So it’s finally rollout time for Windows 10 on tablets and 2-in-1’s that shall run Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro. Windows 8.1 RT users meanwhile will get some form of currently undisclosed Update 3 pack in September says Microsoft. There are as much as six other versions of Windows 10 called Windows 10- Enterprise, Enterprise 2015 LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch), Education, Mobile, Mobile Enterprise, and IoT Core.
But for the most of us with consumer tablets, we are usually just dealing with Windows 10 or Windows 10 Pro.
Windows 10 offers a coming-together which is as much for the users of the operating system, as it is for Microsoft and its partners and developers, if not even more for them. But all parties benefits as it opens up the services of Microsoft and reduces incompatibility issues in hardware and software. So fundamentally, it’s an important step in the right direction which will please pretty much everyone when they get the hang of it.
People are probably well acquainted with what new elements Windows 10 brings to the table by now. At first it looks like a more elegant version of the better things of Windows 7 and Windows 8, with Start menu, Taskbar, Desktop, and Live Tiles, but also adds new features like Windows Hello which is the login security feature that greets you when you log in. Windows Hello acts the way people have become accustomed to one phones, using infrared biometric authentication like face, iris, or a fingerprint (if the device has a fingerprint reader) to unlock the tablet for you, instead of using a password.
It also lets you use your own voice for input, while it also has pen and gesture support. But if you use your voice, you can use the blue-lipped Cortana digital assistant, which has been brought over from the Windows Phone OS to now become available on all Windows 10 devices.
Gone is the Internet Explorer web browser too, replaced as it is with a more funky new Microsoft Edge, though the E icon itself has been kept pretty similar to that of the Explorer 11. Microsoft Edge makes the web browser more interactive than it used to be. It lets you scribble on websites itself, and then you can take it further by sharing that with others.
It also offers some pre-installed apps, better security functions, somewhat improved performance over Windows 8.1, and minor changes here and there, but what benefits does Windows 10 bring specifically to tablets and 2-in-1’s?
For starters, Windows 10 takes less space than Windows 8.1. During the first 30 days this may not be all that apparent if your Windows 10 upgrade also keeps a copy of the Windows 8.1 on the tablet. But if you chose to keep Windows 10 on the tablet and not revert back to Windows 8.1, the old files should disappear. How many gigabytes you save depends on whether your run a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.
Another Windows 10 feature that suits tablets in particular is Continuum. This will enable you to switch between tablet mode and desktop mode on your Windows 10 tablet. What Continum does is that will enlarge the tiles and apps once you put it in tablet mode to make it easier to hit the right tiles and apps with your fingers, and then go back to a smaller desktop mode when you feel like using a keyboard and mouse to control it with.
A third feature that is convenient to have on a tablet is the Phone Companion app that makes connecting Windows phones, Android phones and iPhone’s to your Windows 10 tablet or computer easy, and it will let you share files and content between a phone and tablet.
If you are into Xbox or gaming you’re probably going to like the integration of Xbox into Windows 10, which lets you stream games to your tablet (even has support for Xbox controller), connect to gaming communities in Xbox Live, record your games with Game DVR and more.
From today of there are over 70 Windows 10 tablets on the market from reputable brands, as there are very few Windows 8.1 tablets that won’t get an upgrade before October or January, like in the case of a few Windows 10 tablets from Toshiba that we wrote about yesterday. Some devices, like Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro starts shipping with Windows 10 pre-installed from today already.
– Jim Miller