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05 March 2015

Windows 10 – A Fresh Start

The kalmstrom.com QA team has begun testing our solutions with Windows 10, and so far everything works fine. We don’t expect any problems with Windows 10 and the kalmstrom.com Outlook and SharePoint Solutions, but if we find any issues they will be solved in good time before Microsoft makes the public release.

Shahnawaz Khan photo The kalmstrom.com developers are of course also following Windows 10 closely, and today Senior Developer Shahnawaz Khan will share his thoughts on next Windows version.

10, not 9
Microsoft announced the next version of Windows at the Build conference in April 2014, and strangely enough it will be called Windows 10, not Windows 9. We don’t know the reasons behind that, but what’s in a name?

With Windows 10 Microsoft tries to make desktop and laptop/tablet users happier than ever. Here are some great Windows 10 features that would make it popular and more commendable.
Windows 10 start

Start menu back with a bang
The first change you will see in Windows 10 is the start menu. Yes, it’s true! Microsoft brings back the start menu. Its left side will look like the standard start menu of Windows 7, but the right side will allow you to have some of those nice live tiles that were introduced in Windows 8. The start menu will automatically be shown in full screen view if you are using a tablet.

Modern/Metro apps behave like regular desktop apps
In Windows 8 all the Modern apps open in full screen mode, and you can’t resize them to fit on the desktop. In the later update of Windows 8, called Windows 8.1, Modern apps can be minimized or pinned to the task bar, which is convenient to most users.
Windows 10 Modern app
In Windows 10 all Modern apps run on the desktop in a windowed mode, and they will work as you would expect, with a mouse and keyboard. This feature may trigger developers to build quality apps with HTML/JavaScript, which in turn will enable Windows Store apps to run in a windowed environment on the desktop and perform better on a wider range of hardware.

New command prompt with many hotkeys
There’s a lot of goodies coming in the Windows 10 Command console. The command prompt now accepts keyboard shortcuts. Not interesting? Well it will be very helpful for those who use the console a lot. You can now copy and paste text into the console with the keyboard, and with text selection key combinations you can select text in the console. You can also open the ‘Find’ dialog by pressing CTRL + F, and ALT + F4 will close the console window.

Multiple/Virtual Desktop and better Task View
With Windows 10 Microsoft provides a new Task View, where you can glimpse all your open windows at once. There is also a possibility to create and manage multiple desktops so that users can switch between virtual desktops. You can for example use them to separate related tasks into their own workspace. This is not new in the Windows era, because some apps did this before, but Microsoft now gives us a virtual desktop out of the box with simplicity.
Windows 10 Multiple Desktops

Windows Universal apps run everywhere
In mid-2014 Microsoft introduced universal Windows apps, a way for developers to create one single app that works across Windows PCs, tablets, Windows phones and the Xbox One. We will get the same app experiences across all devices.

It is not easy and straight forward to create apps that work across all form factors, but through Universal apps Microsoft tries to streamline development. Microsoft says that universal apps should be easy for developers to implement, as much of the code can be reused across the different platforms. That is probably true, but the biggest benefit may be the simplicity for users, as they don't have to buy a different app for the phone and the PC.

Microsoft will also have one app Store for all devices, making it easier for developers to reach customers in a consistent and compelling way, no matter what type of device they are using. The new Universal Office apps for Windows 10 include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, which all can be installed on PCs, tablets and phones.

Continuum Mode on its way
“On 2in1 devices, Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard/mouse and touch/tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode.” This is according to Microsoft, but what does it actually mean?
Windows 10 Continuum Mode
Here is the answer: Continuum is an on-the-fly mode for 2 in 1 devices [devices with detachable keyboard] that can automatically change mode if it detects that there is no keyboard docked. For instance, if you own a Surface Pro 3 with the keyboard docked, the experience will be very similar to Windows 7.

All apps are now windowed, whether they are the new touch-friendly or legacy one. But if you are using an app like Music or Photos, and you want to undock your Surface and use it as a tablet, just do that, and it will automatically expand the app into full screen mode, making it easier to use the app with your fingers.

Hey Cortana
Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, Cortana, was introduced for Windows phone 8. With Windows 10 Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now comes to PC and tablet. Cortana learns from your daily activity and preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing.

Cortana for PCs and tablets will provide better flexibility, as it will plug into the Windows search platform and give you results from your computer as well as from OneDrive when you ask particular questions.
Windows 10 Notifications Center
Notifications Center
Microsoft will add a notifications center like the one in Windows Phone to Windows 10. It will allow you to view and manage accumulated notifications and give you quick access to commonly customized settings. Notifications Center has completely replaced Charms, which was introduced in Windows 8.

At the bottom right in the picture above are some toggles for switching to tablet mode, on/off Wi-Fi and other settings. Windows 10 will be offered freely to Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 owners sometime later in 2015, and it is certainly something to look forward to!

By Shahnawaz Khan
Senior Developer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions