What you need to know about Windows 10

Were you aware that Windows 10 will be publicly available in Q3 of this year? Here's some of the highlights that you can use to help decide if you should make the switch when Windows 10 releases to market.

1. Simplified desktop experience

One of the major points of frustration with Windows 8 was its "metro" user interface, especially for people working with non-touch-enabled devices. Although the interface worked fairly well for people using mobile devices like the Microsoft Surface, other users (read: the vast majority of corporate users) found the interface and its apps frustrating to use. Microsoft had abandoned the familiar "Start" button in use since Windows 95, which turned out to be too steep of a learning curve. Windows 10 smoothes out this curve by re-introducing the "Start" button, albeit with some enhanced features that give it a significant upgrade. Furthermore, this new "Start" button is adaptable to the type of device you're using. For instance, if using a Windows tablet, the "Start" button will be more touch-friendly, whereas if using a traditional keyboard and mouse setup, the "Start" button will be more conducive to traditional input methods.

2. Free

If you are running a device with Windows 7 or later, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for no additional licensing costs for up to a year after Windows 10 is released. This is a fantastic way to immediately start taking advantage of all of the new and exciting features of Windows 10, which are too numerous to be listed here. Here's a nice slideshow of the top features so far.

3. Better sign-in experience

Microsoft recognized that the number of computing devices per user has been on the rise, and also realized that users craved a unified experience across their devices. In an ideal world, this means that the computing experience from my mobile device is similar (or the same as) the experience from my traditional PC. To enable this, Microsoft allowed users to sign into their devices with a "Microsoft Account" and essentially store their computer profile in the cloud.

Although fantastic for consumers, businesses struggled with this, because a "Microsoft Account" is not actually the same as a "Microsoft Office 365" account, meaning that the passwords for these two accounts were not the same. This introduced quite a bit of end-user and IT administrator frustration. HOWEVER, Windows 10 intends to address this problem by allowing users to log into their devices using their Office 365 accounts.

For a little more information, check out Kyle Swanda's post at Authos.net.

 written by: Jake Molko - 5/14/2015