3aIT Blog

The new version of Microsoft's Windows operating system is now rolling out onto PCs, mobiles and tablets round the world. As has been widely publicised in the lead up to this launch, this upgrade is being made available for free to Windows 7 & 8 users for the first year.

One of the main objectives for Microsoft for this version of Windows is to convince everyone that had been avoiding Windows 8 due to some often unpopular changes that it's now safe to upgrade. One of the main changes Windows 8 users will notice is that the Start Menu has now reverted in design to a style much closer to the "classic" version in Windows 7, albeit with a few Windows 8 flourishes still evident.

Another of the trumpeted features is the voice-controlled "Cortana". This takes it's cue from Apple's "Siri", allowing you to voice various commands such as internet searches and playing music, rather than having to click / touch to achieve this.

Another feature that will be familiar to iPhone users is "Windows Hello" which allows fingerprints and facial recognition to be used to unlock devices.

Windows 10 also sees the beginning of the end for Internet Explorer. While it is still included for legacy reasons to connect to old web systems that rely on it, for all other situations, Microsoft is hoping you'll use the new "Edge" browser which ditches a lot of the cruft that Internet Explorer has accumulated over the years.

Microsoft has announced that this will be the "last version of Windows", and that future updates will be smaller and more frequent - again, another idea borrowed from Apple.

For our part, we will shortly testing the operating system and working out whether it's ready to roll out across our clients' networks. In general, we'd recommend delaying your install for a couple of months at least to let the dust settle and to give time from the inital bugs to be ironed out.