Windows 10; From Here to There

Jody Whitlock

With Windows 10 being out and running wild (not with Bear Grills yet), it is worth a look at how this new Operating System has changed and what changes it brings. Let’s start by what is new, which is the Start Menu is back!

Go to Start on the taskbar. You’ll find your most used apps on the left, the All apps list, and shortcuts to other locations on your PC, like File Explorer and Settings. Also, make it yours by pinning apps and programs, or moving and regrouping tiles. If you need more space, resize the Start menu to make it bigger.

Additionally, with the return of the Start Menu and the removal of the ModernUI for desktop machines, the All apps list returns!

Signing out of your computer and switching users is very easy, this is done by selecting your name at the top of the Start Menu and selecting the appropriate option. When you’re ready to step away for a while, the power button is right there at the bottom of the Start menu so you can put your PC to sleep, restart it, or turn it off completely.

You probably noticed the Change account settings entry there; that is a shortcut to change your profile picture and connect your account to a Microsoft account if desired. If you want to make other changes to how the Start menu looks, you can do so in Settings. Open the Start Menu , then go to Settings > Personalization > Start to change which apps and folders appear in the Start menu.

The next big change is the beginning of the end of an era; Internet Explorer is going away. It is currently still included in Windows 10 for backwards compatibility, but there is no guarantee going forward on its longevity. To replace it, Microsoft has built a brand new browser called Edge. Microsoft Edge is the first browser that lets you take notes, write, doodle, and highlight directly on webpages. Use the reading list to save your favorite articles for later, then read them in reading view.

You can’t forget Microsoft’s digital assistant, not Clippy but Cortana. Cortana will help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, and tell jokes. The more you use Cortana, the more personalized your experience will be.

Here are some things you can say to Cortana:

  • How old are you?
  • Tell me a joke.
  • Show me the latest NBA scores.
  • How many calories in a boiled egg?
  • Put swimming on my calendar for tomorrow.
  • Change my 3 PM event to 4.
  • What’s happening this weekend?

Try this: Set a reminder

One of the things Cortana can do for you is to give you reminders. For example, type or say, “Remind me to call Alex at 2 PM.” Make the meeting recurring if you want to.

The reminder will appear at 2 PM, along with any info you’ve added to it.

To get started, type a question in the search box on the taskbar. Or select the microphone icon and talk to Cortana. (Typing works for all types of PCs, but you need a mic to talk

Set Cortana to hear you anytime you say “Hey Cortana.” Select the search box on the taskbar to open Cortana home. Then select Notebook  > Settings and turn on Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana.” Cortana will automatically respond to your voice without the need to type anything. Using the previous example, you can say “Hey Cortana, remind me to call Alex at 2pm today” and it is done! Thankfully, you can train Cortana to recognize your voice so it’s not triggered at the oddest of times.

Finally, the biggest change outside of the Start Menu is Continuum and touch, also referred to as Tablet Mode. Tablet mode claims to make Windows easier and more intuitive to use with touch on devices like 2-in-1s, or when you don’t want to use a keyboard and mouse. To turn on tablet mode, select action center on the taskbar and then select Tablet mode.

In Tablet mode, Start and apps (including older programs) open full screen, giving you more space to work in. To use two apps side-by-side, drag an app to one side. You’ll see where it’ll snap, along with any open apps that can snap right next to it. Use the back button on the taskbar to go back in an app or to the previous app you were using. When you’re done with an app, drag it to the bottom of the screen to close it.

This is just the first glimpse at Windows 10. Over the next few weeks and months there will be more tips and tricks put out there for those coming from previous version of Windows into Windows 10. Stay tuned for more to come!