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Windows 10 in 2016

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Windows 10 made its debut to global users in 2015 and has had a mixed review. On the one hand, there were several small introductory glitches, admittedly less so than in Win7 or 8 when they were first released.

Yet on the other side, this upgrade was offered free, for the first time in Microsoft history, and has been seen by many is a welcome amalgamation of Windows 7 and 8. Windows 8 was a new release disaster in my opinion. But not because it didn’t work – I seriously believe that it was ahead of its time.

For example, asking users to consider visual tiles, rather than desktop shortcuts as a normal working process was too unfamiliar for many users. Interestingly, anyone who has watched a child or first time user with Windows 8 (or Windows10) would see an immediate adoption of this way of working as a more efficient method.

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Likewise, the “Search” facility, which allows user access to any application, file or folder on the device, without having to remember exactly where it is on the C: drive, or where the appropriate shortcut has been placed by the user – was a step too far for many regular users – no matter how efficient this was.

Anyway, Windows 10 is here to stay and has been widely adopted in 2016 with now over 400 million devices running it globally. There have been a number of major releases, but each time, Microsoft has shown its commitment to making Windows the operating system of choice, by enabling compatibility with other competing operating systems, as well as ensuring compatibility with new technology that is being released on the market monthly, if not daily.

Apart from that Windows 10 is a much leaner and efficient product than its predecessors, reducing battery power on devices (which allows it to also be used on lower powered devices such as tablets and smartphone, and increasing response times. Anyone using this operating system with an SSD drive, for example, will see boot up times drastically reduced. My laptop boots up within five seconds most of the time.

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Some examples of new technology compatibility include full biometrics functionality, including fingerprint and face recognition options built in. Their 3D builder application which comes as standard allows users to build a 3D object onscreen and have it built and shipped back to them, making great use of the 3d print technology that took the world by storm two years ago.

In their latest update, they have included functionality that changes the way updates are looked for and applied, leading to reduced bandwidth usage and battery drain. Find My Device is another very useful application that enables users to identify the last known position of their device, if lost or stolen, using GPS.

It is very like the technology commonly used to trace stolen phones. You must know that Microsoft also owns Skype and as such, has included Messaging, Phone and Skype Video applications by default in their latest update. Microsoft Edge has replaced the creaking internet Explore series as the default browser, and the ease of use of this application is amazing.

Play around with it and see how quickly you can access your commonly visited websites and favourites or preview them in real time by hovering. And let us not forget Cortana, your online assistant that will chat to you and now even recognize handwritten notes.

Early next year Microsoft will be including some exciting new features. Microsoft plans to put 3D and virtual reality at the heart of Windows 10, as it gets ready for the release of a host of low-cost VR headsets designed to run on its flagship OS. Another development of note is its commitment to Linux users to develop their open source applications on its platform. Wow!

To recap, Windows 10 is here to stay and Microsoft advise that this is their final operating system, There will be no Windows 11 or upwards. The sooner we all start experimenting with it, the more efficient, and I think, pleasantly surprised we will be.

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