Windows 10 has been released into the wild for a couple months now and many people are still asking if it’s worth the upgrade. The short answer is yes, totally. The long answer is that some of the latest features and additions are extremely useful and make using Windows a much improved experience.
So what exactly is so improved? I’ll start off with the snapping feature, which is my personal favorite upgrade. In the old versions of Windows snapping an open program could be done to the left half, right half, or full screen. If you had multiple monitors it was impossible to drag and snap a program to the corners between the monitors unless you used the Windows key + arrow shortcuts. Well Windows 10 has solved this completely. Snap has been completely revamped and you can snap not only between monitors, but you can snap into quadrants. Windows intelligently splits each monitor into four pieces. Upper and lower right, and upper and lower left. Programs can be snapped into half of the screen or into each individual quarter-screen. This allows you to conveniently multi-task and see everything you are working on.
On the topic of multi-tasking, Windows 10 introduces their new Task View. Operating systems such as different flavors of Linux and MacOS have had their versions of this for a while but I really like Microsoft’s implementation. All you have to do is click the ‘Task View’ icon on the task bar and you are able to switch between three virtual desktops. Each desktop can have its own set of applications running without interfering with another desktop. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can add even more virtual desktops or remove them. Just exercise caution when adding them as each desktop in use will require memory. And one last thing about task view, for all the multi-monitor folks out there, each screen acts its own desktop, and each screen can have virtual desktops. Just to illustrate my point:
- Monitor one can be on desktop two
- Monitor two can be on desktop one
- Monitor three can be on desktop four
Couple this together with the improved snapping feature and suddenly you can have a multi-tasking powerhouse.
Another really cool feature of Windows 10 is Cortana. The name comes from the digital assistant in Microsoft’s award winning Halo game franchise. Cortana uses voice recognition along the lines of Apple’s Siri. The key different is that Cortana is integrated into the desktop environment. Cortana does everything from simple searches, to scheduling appointments and creating reminders and alarms. None of this is particularly revolutionary on its own but having it built into your operating system is really convenient. If this isn’t to your liking, Microsoft has included an option to disable the feature altogether.
To wrap things up I’ll also mention that Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu. I was a bit apprehensive at first as it was not the same start menu that we all were used to in Windows 7 but it has been radically improved. The menu itself is faster and more responsive and more useful in general. You have access to your frequently used apps and programs and you can also pin a few favorite apps to the right side of the menu. This new Start Menu meshes together the appeal of the Windows 7 menu, and the versatility of the Windows 8 Start Screen.
So yes, it is worth it to upgrade to Windows 10. But should you upgrade? That is debatable. Depending on your environment and other factors that may not be in your control such as application compatibility, it may not be the right choice. You should always weigh the options when deciding on a major upgrade. At Palm Beach Software Design, we have the experience to analyze your particular situation. We use our knowledge and expertise of the technology world to help provide you with clear answers and the best solutions.