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News and resources on the latest trends in IT training and professional development

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Windows 10 may very well be Microsoft’s most powerful platform ever made for organizations and their employees. Windows 10 is more familiar from a user experience standpoint. Still, it also includes so much of what businesses need—including enterprise-grade security, identity, and information protection features, which reduces complexity and proves a better experience for the business's modern needs.

The newest powerhouse platform offers a host of new and advanced features; below are our top five:

1. New Start Menu

Microsoft has brought back the Start Menu. Now, when you click on the Start button at the bottom left of the screen, you get two panels side by side, with the left column showing pinned, recent, and most-used apps.

You also get a power button at the top for options such as Hibernate, Standby, and Shutdown, while the right column features a selection of live tiles that you can customize, resize, and reorganize. Plus, you can have the Start Menu expand to the full screen whenever you want, eliminating the need for a Modern UI Start Screen.

2. Cortana Integration

Windows 10 will bring Microsoft’s voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana to desktop computers to make it easier for you to interact with your device without lifting a finger. You will be able to search your hard drive for specific files, pull up photos from specific dates, or launch PowerPoint presentations just by telling your PC to do so. You can even get Cortana to send an email while you’re working on a spreadsheet, making multi-tasking much more manageable.

3. Microsoft Edge Web Browser

Internet Explorer was replaced by Microsoft Edge, which features a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML. Edge integrates with the Cortana Digital Assistant to provide voice control, search, and personalized info to users.

Users can also use Edge to annotate web pages, and these annotations are stored on OneDrive and can be used with other users. A “Reading List” function syncs content between devices and a “Reading Mode” that strips out the formatting to allow more comfortable reading on devices. Many of the alterations have been made to keep Edge more in line with rival browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.

4. Virtual Desktops

Unless you have a multi-monitor setup, it can be easy to run out of screen space. For that reason, Windows 10 provides multiple desktops that you can work in and quickly switch between. The virtual desktops feature in Windows 10 is called “Task View” and is located on the Taskbar. To add a new desktop, all you need to do is click the Plus sign. You create multiple desktops, and switching between them is just a matter of connecting the Task View button again and moving your mouse over the thumbnail of the one you want. Once the workspace is displayed above, click on it (or click the Task View button again) to start using it.

5. Universal Apps

To make the transition across devices more seamless, Microsoft is introducing a new category of software called Universal Apps, which use the same code but adapt their interface to the device in your hand. Microsoft is also bundling its own set of Universal apps with the OS, including Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging, and Mail & Calendar, which function the same way on tablets, and PCs. The content is stored and synced via Microsoft’s cloud service OneDrive so you can pick up where you left off on another device.