Using Windows 10

Regardless of your upgrade path—from Windows 7 or from Windows 8.1—your day-to-day experience changes significantly with Windows 10.

The things you expect Windows to do on your behalf—launching programs, arranging windows on the screen, switching between tasks, finding files, setting notifications, interacting with cloud services, communicating with other people—are basically the same. But the steps you take to accomplish those tasks are different.

The change is more striking if you’re moving from a conventional PC or laptop to a touchscreen device. Even if you still have access to a keyboard and mouse or trackpad, the addition of touch fundamentally changes how you interact with Windows and with apps. With a phone or small tablet added to the mix, you have still more options to explore.

In this chapter from Windows 10 Inside Out, by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, Craig Stinson, we look at the things you tap, click, drag, and drop to make Windows do your bidding. Some, like the taskbar and notification icons, are similar enough to their predecessors that you might miss subtle but significant changes.

Our coverage also includes a section on the unique ways to interact with a tablet running Windows 10. And, of course, we introduce Cortana, the first Windows feature that can literally speak for itself.

A disclaimer, right up front: in this chapter, we are writing about a user experience that is evolving from month to month and that will continue to do so even after the initial release of Windows 10 on July 29, 2015. The screen shots and step-by-step instructions you see here are based on that initial release. It’s not only possible, but practically certain, that some of the features we describe here will change in the months after we send this book to the printer as Microsoft delivers on its promise of “Windows as a service.”

If you see subtle differences between what’s on these pages and what’s on your screen, that’s the likely reason. We hope our descriptions make it possible to incorporate those changes into your learning.

In this chapter:

  • An overview of the Windows 10 user experience
  • Navigating Windows 10
  • Using Windows 10 on a touchscreen device
  • Managing and arranging windows
  • Cortana and search

Read the complete chapter here.

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