Let’s talk about what’s the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 8? Whether you should upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Windows 10 has been officially released on 29th July, 2015 for public use. It is a free upgrade to those using Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and some windows phone users, at least for the first year of release. But should you upgrade to Windows 10? Here we compare Windows 10 with Windows 8 and explain the major differences between Windows 8 and Windows 10.
Flexibility and Universal Apps:
Where Microsoft deserves a lot of credit with Windows 10 is its ambition because the OS will run across all future Microsoft devices from desktops and laptops, to hybrids, tablets and smartphones.
The biggest benefits of this are:
1. Apps in the new Windows Store will run on any device which means a single
version of WhatsApp works everywhere.
2. Microsoft’s ‘Continuum’ feature allows you to potentially connect a phone or
tablet to a monitor and keyboard and use it like a PC. Yes Windows 10 really does
run through every device and the user interface can adapt to its environment – be
that phone, tablet or PC and touch, mouse or keyboard interaction.
The Start Menu:
Microsoft has brought the Start Menu back to Windows 10 which was previously removed from the desktop in Windows 8. This has been liked by most of the critics because of the improved Start Menu UI which make Windows app useful. The Windows 10 Start Menu includes a list of frequently used apps and shortcuts to PC settings. Here you will also find documents and pictures folders. At the bottom there is an ‘All apps’ shortcut. Along with the addition of the start menu, Microsoft has retained the functionality of the Windows 8 Start screen over on the right, with resizable Live Tiles, so that you can immediately check unread mail or Calendar appointments. Thus the improved UI of Start Menu on the desktop is being liked by the user in comparison to the Windows 8 Start Menu.
Another key new feature of Windows 10 not available in Windows 8 is Cortana – Microsoft’s semantic digital assistant. A kind of super Siri, which can engage you in conversation. More than simple speech recognition, Cortana constantly scours the web for information to inform its interactions with you. And it learns from your behavior, contacts and so on, in order to better serve your needs. Cortana on Windows Phone is pretty great. And it improves with use. So the inclusion of Microsoft’s digital assistant is a big boost over Windows 8.
If we talk of Windows 8 Universal search mechanism, we can say that it is a bit undervalued feature. It's been in Windows since Vista, but really came to an end in Windows 8.Because Cortana is woven into Windows 10 and search, the new search box next to the Start button is extremely useful indeed. As well as typing you can talk to Windows 10. Whether that's searching for something stored locally or something online, it's all done from the same search box. You can type or say the name of a file you want, or ask Cortana to launch apps. You can even 'search' for a weather forecast or an appointment in your calendar.
On top of this, Windows 10 File Explorer has been updated with a Quick Access section which replaces the old Favorites in Windows 8 and earlier Windows. This automatically displays your recent files and frequently visited folders and makes finding files you've worked on faster and easier.
Modern App and Snap Assist:
Every app in Windows 10 can be dynamically resized in a window. That includes modern apps, so unlike in Windows 8 - where modern apps can only run full screen or snapped next to one other app - you can run as many as you like simultaneously in Windows 10.
A new Snap Assist feature means up to four apps can be snapped per screen. This has the potential to be a killer productivity app - true multitasking on a single screen without the hassle of manually resizing apps so they fit without wasting any precious pixels.
Even better, snap a document to one side or one quarter of the screen, and Snap Assist will display other running apps which you can snap to another area on the screen, and this continues until the screen is full. The feature is intended to save you the hassle of Alt-tabbing through all your open apps to arrange a desktop.
Task View and Virtual Desktops:
When you click the Task View button, you get a new version of the thumbnails you get in Windows 8 (or 8.1) when you press Alt-Tab.
However, this is yet another useful and visual productivity enhancer: Task View allows you to create a kind of multi-monitor setup within a single monitor. It's basically the virtual desktops which Mac users have enjoyed for years.
As with previous versions of Windows you can use Alt-Tab to quickly shuffle between windows. When you click the new Task View button there's an Add desktop button in the bottom-right corner. On each desktop you can snap apps or run them in whatever size windows you like. So you could keep your email and web browser on one Desktop that you hide away when you are working on an Excel spreadsheet. This indeed is an awesome feature which is going to drive Windows user to shift from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Finally Microsoft is attempting to make use of the awesomeness that is Xbox, within the dreary world of Windows. Whereas Windows 8 users can install an Xbox app on to Windows PCs, it really doesn't offer much of the true Xbox experience. In Windows 10 Microsoft aims to change that.
With Xbox on Windows 10, Microsoft is attempting to bring into Windows 10 the best features from Xbox Live and the Xbox console. Windows 10 comes with its own built-in Xbox app, offering a unified view of your games, the activity of your friends, and your own gaming activities. Windows 10 also bakes in Xbox Live, so that the more than 50 million Xbox Live members can connect across multiple devices in new ways.
Plus, you'll be able to stream games from an Xbox One to your Windows 10 tablet (such as the Surface 3 Pro below), laptop or PC: a literal game changer. And a massive improvement over Windows 8.
Longer Support and Security:
Another key reason for getting the latest edition of Windows is Microsoft will support it for longer than both Windows 7 and Windows 8.
While both Windows 7 and Windows 8 do a pretty good job of keeping users secure, Windows 10 is in no way behind them. Instead it is more secure and stable than Windows 8.
Therefore if we conclude, then Windows 8 despite being a pretty decent OS underneath does not stand strong in front of Windows 10. Windows 10 is certainly a step in the right direction. If you're eligible for the free upgrade, there's really no reason not to get it. It's a harder decision if you have to pay. For some, it will make more sense to buy a new laptop, PC or tablet with Windows 10 already installed, the choice is all yours.