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asked Jan 18 in Windows 10 by prasanna (1,060 points)

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Cortana on Desktop

Being lazy just got a lot easier. Windows 10 will bring Microsoft's voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana to desktop computers, to make it easier for you to interact with your device without lifting a finger.  You will be able to search your hard drive for specific files, pull up photos from specific dates, or launch PowerPoint presentations just by telling your PC to do so.  You can even get Cortana to send an email while you're working on a spreadsheet, making multi-tasking much easier. 

 Start Menu Returns

It's what Windows 8 detractors have been clamoring for, and Microsoft has finally brought back the Start Menu. Now, when you click on the Start button at the bottom left of the screen, you get two panels side by side, with the left column showing pinned, recently and most-used apps.

You also get a power button at the top for options such as Hibernate, Standby and Shutdown, and an all apps option a la Windows 8. The right column features a selection of live tiles that you can customize, resize and reorganize.  Not only that, but the search field at the bottom will look up related Internet results in addition to programs and files (as it did on Windows 7). 

Even better, you can have the Start Menu expand to full screen whenever you want, eliminating the need for a Modern UI Start Screen.

Project Spartan Browser

Forget Internet Explorer. The long-derided browser will be replaced by the newly announced Project Spartan. New features include PDF support, a reading mode that improves the layout of long articles, and a new note taking feature. The latter lets you scribble on any page and share your comments with your friends through social networks via a slide-in menu so you won't have to leave the browser. Better yet,  Project Spartan will feature Cortana support within the browser, so she can pull contextual information from the sites you're on to do things like navigate to a restaurant you're looking up or pull up an upcoming flight time without having to go into your email. 

Forget Internet Explorer. The long-derided browser will be replaced by the newly announced Project Spartan. New features include PDF support, a reading mode that improves the layout of long articles, and a new note taking feature. The latter lets you scribble on any page and share your comments with your friends through social networks via a slide-in menu so you won't have to leave the browser. Better yet,  Project Spartan will feature Cortana support within the browser, so she can pull contextual information from the sites you're on to do things like navigate to a restaurant you're looking up or pull up an upcoming flight time without having to go into your email. 

Improved Multitasking

A new Multiple Desktops feature lets you run another set of windows as if on another screen, but without the physical monitor. This is similar to Apple's Spaces feature on OS X, and helps you manage your multitude of open windows and apps. Instead of having multiple windows open on top of each other on one desktop, you can set up a whole other virtual desktop for those programs to reside in. Set up one specifically for home and leave your apps such as Netflix and Amazon open, and create another desktop for work on which you keep Word, Excel and Internet Explorer open. 

With the new desktops comes a new way to keep track of your open apps on Windows 10. On the new operating system, you can either hit the new Task View button on the task bar or swipe in from the left edge of the screen to pull up a one-page view of all your open apps and files. It's not much different from using the Alt-Tab combination shortcut on your keyboard, but this presents a convenient way for touch-oriented users to get an overview of what's running. 

Continuum

With the rise of hybrid laptop-tablet devices, Microsoft wants to make it easier to switch between either mode. The system will detect if you've plugged in a keyboard or mouse and switch modes for more convenient interaction. If you remove the keyboard/mouse, a notification will pop up from the task bar at the bottom, asking if you want to activate Tablet mode. When you do, you are greeted with the more touch-friendly profile. Dock your tablet into the keyboard again, and you'll receive the same prompt, this time asking if you want to exit Tablet mode.

Unified Settings / Control Panel

Instead of having two apps to control your device settings in Control Panel and PC Settings, Microsoft is making things less confusing by bringing them together in one. You'll be able to manage your device from one place instead of hunting for a specific menu.

answered Jan 19 by prasanna (1,060 points)
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