aNewDomain — I was one of millions of testers Microsoft relied on over the last nine months in building Windows 10. And it seems the guys in Redmond, Wash., really listened.
Several changes I recommended were implemented, and according to other testers I spoke with, lots of their key changes and additions made it into the final system, too.
The result is Windows 10, an operating system proving to be ultra-speedy, stable, secure and feature-filled. Here are 10 reasons you should upgrade to Windows 10.
1. It’s free.
Windows 10 is a free upgrade for anyone using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 right now. Microsoft says this offer is good for one year, until July 29, 2016. After that, it will cost $119. So why not make the jump now?
2. You’re using Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 right now.
If you are currently using Windows 7 you will gain some speed and security with Windows 10. And if you are a Windows 8 or 8.1 user, you’ll definitely want to update to Windows 10 because it is far superior to Windows 8 in almost every way.
3. The Start Menu is back.
Yes, you heard that right. The Start Menu is back. And it now has colorful Metro tiles in addition to the text menu you once knew and loved. That change may be a bit disconcerting, but never fear: It’s totally customizable.
4. The desktop looks like the one in Windows 7.
When Windows 10 starts, you are immediately presented with a comforting desktop that looks a lot like Windows 7. Although there will be some new things to learn, end users will find that the transition to Windows 10 will be much smoother than the transition to Windows 8. There are no more Charms and no more full-screen apps that are difficult to close.
5. Cortana really is amazing.
Cortana, a voice assistant like Apple’s Siri, is fully integrated into Windows 10. True, you’ll probably find it a little bit difficult to get used to Cortana, but the bumps are worth it. Once you start to ask her questions and she helps you find a few files, you might find it hard to live without her.
6. Windows 10 is super easy to use with a keyboard, mouse and touch screen.
Unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 is easy to use with a keyboard and mouse, or a touchscreen. If your computer has a touchscreen as well as keyboard and mouse, you get the best of both worlds.
7. The new Edge browser is way faster and more secure than Internet Explorer.
The new Edge web browser that comes with Windows 10 is faster and more secure than Internet Explorer. With the Edge you can scribble or write on a web page with your finger or your mouse.
You can also add notes. This is an excellent way to share your thoughts with friends and associates. Edge also gives you the ability to save a web page to read later.
8. File Explorer is better.
The new File Explorer is much improved in Windows 10. Quick Access locations, Recent Places and folders you use frequently are all listed and easy to find.
9. Apps like Mail and Photos are seriously improved.
Mail now supports POP mail accounts and Photos allows you to edit your pictures using cropping, filters, effects, red eye removal and retouching.
10. It makes so much sense as a service.
As a service, Windows 10 will be constantly updated, keeping it more secure and full of new, timely features. My hope is that Microsoft will find some way to notify users of new features as they are released.
You don’t have to rush to get Windows 10, but you will definitely want to take a good look. It’s a great deal better than any Windows upgrade Microsoft has issued since at least Windows 7.
Let me know what you think via email or in the comments below.
All images: Sandy Berger