It’s official, folks: Windows 10 is coming to the people. After kicking off Windows 10 with a bevy of business-friendly features, Microsoft drew back the curtain on the operating system’s new consumer-focused features at an event on Wednesday, while simultaneously driving home a vision of an operating system designed to deliver a singular, cohesive experience across a myriad of device types.
And it’ll be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users, who can snag the operating system for nada in the first year after Windows 10 hits the streets.
After Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson announced that crucial tidbit, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took the stage to run through some features coming to Windows 10 Preview that are designed to make using the operating system a smoother experience.
First, Belfiore showed off some helpful tweaks to Windows 10 features that have already been announced: The Start menu will be able to expand to fill the full screen if you desire, for one thing. The Action Center (read: Windows 10’s notification center) is receiving improved functionality, such as Windows Phone 8.1-esque quick action buttons that let you activate features (such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) with a single click. Notifications in the Action Center will be able to be expanded.
More helpfully for everyday workflow, Windows 10 will condense the Control Panel and the modern UI PC Settings into a single interface, eliminating Windows 8’s maddening insistence on dumping crucial system tools into two separate locations.
Microsoft also announced that its Continuum feature, which dynamically shifts the Windows 10 interface from the Modern UI to the desktop depending on whether you’re using a traditional PC or a touchscreen device, will soon appear in Windows 10 Preview builds.
Cortana comes to PCs
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