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Microsoft unveiled its new Operating System, Windows 10, this past week at an exclusive, low key event for about 50 journalists and tech bloggers. The new OS is set to release later next year, but the announcement has come early in an effort to revive some excitement in the desktop OS.  We were able to get our hands on the Technical Preview and took it for a test drive to see what Windows 10 is all about.

More of the Features We Are Used To
The obvious difference between 10 and 8 is the return of the full Start menu that we became so comfortable with up until Windows 8.  Upon first inspection it looks like the Start menu is back, but now they’ve combined the Tiles from Windows 8 into the Start menu also, giving the best of both worlds.  On the left side are the full apps, while on the right are the colourful Windows 8 apps that open in full screen.

Tablet and Desktop Combined
What’s obvious about Windows 10 is that they’re trying to create one universal Operating System that works seamlessly for both desktop users and tablet / phone users. The OS will display differently depending on what device you view it on – familiar Start menu for desktop / tiles for the tablet user.  Some research revealed to us that they’ve even designed the new OS to detect when a keyboard and mouse are connected and display the apps appropriate to the desktop user.

Mission Control for Windows
One of the complaints about Windows 8 was that you didn’t know what apps you had open, with the absence of the task bar. Windows 10 has a feature like OS X’s Mission Control that lets you zoom out and see everything that’s open, then select any app to enter it. You can also have multiple desktop configurations open and switch between them. So if you have two apps on the screen for a particular task, sized just how you want them, and then you change to some other apps, you’ll be able to get back to those first apps easily without having to resize them again. You can navigate through several of these desktop displays at the bottom of the screen.

Should Businesses Consider It?
In our early opinion – yes. The frustration with Windows 8 was its lack of intuitiveness. Windows 10 is clearly a step in the right direction here combining the familiarity of Windows 7 with the stability, reliability and functionality of Windows 8. There should be an immediate increase in productivity.

Why Not Windows 9?
It was worth mentioning this. By all accounts Microsoft is eager to break the chains of the past and create an entirely new experience. Thus they skipped the 9 and went straight to 10 indicating a fresh beginning and not another incremental release.