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Windows 10: More Features Announced

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Microsoft has unveiled additional features for Windows 10, as well as making previously-announced features available for testing. Most of the changes are aimed at mobile computer users, but there will be a few extra improvements for desktop users.

Windows 10 Testing being done in Batches

Microsoft is taking a very deliberate approach with its public testing program for the new Windows 10 operating system. Rather than throw out a semi-completed version of Windows 10 for testing and deal with all the feedback at once, Microsoft is slowly adding new features to the test edition of the operating system, known as a technical preview. That should allow it to concentrate on a few elements at a time and fix any problems in batches, rather than all at once.

Among the changes is increased support for touchpads, which are finger-operated keyboard accessories that remove the need for a mouse. Touchpads are typically found on laptops, but are also sold as separate and larger sized units for desktop PCs. It's been said that Windows 10 will work with more gestures on touchpads, a move analysts suggest may have been inspired by features found on portable Mac computers.

Touchpad Triple Finger Gestures

The added touchpad support will mean users can use multiple fingers to perform a wider range of controls, similar to how a touchscreen operates on tablet computers. For example, putting three fingers on a touchpad and dragging them down at once will minimize all windows to expose the desktop, while dragging three fingers up will bring all open windows back to view.

Similarly, dragging three fingers left or right will cycle through open windows, duplicating the existing Alt + Tab command on a keyboard. The idea is that once users learn the controls, they'll be able to work more efficiently with less need to use a mouse. (Source: pcworld.com)

Windows 10 will also fix a limitation with the Snap feature, which automatically resizes an open window to fill exactly half the screen. Snap is typically used when working with multiple applications at once; for example: when using a web browser to research information while writing a Word document. The new Snap system will also be easier to use if you are running multiple monitors.

Smartphone Features Come To Windows

Two more changes will be particularly useful for laptop and tablet users. The DataSense feature keeps track of how much WiFi or mobile data you've consumed and will let you set controls to limit unexpected data use. This is especially useful for users on a limited mobile data plan and will help to avoid penalties for over-usage.

Meanwhile, the Battery Saver feature will replicate similar features on smartphones that limit unnecessary "behind-the-scenes" CPU processing activity when the system is running on battery, rather than main power. This will help to prolong the life of the battery between charges.

Desktop Mode for Apps

Finally, Microsoft is going to make life a little easier for people who prefer the old-style desktop PC mode, but still want to use some of the apps from the Windows store.

In Windows 10, users will be able to create a desktop shortcut to any app downloaded from the store, rather than having to switch to the modern interface just to launch it. This was a huge complaint for Windows 8 desktop users, and as such, this feature will save a lot of 'back and forth' between interfaces. That said, it's not clear as to whether or not all apps will be compatible with the desktop interface, or if users will be forced to switch over to the modern interface once the app has launched. (Source: makeuseof.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Which if any of these changes would you find useful in Windows 10? Is Microsoft doing a good job balancing the needs of desktop and mobile users? Or do you think trying to make a single system to work on every machine is an impossible task?

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