In Pictures: 10 new features expected in Windows 10

Later this week, Microsoft is expected to reveal more details about Windows 10. But why wait for Microsoft’s announcement? Here’s what we think is coming.

  • New features Later this week, Microsoft is expected to reveal more details about Windows 10. We’ve already covered some of the major new features that are in the works, such as the return of the classic Start menu UI, resizable Windows apps, the ability to launch separate instances of the desktop environment and the inclusion of Microsoft’s personal digital assistant called Cortana. But why wait for Microsoft’s announcement? Here’s what we think is coming.
  • PC Settings replaces Control Panel One of the confusing things about Windows 8 for desktop users is its “PC Settings” screen, because it includes a number of settings that can also be found in the classic Control Panel. In Windows 10, more of the Control Panel settings will probably be replicated under PC Settings.
  • Battery Saver setting This setting will automatically take steps to conserve the battery of your notebook or tablet when it hits a certain percentage of remaining power. We wonder if its final version will be more sophisticated than what has shown up in the Windows 10 Technical Preview versions thus far. It would make sense if it looked similar to Windows Phone 8.1’s, which shows through bars and charts the amount of power that each program uses on your device.
  • Customizable lock screens

 Some evidence in the Windows 10 Technical Preview suggests developers may be able to make custom lock screens. This could be similar to the way lock screens can be customized in Windows Phone 8.1.
  • Touch targeting
 Touch targeting could be implemented throughout the Windows 10 UI. The basic idea is that the design will have icons, menus, and gesture functions tuned to be more responsive for touchscreens. The UI would adjust itself automatically based on whether you are using a mouse or a touchscreen.
  • Continuum

 This looks to be a buzzword Microsoft came up with to market Windows 10’s ability to automatically switch between its two UI modes by recognizing if you are using your device as a notebook or tablet. For example, when you attach a keyboard to a tablet, Windows 10 will switch to the desktop environment. When you remove the keyboard, the OS returns to the tile-based Modern UI.
  • Updated File Explorer

 It’s been hinted that the Windows file manager will get an update. Most likely, the new File Explorer will incorporate touch targeting to make it more accessible for touchscreens, but we’d like to see some new functionality that would benefit its desktop OS use, too: How about allowing for multiple instances of File Explorer to be opened as tabs within the program?
  • New security measures

 There are going to be stronger security options, including two-factor authentication where you can use a device, like a smartphone, to authorize signing into your Windows 10 user account. Also, user access tokens could be stored in a secure "container" to protect them from exposure to hackers. Other measures are aimed at the business environment: users' personal and work files kept separate from one another; and restricting employees from installing programs that haven’t been digitally signed.
  • New updating methods 
 Multiple options will give businesses more control over how they want to update their Windows 10 systems: high priority updates that brings bug fixes and security improvements; updates that add new features to Windows 10; and a third option which lets administrators schedule when they want new features to be installed on their Windows 10 systems.
  • New animations

 Besides refreshed icon designs and background wallpaper that you expect to see in any OS release, there will be new animated effects when you interact with Windows 10, such as a window expanding or shrinking when you launch or close an application. A lingering question has been if the classic Aero theme in an updated form, or other such transparency effects, will return.
  • Spartan Lastly, one of the biggies is a brand-new web browser. Appropriately named Spartan, it’s speculated that it will take design inspiration from Google’s Chrome, with emphasis on a minimal UI and performance speed. Internet Explorer will still be available in Windows 10 to ensure compatibility with sites and enterprise services that require this browser, but it looks like Microsoft wants to start moving away from IE (and its less-than-stellar reputation) and have a fresh start with the everyday user in the browser market.
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