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Windows 10 on the Horizon!

It was just a few months ago we were talking about how stubborn Microsoft was being about Windows 8. The poor user experience and lack of start menu were driving customers away from PCs and Microsoft had stood fast and refused to listen to feedback.

Well, they’re back in the news ‘cap in hand’ and eating humble pie, it seems a 25% down-turn in PC sales is enough to make them listen to customers. The next release of Windows - to be named Windows 10 - is due for release towards the end of 2015. As an MCP, I’m lucky enough to have access to the preview release of Windows 10 and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to Windows 8; They’ve made some fantastic changes, and although there is a long way to go, these first steps are in the right direction.

Firstly and most importantly, the start menu is back and better than ever. A click or tap on the start button brings up a traditional menu to the left of the screen and this gives you quick access to your common programs and files, just like we’re used to in Windows 7 and earlier.

The Modern or Metro user interface from Windows 8.1 has been upgraded and is now called the Continuum interface. I installed Windows 10 on a convertible tablet PC in my workshop, and when I removed the tablet part from the keyboard it automatically jumped into a special Tablet mode making it very easy to navigate between programs, and when I docked the tablet back into its keyboard it all went back to looking like a normal laptop or desktop layout… very clever Microsoft! The designers have put in lots of effort to this interface and it really shows because it’s so easy to use, and feels natural, unlike the clunky ‘corner zones’ from Windows 8.1.

Cortana is a voice-control system that will be integrated with Windows 10 and can also act as a personal assistant. It’s similar to the Siri system on Apple devices, although Cortana is much better than anything I’ve seen before. The voice recognition is superb and picks up all my commands perfectly, even when I tried my best Sean Connery accent. Cortana’s ability far exceeds the Apple and Android rivals and it can do all the basic admin tasks like diary admin and dictation and even responds perfectly to web searching.

So it seems the future for PCs is looking brighter, but if you’re struggling right now with Windows 8 or 8.1 then don’t hesitate to give me a call or email to book in a help visit. There are a few tricks to making the most of Windows 8 and a 1 hour Q&A visit might help get your confidence back

Windows 7 roll-backs are still an option with costs around £100 for the MS license and labour. In stock now: refurbished Vista machines from £120, Windows 7 machines from £150 and Windows 7 Laptops from £180. If you’re considering a new machine then I’d be happy to guide you through the options, there are fantastic deals about with HP Windows 8.1 Towers from £180. At the time of writing this, the best price on McAfee is Argos £15 for single PC or £25 for 3, and best price for Norton is PC World £22 for 3 PCs.

I hope you find this information useful. If you would like to see particular subjects covered then please feel free to ask at www.alfindlay.com.

Al Findlay | Freelance IT & AV Support Consultant | Website design and Hosting | www.AlFindlay.com | 01395 542500

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