10 New Features of Windows 10

‘One product family, one platform, one store’ is Microsoft’s new motto. The new operating system will run on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and PCs; it will be intuitive, adapting to users devices to provide a positive cross-platform experience. It will also have a few new or enhanced features to help improve user experience and productivity.

Here’s a quick summary:-

  1. Xbox One – for all those Xbox gamers out there, the new OS has cross platform play – allowing all your favourite games to be stream to other Windows 10 devices!XboxOne integration with Windows 10
  2. Communication – Skype will be installed as default. Every Windows 10 user will have access to messaging, calling and video without much set up. In some respects it is Microsoft answer to Apple’s iMessage service but, with Skype’s ability to work on multi-platforms and operating systems makes it the one to watch communication tool in the next few years. skype windows 10
  3. Welcome back Start Menu – it looks similar to the old start menu but, with some features taken from Windows 8.1 Start Screen like the live resizeable tiles, Microsoft just decided to merge them together. windows10_start-menu
  4. Snap-Assist – Snap feature was in Windows 7 and 8 but, it got a little upgrade in this OS! It has been extended to allow up to 4 windows snapped at a time, you can just drag and drop into position. When you snap a window, the new ‘Snap Assist’ will pop-up and display a thumbnail list of open windows for you to snap. Handy, and great for those larger screens!snap windows 10
  5. Voice Control – Wish you can say commands to your desktop like with your smartphone? Microsoft will bring ‘Cortana’, a voice-controlled digital assistant to desktop computers. Users will be able to search files, launch documents, and send emails, by just providing instructions – making multi-tasking a lot easier.Microsoft Cortana Windows 10
  6. Universal Apps – in line with Microsoft’s vision they will be introducing ‘Universal Apps’, applications that will adapt to different user devices i.e. Office with Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be included in Windows 10 phones.Office Universal App Windows 10
  7. Touch Support for Office Apps – The new releases of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook will have touch functions integrated i.e. Outlook swiping entry to the left equals delete (similar to iOS).Touch Support Office Windows 10
  8. New Browser – aka ‘Project Spartan’ will replace ‘Internet Explorer’; features include PDF support, a mode that improves the design of extensive articles and a note taker, that allows the user to scribble on the page and share it via social networks. Cortana support is also integrated into Project Spartan, allowing it to pull appropriate data together at your command. Project Spartan Windows 10
  9. Notification Centre – Similar to smartphones notifications and alerts will be in a centralised place. Users will just have to click the bottom right of the task bar and all the notifications for apps, new emails to Windows update security alerts will appear.Windows 10-Notification-Center
  10. New Photo App – universal app that will run across the different platforms gathering together all the images, cleverly removing any duplicates and storing it in one place. Auto Enhancement can also be activated, adjusting things like brightness and red eye removal.windows-10-photos-app

Although certain Windows 10 features are not ‘new’ but just tweaks it seems to be a good combination of its predecessors and it is a step in the right direction for Microsoft one platform and product family goal. If you would like more information on Microsoft products, upgrades or our IT services please feel free to contact us.

 

Let’s talk about…Windows 10

It feels like Windows 8 was only just released yesterday but it is nearly time for a new operating system to hit our devices – Windows 10. But, why jump from 8 to 10? Microsoft stated the newest version is so significant that it warrants a ‘10’, differentiating it to mark a ‘new chapter in the history of Windows’. However according to other sources, Microsoft decided to skip Windows 9 because of legacy code from third-party applications –

windows 10Cranbourne said that “early testing revealed just how many third party products had code in the form of Windows 9”, referring to benchmark operating systems Windows 95 and Windows 98. He said: “This was the pragmatic solution to avoid that.”

There was also rumours late 2014 that upgrades for Windows 7 and 8 users will be free. Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems confirmed at an event in January that for the first year after the launch, customers with devices running on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system – for free. However, those on ‘Enterprise’ versions will not be included in this offer.

Details of how this would work has not been released but, it seems that Microsoft has learnt from the previous release of Window 8 – it is not always the case of if we build it, customers will come! By providing incentives for Windows 10 uptake will help Microsoft create demand for suitable applications for the new OS.

The drawbacks of Cloud – Things they don’t tell you!

Cloud Computing - NetshieldCloud computing refers to storing and accessing your data and applications via the internet and not running it from the devices or the business server. It can provide a number of benefits for businesses like flexibility, control costs and mobility but, there are drawbacks too.

Network Connection Reliance

Internet services down? Cloud services will be down too. Slow upload and download connection speeds will also affect how efficiently the cloud service runs. Even if precautions are made to ensure maximum uptime and speeds, there is always a risk.

Costs

Preliminary assessment on cloud applications may appear to be more cost-effective than buying software outright but, detailed comparisons must be made like does the cloud version have the same features and would any missing features concern you? Calculation of the total cost of ownership is necessary, make sure there are cost savings involved both for the short and long-term.

Lack of Support

Cloud-based service providers can be situated anywhere making it difficult sometimes to receive prompt support. So, always check the SLA’s within the contract and check whether their support desk operates during your office hours.

Security ConcernsData Security

All resources and data is access through the internet benefiting flexible workers because they can access all the corporate data that reside in a central location. However, if there are concerns about data being sent across the internet or the organisation need to follow strict data rules then, cloud might not be suitable.

Predicting Costs

This can be positive or negative depending on different variables. For a SME adopting cloud services it turns CapEx into OpEx because it allows companies to pay for software or services on a pay monthly, per user basis rather than buying it outright. However, if the business grows rapidly the monthly incremental costs also increases and eventually may result in the business paying more for cloud services than building a private network. So, always review and evaluate on a regular basis.

Privacy and Data Ownership

We’ve all heard the stories about certain governments requesting access to data from service providers – if this is a concern always best to encrypt your data before moving it to the cloud.

There are also issues surrounding data ownership, the question of whether the data belongs to the individual(s) or company that created and uploaded it or does it belong to the storage provider? Because of this you will often find ‘Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Service Level Agreements’ will vary amongst cloud service providers. Before signing on the dotted line always read and compare in detail, keeping an eye on the ‘Privacy and Data’ ownership information.

Suitability

Cloud computing is not something that will suit every business and as mentioned earlier, it can be more costly than traditional computing, as the bigger the company the bigger the IT requirements are, and the less likely cloud will provide financial advantages. Larger companies may benefit more from building their own private cloud than using a service providers.

It’s not for everyone!!

Cloud will not be the future of all computing, there is still room for a server room and private networks. It is however, great for Startups and SMEs because it flexible and help spread the costs. There are disadvantages that the salesman might not tell you but, it is about weighing up the different options and measuring them against your business IT needs.

For more information on cloud or managed IT services please contact us today.