Windows 10 is available since Wednesday. The update is rolling out in waves so not all users can update their Windows 7/8.1 devices via Windows Update at the same time. I wanted to install the update but it wasn’t available over Windows Update so I used the media creation tool from Microsoft. The update worked well and I there were no problems during the update and installation process. I have chosen the option to keep all data from the old OS. This worked well; nothing was missing after the update. Also my first impressions were good. With Windows 10 Microsoft makes a big step into the right direction.
I’ve been using Windows 10 on my Surface 3 for some days now and I want to tell you about my favorite features in this article. Furthermore I will give you some ideas about what Microsoft should optimize in the next updates in my opinion.
1. Task switcher
For switching between your opened tasks you can swipe from the left of the screen or press this button:
All your opened apps, programs and documents will be shown on the task switcher screen. You can easily switch between programs by clicking/touching on the window of the program you want to switch to. In comparison to Windows 8.1 the new task switcher makes it much easier and faster to change between tasks. This feature will help me to swap tasks in a more comfortable way especially when I have many programs opened (which often is the case).
The task switcher works nicely and it is definitely better than in Windows 8.1 but nevertheless there are some things Microsoft could improve in the coming updates. They should build in the possibility to close task shown in the task switcher with a swipe gesture. That would make it even better especially for tablet user.
2. Action Center
The action center on Windows 10 works like the notification center on your phone. Its task is to inform the user about notifications from apps like email and Twitter. Furthermore on the bottom there are quick settings like turning on/off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The action center opens with a swipe from the right or after pressing this button:
In my opinion the action center makes work much easier. Many settings can be reached by only one swipe/click. Furthermore I like to see all my notification in one list. This makes it much easier to manage all the incoming information. Also by that I will never miss a new email for example.
I think it would be quite nice to have the notifications from my phone on my PC. For example when there is a new WhatsApp message on my phone it would be shown on my PC. Maybe this will come in one of the upcoming updates because it would fit well Microsoft’s multi-platform strategy.
3. Alarm and Clock App
The new clock app isn’t one of the biggest new features in Windows 10 but I really like this app because it has many functions. As the name says the app includes alarm clock. This feature works like in Windows 8.1 . But the app has more features: countdown, world clock and stop watch. I’m very happy about this app because now I don’t need 4 apps but only one. So for everyone who is searching for an app with one of these features check out alarm and clock. I’m looking forward to use this app on Windows 10 Mobile because it is an universal app.
4. Tablet Mode
This feature is only interesting for people using a tablet or a 2-in1device. In Windows 8.1 I don’t like that a tablet user needs to go to the desktop sometimes because I think the desktop is something which shouldn’t be on a tablet. Why? The desktop is brilliant to use with a mouse but not by touching on the screen. In Windows 10 Microsoft has recognized their fault and corrected it with the tablet mode. On tablets it is automatically turned on. The user will not the see desktop and all programs will run in full screen mode. Furthermore all swipe gestures are activated like closing a program with a swipe from the top of the screen. The icons on the taskbar are also bigger than in the normal mode. I really like this feature because it makes tablets running Windows more usable. When the user connects a keyboard with the tablet, Windows 10 asks whether it should stay in the tablet mode or change to normal mode.
5. Reading Mode in Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge is the new browser in Windows 10 and replaces the Internet Explorer for most of the users. It is faster and more secure than the Internet Explorer. Edge has many great new features like writing on websites, a build in PDF Viewer and a simple modern design. But my favorite function in Microsoft Edge is the reading mode. On websites with much text this icon is shown in the address bar:
When the reading mode is activated all disturbing elements like advertisements will disappear. This makes it much easier for the user to concentrate on the import information on the website. I have tested this feature on some websites with many ads and other disturbing elements and it works quite well.
Now I have told you about my five favorite Windows 10 features. But there are many other new/improved features and apps. I will give you some examples. The concept of the universal apps is great because I can use apps on a Windows 10 PC in exactly the same way as on a phone running Windows Mobile 10. Another thing I really like is the new Groove Music app. It replaces Xbox Music. Cortana in Windows 10 is also a nice new function.
What are your favorite features and what should Microsoft improve in the upcoming updates? Write it into the comments!