Review by Sunetra Chakravati,9/10/2015 6:59:38 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
highly improved Edge browser | user-friendly interface | consolidated search bar
Cortana needs improvement | Groove Music can't recognise audio drivers | Windows desktop still the same
When Microsoft made the new Windows 10 OS available for free downloads across the world, a lot of us were sceptical about it. With the ghosts of Windows 8 still lurking around and the Internet Explorer as good as dead, we hardly believed Microsoft could bring about the massive change that was needed, and quite so quickly.
Windows 10 came in without much fuss, slowly creeping into millions of PCs and laptops worldwide and is now as simple for us as Windows XP used to be for so many years.
Wondering if the Windows 10 is actually as good as Microsoft has made it out to be, we decided to give the new operating system a rigorous review. This is what we came up with.
When Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft offered to upgrade existing Windows 7 users' devices for £24.99 each. With Windows 10 we expected the same and were hesitant with upgrading to another OS that might bring with it similar issues as Windows 8 did. However, Microsoft announced the Windows 10 upgrade for free and the upload process was smooth and fast. No wonder this turned out to be the fastest upgrade process for any operating system in the world. This made us incredibly happy!
With internet being the soul behind modern devices and our daily life, we decided to see if Microsoft's Edge browser is indeed as good as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. The verdict: it is.
Edge comes with several features like easy zooming, printing and editing functions. If you're stuck on a web page which refuses to follow your commands, you can easily shut down Edge and restart again since the three buttons on the top right are independent of what goes on in the web pages. Starting new tabs, setting bookmarks, pinning websites to the menu, making Web Notes as well as sharing links online are extremely fast and easy to perform.
Even though Bing is the Edge's default search engine, you can switch that easily to Google through the settings option.
In Windows 7, Chrome used to be a major fuel guzzler. After starting up Chrome, we used to notice a significant drop in the PCs speed and performance. With Edge, this is not so, no matter how many tabs you keep open on the browser.
Being Windows loyalists, we would usually open up Internet Explorer only when other browsers couldn't support certain websites. Since we've switched to the Edge, we haven't looked back.
The new Windows Explorer is extremely quick and offers much better access to folders that you visit frequently. You can view stored files more clearly and even third party app functions can be performed by right clicking each file. For example, by selecting a particular file, we can right click and either scan it through the antivirus app or compress it using WinZip.
Explorer also offers access to OneDrive storage and this makes it quite easy for us to move bulky files into the cloud storage to save space.
The Windows 10 start menu looks very similar to a Windows phone home screen, except that it is shaped like a tablet display. By clicking on it, you will be able to view not only installed apps and recently viewed and used files but also quick links to Gmail, Twitter, the Windows Store, live weather, photo gallery and Edge.
Through the start menu, you will also be able to access the Groove Music app, the video app, Xbox, Candy Crush Saga as well as your phone companion.
The latter is a great way to connect with your Android, Windows and iOS phones and exchange files between your PC and you phone.
The new search bar alongside the start menu button is, in our opinion, the best feature of Windows 10. Once you enter a search item, it pulls up results not only from within the PC but also the internet. Using this, finding apps, settings, files and online content is easier than ever.
The taskbar also doesn't seem as cramped as in earlier Windows platforms. Tabs are arranged in the centre as little squares and the text format has been replaced by logos which will help you identify them easily.
Windows 10 has brought in several changes to the way your PC performs, and for the better. Starting-up and shutting down happen in the blink of an eye which kills off a lot of time we would have just spent staring at the screen.
The desktop is the same as in previous Windows platforms, letting you save whatever files you need to access instantly. It also lets you view these files either as small icons or like apps arranged in a box structure.
While Control Panel is no longer a component of the start menu, you can easily access it by typing it on the search bar alongside the start menu button.
Windows 10 has revived Microsoft’s fortunes even as Apple’s MacBooks have been growing in popularity over the years. Several new features like the Edge browser, new start menu and Windows Explorer have so far performed admirably. It seems the ghosts of Windows 8 may have finally been laid to rest. It is a great new leap and we are happy to say that you are safe to upgrade now!