9 Windows 10 Features Your Business Will Love
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably aware that Microsoft have taken off the wrapper and given the world a preview of their next Windows operating system. This preview took everyone by surprise when they announced their new OS as Windows 10, not Windows 9 – oh, and that it’s currently open for public beta testing, and will be available to users of Windows 8.1 and 7 for free.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been available to anyone who’s wanted to explore it since October 2014. It hasn’t been scheduled for release until late in 2015, though, so we should expect that even more features will be added before the official version hits the shelves (and your screens).
The slogan for Windows 10 is ‘One product family, one platform, one store’, producing an OS that works on computers, smartphones, and tablets, and creating a single system in which mobile and cloud computing are key. It’s being pitched to business owners as the greatest platform Microsoft has ever created for organisations and their employees. And it has been designed especially to suit mobility and remote working, so you should be getting pretty excited about this new system. Here are the top nine Windows 10 features that you and your business will love.
One Operating System For Multiple Devices
The workplace has drastically changed on a fundamental level in recent years. Smartphones and tablets are now the tools of business just as much as laptops and PCs – much more so if your employees are on the move or shuttling back and forth from the office. Building on Windows 8, Windows 10 aims to give your devices the same operating system, no matter what you’re using and for what reason. It will run on desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and even video game consoles. The user interface will automatically adjust to suit whichever device you’re using, so your employees will have the same user experience whether they’re at their desk or on the go.
Apps Across All Devices
Mobile apps are playing an increasingly important role in businesses of all sizes, and apps are a key feature of Windows 10. You’ll be able to use them across all devices, so you can use Office Mobile on your smartphone or hold a video-conference using Cisco WebEx on your tablet. You’ll also be able to run touchscreen app tiles in a separate window over the traditional desktop, blending the mouse and keyboard set up with touchscreen style computing – a huge step-up from Windows 8, which restricted apps to the touchscreen interface.
Built Around Security
Cyber security and data breaches are issues that no business can afford to ignore. Windows 10 has a number of key security features that makes it a must-have. The OS has built-in mobile device management for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. There’s user identification for accessing your devices, apps, and sites, which will improve your company’s resistance to data breaches or phishing scams. There’s specialised data protection that will follow your business’s data as it’s moved from tablet, to PC, to USB – the level of protection remains the same on each device, without the need for further apps or a change in behaviour.
The new multiple desktop feature means that you can have different screens for different purposes. Say that you wanted to optimise your laptop for productivity by creating a desktop set-up that’s designed solely for work – with word processing, spreadsheets, email, video conferencing, and whatever else you need. You can then have another screen with all your video apps, online shopping, and social media. You can stop yourself from getting distracted by Netflix by consigning it to another desktop.
It can be annoying to be constantly bothered by updates and wondering whether you’re going to have to take a break to restart your computer. With Windows 10, businesses will be able to choose whether to receive updates automatically like a consumer, or to choose to specify which updates you wish to receive and when. You could choose just to have security and critical updates.
The Start Menu Is Back
One of the issues with Windows 8 was the removal of the traditional start menu, meaning that a lot of businesses had to re-train employees to use the new system. This time around, your employees will be able to hit the ground running with the familiar desktop they’ve always known. Whenever they load up their PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet, they’ll see the traditional Windows desktop.
Cortana For All
Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-controlled digital assistant, has previously only been available on Windows phones. On Windows 10, it will be introduced to PCs and laptops. Every business can benefit from a personal receptionist or assistant, and Cortana is a voice activated personal assistant that’s perfect for the small business owner. She’ll search your hard drive for that desperately needed document, tell you when your next meeting is coming up, pull up photos from a specific date, send an email while you work in a spreadsheet, and launch a PowerPoint presentation in a meeting – all you have to do is say what you want aloud. It’s that simple.
Management For Every Scenario
Windows has always offered device management capabilities that businesses need. With Windows 10, you’ll have the simplicity of managing from the cloud – using services like Windows Intune – whilst having the controls they require. Whatever your scenario, Windows 10 will have the solution to your management needs.
In Windows 7, Microsoft introduced Aero Snap, a handy little feature that let users drag windows to the left or right boundary of the desktop and ‘snap’ them into place. This created a quick split-screen with two apps, and it was one of the best multitasking features ever introduced on Windows. It’s back for Windows 10 and better than ever. Now you can snap windows to the corners of the screen so they only take up one-fourth of the display, and you can easily divvy up screen space to view multiple programs at once – perfect for when you need to access documents in a video chat.