Windows 10 hasn’t even been out for a day yet, but it already seems like the sour taste left in our mouths by Windows 8 is fading. It’ll be a while before it’s completely gone, but there is absolutely no question that Windows 10 is a huge step in the right direction.
There are a number of great new features in Windows 10, and we covered five of the best ones in a recent article. Now, it’s time to take a look at five of the most awful, annoying, horrible problems from Windows 8 and see how Microsoft fixed them in its new operating system.
FROM EARLIER: How to skip the queue and install Windows 10 right now
It’s hard to state this definitively, but it might be safe to say that everyone hates the Windows 8 Start screen. Every single person. I even have friends who work at Microsoft and hate the Start screen. On a desktop or laptop, it’s just… horrendous.
In Windows 10, Microsoft has finally brought back the desktop Start menu, and it’s glorious. It includes most of the key elements from Windows 7’s Start menu, and then adds a section for modern tiles. In this format, the Windows tiles are no longer offensive — they’re actually useful.
Here’s what it looks like now:
What about tablets?
The second major Windows 8 pain point that Windows 10 fixes is the concept of one size fits all.
Having a single operating system that spans desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones sounds like a great idea. Having a single user interface that spans desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones sounds like a terrible idea. Microsoft did it anyway with Windows 8, but fixed the problem in Windows 10.
Now, we have Continuum Mode, which alters Windows 10’s user interface based on whether you’re on a tablet or a PC. And if you have a hybrid device, you can even switch back and forth depending on whether you’re in laptop mode or tablet mode.
Check out this post to see a video of Continuum Mode in action.
Windows, in Windows
The Windows platform is named “Windows” because of the key feature that set it apart from older operating systems when it first debuted: Windows.
Windows apps open in windows. You can drag them around, drag a corner to resize them, and arrange them however you’d like. In Windows 8, modern apps took up the entire screen and you had to jump through hoops to make them the size you want.
Thankfully, Windows 10 dials down the crazy and lets you work in… windows.
Living on the Edge
So long, Internet Explorer — no one will miss you. And Windows 8 was so terrible that it included not one but TWO versions of Internet Explorer!
OK, so maybe there are some people who would miss Internet Explorer, so Microsoft kept it around. It’s mainly for enterprise users though, and we highly recommend switching to Windows 10’s faster and sleeker new Edge browser.
Notification, er, Action Center
Windows 8’s live tiles were cool in theory, but looking around for information pertaining to notifications was a huge pain. In Windows 10, Microsoft introduced the Action Center, which is its slight reimagining of Apple’s Notification Center from OS X.
Here, you’ll find all of your notifications in one place so you can act on them quickly and easily. This section is also customizable, just like Notification Center, so you can create the perfect notification hub for your needs.
Ready to upgrade? Here’s how to skip the queue and install Windows 10 right now.