed web browser called Microsoft Edge. Reports indicate Edge will feature greater integration with other Microsoft tools and services, annotation software, and a rendering engine derived from Trident. Internet Explorer 11 will also come packaged with Windows 10 for “compatibility” purposes.

Release Date

Now for the million-dollar question: when will Windows 10 be released? Microsoft announced earlier this week that it would General Availability (GA) for its new OS would be July 29, 2015, so mark your calendars.

On a side note, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you are currently running either Windows 7 or Windows 8. This deal will only be available for one year, at which point upgrades will cost the normal amount.