Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system for smartphones, tablets and PCs isn't far from being launched.
Everything’s designed work seamlessly across all your devices, which is handy as Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to phones already running Windows Phone 8.1 and tablets and PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
So with Windows 10 ready to work its way into all your gadgets, let’s take a look at what you’ll get.
Microsoft Edge browser
Microsoft is saying goodbye to Internet Explorer and hello to Project Spartan. The new web browser will be standard on Windows 10 and brings three key new features. First, you’ll be able to draw on and annotate web pages and save those notes to OneDrive, where you can share them with others. Then there’s the new reading mode, which strips out all the clutter to make reading websites more like reading a book. Finally, Project Spartan will have Cortana built in. She’ll pop up on pages where she’s useful – she might give you directions to a restaurant when you’re on its page, for example – and pull useful information from your emails when you’re searching the web.
Action Centre syncs across all your Windows 10 gadgets
Windows 10 brings a new action centre to your PC, similar to the one that you get on Windows Phone 8.1. It’ll show new notifications and give you quick settings controls. But the icing on the cake is that it’ll sync across your devices. So if you get a text message, it’ll pop up on your PC or tablet. And when you dismiss it on one device, it’ll go from them all.
The settings menu in Windows Phone devices is a dangerous place. You can get lost for hours looking for what you want as nothing’s in any particular order and the list seems to go on forever. But the Windows 10 settings menu is simple, clear and short. It’s the same story on PC and tablet, where the simplicity is the name of the game.
Microsoft’s on a mission to give us all a consistent experience across everything that runs Windows 10, which is why it wants all Windows apps to be the same on all devices. Microsoft Office, complete with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, looks much more complete on phones now, the apps even have the full editing ribbon so you get all the controls you’d expect on a PC. Outlook’s been made universal too with a much better interface for touchscreens.
A new gallery
The Photos app look pretty much the same on mobiles, but Microsoft has carried that design over to Windows 10 for PC to give a consistent experience. The app will also now remove duplicate images, auto-enhance them and organise them better so you can find them more easily.
A new music app
There’s a new Music app for Windows 10 that lets you put your entire music collection on OneDrive. That means you’ll be able to access your tunes on any device from anywhere, you won’t have to plug in your phone to load new music onto it.
The first release of Windows 10 has been set for February 2015, so there shouldn’t be long to wait. In the meantime, let us know what you think of Microsoft’s new operating system in the comments below. And take a look at Microsoft insane holographic goggles.