Microsoft has been rolling out Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 7 users since 29 July. Over 75 million PCs have upgraded since the official launch and I had a chance to get a demo a few weeks back.
If you haven’t, check out Windows 10, it is packed with productivity features small businesses and professionals will find useful. Windows 10 looks more like the Windows you remember, so you won’t have a problem adjusting to the new design.
1. Windows 10 just works. There’s not really a learning curve.
Windows 10 experience is so familiar that you will have little to no user training to undertake to move from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. And you get to bring the latest innovation to your existing business PC fleet for free.
Windows 10 is tailored for the broadest range of Windows devices, including PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, Surface Hub, HoloLens and more. There is now just one Windows app store, the Windows Store, for all, unlike Windows 8 which had different app store fronts for different devices. This eliminates previous issues of learning new resources. And you can easily transition to touch interface without sacrificing desktop features.
2. Windows 10 is designed for the way you work.
The user experience begins at the familiar desktop. The Start menu experience of Windows 10 has been expanded to include a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.
And it’s designed to help you work from anywhere, on any device, with a unified user experience. You don’t need to change behaviour and use any specific extra apps to feel secure. The interface is more conducive to productivity.
You can now have access to your content, services and apps across multiple devices. Microsoft’s new generation operation system is designed to adapt to your device. A lot has changed since the launch of Windows 8. The free upgrade represents the most refined version of Windows yet.
For tablet users, the gap between the touch-optimised tablet experience and the mouse and keyboard has now been bridged. This allows new and current apps for run smoothly on both desktops and mobile devices.
3. Cortana: your personal digital assistant.
Cortana is easily one of the best new features of Windows 10. The new digital assistant makes it insanely easy for finding apps, information and search for data on your computer without wasting time. If you are familiar with personal assistants like Google Now and Siri, you will love Cortana.
And the best part is that it is built right into your desktop. While Cortana works with voice commands, you can also type all the commands and you will get the same response. Cortana relies heavily on Microsoft products and services you can use for free. Make the most of them to get the best of Cortana.
These are a few of the many things you can do with Cortana:
1. Quickly save notes and reminders.
2. Cortana uses Bing to provide direct answers to common questions.
3. Locate specific documents on your hard drive.
4. Create, move or show appointments.
5. Set reminders for times, places and people.
6. Launch your favorite programs.
7. Track flights using the flight number and packages using their tracking numbers.
8. Find locations of places nearby.
9. Stay updated on the top news headlines in your selected interests.
10. Show past and current notes.
4. Data protection against modern security threats.
Windows 10 makes it much more difficult for your sensitive data to accidentally or maliciously fall into the wrong hands. Windows 10 provides additional layer of protection using containers and data separation at the application and file level – enabling protection that follows the data wherever it goes.
Whether the data moves from a tablet or PC to a USB drive, email or the cloud – it maintains the same level of protection. User identities for accessing devices, apps and sites improves resistance to breach, theft or phishing.
Windows 10 includes enterprise-grade security, identity and information protection features. With the convergence of the Windows platforms, the unified experience scales across devices. And most importantly the platform delivers one security model. You can focus on your work knowing that your files are safe and secure.
5. OneDrive: file storage and access across multiple devices.
With file allowance of up to 15GB, you can store your files in the cloud and access them anywhere. You can even add an extra 3GB by switching on automatic camera uploads in the mobile app, and an additional 5GB by referring 10 friends, all of which makes it the most generous cloud storage allowance right now.
OneDrive supports Office Online, allowing you to not only store MS Office documents in the cloud, but edit them from your web browser too. And Office 365 shares a common account, which allows file syncing to OneDrive or OneDrive for Business.
Your business can deploy Windows 10 today. The free upgrade offer applies to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Mobile for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. To determine if your fleet is qualified check here.
*Disclosure: Microsoft has a client relationship with AllTopStartups.com .