This week, just a few months ahead of its two-year anniversary, Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10 Creators Update, bringing loads of new features.
When Windows 10 first launched, I decided to give it a go, figuring it would be a pleasant change from the Macs I had been using for years.
In fact, I like the Windows 10/Surface Book combo better than any of the many MacBooks I’ve ever owned since I went all-Apple around 2008. In many ways, I’m more productive and a much happier computer-user on Windows 10.
Here’s why I like Windows 10 so much, and why I have no plans to go back to Apple’s camp after years of being a Mac guy.
I've been running Windows 10 for most of the past two years, pausing only to go back to my Mac for a few weeks at a time and to compare notes. Now, I'm a huge fan of Microsoft's own Surface hardware, including the Surface Studio PC, a funky tablet/PC hybrid that blows away the iMac.
The first, and biggest, reason to love Windows 10 is Cortana -- the digital assistant that comes with every copy of Windows 10. Not only can Cortana search your files and folders, but she provides a look into your daily calendar and other info when you click.
If you're an Android person, it's like the best parts of Google Now, which present you with the most relevant information from your apps ...
Apple included Siri, its voice assistant, in the most recent version of MacOS Sierra to compete with Cortana on the desktop. But she's pretty limited on the Mac when it comes to things like checking your calendar, and you have to use your voice to talk to her. Meanwhile, Cortana lets you use your keyboard.
There's also a Cortana app for Android and iPhone that can keep all of your information in sync for you across your PC and phone. Installing the Cortana app on Android will also let you send text messages from your PC or tablet.
That update brings some other goodies to Cortana as well, like the ability to remind you of specific information, like a frequent flyer number, on demand. Here, I had previously told Cortana 'remind me that the nuclear launch codes are 12341234,' so when I ask her 'what are the nuclear launch codes ...'
Plus, Cortana is smart enough to read your calendar and remind you of specific things when you're scheduled to meet with different people. It's all pretty great!
Another thing I very much liked about Windows 10 from the get-go was its focus on using a stylus to write, which Microsoft has made a priority with its own Surface devices.
The new Creators Update, which launches on April 11, is bringing nifty new stylus features, like the ability to sketch a route on a map and have it tell you how far the distance is.
Even cooler in the Creators Update is Paint 3D, the biggest change to Microsoft Paint in decades. Now, it turns your 2D doodles into full 3D models. It's super neat.
Beyond the newer stuff, there are some things that Windows has always been good at. For instance, Windows always gets more games than the Mac. 'Overwatch,' the smash hit competitive shooter, isn't on the Mac at all.
The new Windows 10 Creators Update also brings a new feature called 'Game Mode,' which helps your games run smoothly, even if you have other things like your music or messaging apps running in the background.
Windows 10 ups the ante with a sweet Xbox app that lets you stream gameplay from the Xbox One console to your PC or tablet. So a Windows 10 computer lets you play Xbox or PC games from your same chair. Nice.
Windows 10 also packs Windows Hello, which lets you log in to your computer by looking at it, provided your PC's camera supports the feature. It works very well, and no, it can't be fooled by a mask. You can even use it to buy apps from the Windows Store.
But the one thing I might like most of all about Windows 10 is, well, windows. Windows 10 makes it easy to split your screen and manage your apps by dragging them to the sides or corners of your monitor. It makes multitasking a breeze.
Fair is fair, and Windows 10 isn't perfect. It's still Windows, and I've definitely run into little glitches here and there that require a reboot. And the Windows Store app market is still pretty under-stocked, though Windows 10 itself can run any Windows software ever created.
Windows is still Windows, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't run into a few glitches here and there. I've been using an early edition of the Creators Update, and at least once, I've had to restart after my PC crashed. Hopefully, that will be fixed when the final version releases this week.
Meanwhile, Apple is always upgrading the iPad, especially the iPad Pro, to be more laptop-like, bringing it into closer competition with Windows 10. And bringing Siri to the Mac was a huge step in the right direction for Apple.
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