With the new Windows 10 release date on the horizon, and with the Preview Build version already here (as of March 18, 2015), GUI and UI developers and designers wonder if it will improve PC UX. There were many complaints about the 8.0 and 8.1 systems in which users stated that some features were not user-friendly. This is not the feedback that designers want to hear. Building great UX technology into any hardware or software system is their ultimate goal – delivering a high level of user satisfaction with the products they purchase. Taking feedback from 8.0 and 8.1 to heart and applying it in this new release should help the designers at Microsoft to increase their success rate.
FEATURES OF WINDOWS 10 THAT WILL HELP PC UX
To make an accurate assessment on whether the new version of Windows (scheduled for release this summer) will improve the user experience, we need to look at the specific improvements and features Microsoft is planning to include in the new Windows 10.
The rumors that former CEO and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has resurfaced to work on the new OS have turned out to be true. Gates has been heavily involved in the development of the new Office product, which promises to be much better than any of its predecessors. It will include capacitive screen functionality and inner compatibility across mobile devices, among other features.
Microsoft has announced that this new version of Windows will feature the capability to interact with mobile devices, and users will be able to use their favorite applications on Windows 10 or on their mobile devices, no matter where they got the app. This integration with mobile technology was attempted with Windows 8, but Windows 10 attempts to take this a step further to integrate mobile and desktop technologies and increase PC UX.
Windows 10 will feature a new fast identity feature known as FIDO, which will allow users to enter Windows without the use of a password. Some users have reported the computer runs faster once this is installed, and they have access to more features using this add-on. More importantly, though, it will cut way down on phishing attacks and identity theft and give users a greater sense of security when they are online.
XBOX Integration and Support
Gamers will be thrilled to know that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about the Xbox community and their new Windows 10 will feature more integration with the Xbox gaming platform to include the ability to record their gaming sessions via a DVR tool, the ability to stream games to multiple devices, and other user-friendly add-on features.
Windows 10 also promises to be the best platform ever for enterprises and businesses, due to the extreme level of control given the end user in 10. The new OS promises to allow users to be able to control updates, network security, and a number of other features that were out of their control before. This attempts to keep the control at the top so that executives and business managers can have some say into what their employees work within the office.
SOME WORDS OF CAUTION
The product is still not ready for market, though you can download the beta version free and try it out on your PC at: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-iso. Download the .iso file and burn a DVD then install the trial by clicking on the setup.exe file to view all of the features up close. Note that Microsoft warns that the preview is still in development and should not be used on your main computer until the full release comes out.
Microsoft plans to make the Windows 10 OS free for one year once the official version is released. The company is even entering into some partnerships with hardware developers to allow developers working with non-profit agencies to use the Windows 10 version free forever.
For GUI/UI developers, it seems the new Windows is good news. If we study these new features of Windows 10, it would appear that the new platform will, indeed, increase the PC UX experience – offering more compatibility with mobile devices, a new and improved MS Office, streaming and gaming features and capabilities, and the ability to control the user experience from the top levels. Based on these features, the UX should definitely be better than it was on former systems. Will Microsoft’s designers be victorious this time around? The proof will come with the final release.