1. The new and improved start menu
Microsoft has not only restored the Start menu to its former glory, but it’s improved on it by incorporating a mini version of Windows 8’s start screen on the right. The Start menu works as normal, with a search bar at the bottom to find apps and files. The right hand side houses live tiles, which you can customise with program shortcuts and animated widgets for things like the weather, mail and social media.
2. The desktop is back
It was always available in Windows 8, but you had to switch to it manually from the Start screen. In Windows 10, you can boot directly to the desktop – just as you could in every other version of Windows.
3. It has a much better task switcher
If you ever had to struggle with using Windows 8’s task switcher, you’ll be relieved to learn that Microsoft has nixed it in favour of the far more intuitive Task View. Pressing Alt-Tab or the dedicated Task View button on the taskbar presents all of the open programs as live thumbnails, along with any virtual desktops you’ve created (see below).
4. You can have virtual desktops to arrange apps
The new virtual desktops feature in Windows 10 is not unlike having more than one monitor connected to your computer. You can have different apps open in each virtual desktop and seamlessly switch between them from the ‘Task View’.
5. It’s optimised for traditional keyboard and mouse users
In this first major release at least, all of the old conventions apply, and all of the double-clicking, right-clicking and keyboard shortcuts you’ve had to learn over the years work just as they did in previous versions of Windows. There are no weird mouse gestures or "hot corners" to master – everything just works the way you expect it to.
6. Touchscreen users are also accommodated
Windows 10's new "Continuum" feature makes it easy for users to switch between tablet and keyboard interfaces. Whenever you connect or disconnect a keyboard, you’ll be prompted to switch between the two, the former giving you the touch-optimised controls from Windows 8.
7. Windows apps can now be resized in Windows 10
In Windows 8, any app you downloaded from the Windows Store could either be run in full screen or simultaneously with one other app, and you couldn’t resize them the way you could a traditional program. Now, every app can be resized and arranged on the screen exactly where you want it to be appear, which makes it far better for those with larger displays.
8. The Snap feature
The Snap feature is sticking around Microsoft has improved it by letting you snap up to four apps per desktop, and it will even suggest other, similar apps that you can ‘snap’ next to each other to help you maximise your productivity.
9. Find files and folders faster in Windows Explorer
If you work with plenty of documents and other files, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of time navigating through various folders on your computer. The new "Home" tab in Windows Explorer will cut down on a lot of that time as it shows all of your favourites, frequent folders and recent files.
10. Cortana is coming soon
Files hidden in the Windows folder strongly suggest that Microsoft’s Cortana voice-activated technology, which recently debuted on Windows Phone 8.1, will be available in Windows 10. This means you’ll be able to perform certain tasks on your computer simply by having a conversation with it, such as "what are my appointments for today?", and "read out my new email".