It will be a little while before Windows 10 hits the University (education and volume licensing is done differently to the home market). Though this weekend at home I was pleasantly surprised, the Windows 10 upgrade went without a hitch; all my applications still seem to work and hurrah the Windows start menu is back! However if you are expecting it to look exactly like windows 7 or even XP you will need to do a few tweaks. The good news is, that the menu bar and what is contained within it is (almost) entirely configurable, more so than any other menu or task bar previously.
The second thing which is great is that as planned there is now built-in multiple virtual desktops. Virtual desktops allow you to have multiple applications running one or more per window. Many people find this to be less distracting allowing dedicated focus on a specific task whilst being able to move between applications/ cut and paste stuff between applications easily. This is a boon if you are working on a tablet or with a limited sized monitor.
Desktop and application displays, another feature that Microsoft have mimicked from OS X world is the ability to gather all open windows and view at a high level. In windows this is called task view to open click on the task view icon or use windows key + TAB., this will show you any open windows that you have open and you are able to click on the little plus icon to add another virtual desktop. The keyboard shortcut to create a new virtual desktop is Windows Key + Control + D. To move between desktops use ctrl+windows+ left/right arrow or, you can use task view to click and move between the desktops. Unlike in Mac OS X it is not possible yet, to drag-and-drop applications between virtual desktops. To move an application between desktops you need to go to the task of view and right click on the application you wish to move, this opens up a menu where you can select the destination desktop. For more details about how to use virtual desktops check out this excellent how to .
Tweaking the menu bar.
Personally, I want things to be as simple as possible in order to retain a distraction free existence so I:
Get rid of the live feeds which I find it distracting.
Change width of menu bar
Resize tile size
Resize menu bar
Add new tiles
Turn off live feed for all tiles
Turn of all/some tiles
Getting there, one column wide with additional folders added The best I could do for now….
Resizing the tiles is pretty simple, right click on the tile you wish to resize and choose small medium or large. Moving tile can be done by click and drag, resizing the menubar click on the edge of the menu bar and pull it to desired size (well almost). I haven’t found a way to make the start menu (right hand side) bar narrower only wider. I then tried removing all tiles, but needed to log out and log back in again to be able to resize the menu bar accordingly. This trick didn’t seem to work with even one tile left in the start menu. For more details of how to tweak the menu bar I found this post helpful .
More to come
Edge the new Internet Explorer, has a new read mode again another mimic of Safari, and I haven’t completely discarded this browser, a definite improvement then on Internet Explorer.
Off-line maps. I have found off-line maps to be really useful on a tablet when travelling. Currently I use an app on my iPad, better looking forward to seeing how this will work on my next trip from my new surface pro3.
Cortana- I haven’t really configured Cortana yet, billed as the new PA, not buying that one just yet. However, I believe that Cortana can provide answers to context related questions in a way that Siri the Apple equivalent does not.
OneNote is able to take voice dictation notes and on the Surface Proit recognise handwriting.. Hmmm looking forward to testing that out in due course too. For now, I have been very happy with the Windows 10 interface, still finding my way round and learning some new keyboard shortcuts