Back in February, Business Insider’s Steve Kovach declared that after years of being an Apple kind of guy, he was ready to love Microsoft Windows again.
“Even though we’re months away from the final version, Windows 10 already feels seamless, friendly, familiar, and actually kind of fun to use,” he wrote after trying Microsoft’s free Windows 10 preview.
Now, we’re a few months closer to the launch of Windows 10, and the anticipation is building.
In my own tests with Windows 10, there’s a lot to like — I’m still not sure if it will be enough to get me to switch from my own Mac and go Windows full-time, but there’s a lot to like in Windows 10, and the heat is on.
Here are some of the coolest features you should be looking forward to in Windows 10.
Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant (based off the character of the same name from the Halo video game series), has been available for Windows Phone for a while now.
But by building it in to Windows 10, it makes it a lot easier to get answers to simple questions, like 'Hey Cortana, what's the weather today?' from the desktop -- something that Apple's Siri can't do. Plus, since Cortana is coming to iOS and Android phones, too, it's a new way for your Windows computer to play nicely with your existing smartphone, whatever it happens to be.
The worst part about the Windows Phone is its lack of apps. With a new Windows Store in Windows 10, users can buy apps once that work across their computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Microsoft is working to make it as simple as possible for app developers to make the good stuff available on Windows 10.
Windows 10 will let you log in to your computer just by getting a look at your face in the webcam.
It's called 'Windows Hello.'
One of the coolest new features in Windows 10 for smartphones is the ability to actually use a Windows Phone as a full-fledged computer, once you hook it up to a screen.
You can even use a mouse and keyboard, if you're so inclined.
Microsoft Edge is leaner, meaner, and faster than its predecessor, Internet Explorer.
Plus, it adds new features like the ability to scribble on and annotate web pages. You can even save pages for offline reading.
Coming from a Mac, I first thought a touchscreen on a desktop PC would be a novelty.
But I liked that Windows 10 gave me the traditional Windows experience, augmented by the ability to push buttons and rearrange my open windows with a touch -- in conjunction with a touchscreen laptop, of course.
A new Xbox for Windows app lets you play games with friends, view your game clips, and compare scores from your computer.
Cooler still, Microsoft promises you'll be able to stream Xbox One games from the console to a Windows 10 computer.
The new Start Menu is everything I liked about the old one -- quick access to files and settings -- augmented by a very smartphone-like home screen, where I can pin apps and games for quick access.
It's the best of both worlds. And if you don't like it, you can always minimise it down to a start menu that's more Windows 7-esque.
It's hard to get across in a single picture, but Windows 10 is intuitive and comfortable to use, while still working in all kinds of new ideas.
Every app, from videos to music to photos, has been revamped and gussied up for the modern era. I may or may not ever leave my Mac behind, but it's never been more tempting.
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