Cortana will Personalise Your PC
Following on from last weeks’ article we continue to look at some of the new features being introduced by Windows 10. One such feature is Microsoft’s new Cortana personal assistant!
Cortana is aimed at further personalising your PC. It introduces voice recognition & activation the same as Apple introduced with their Siri application around 4 years ago. Keep in mind that 4 years is a very long time in IT so you can expect Microsoft’s Cortana to be highly polished and way more useful in comparison.
Cortana is also designed to group items that the individual user deems as their most useful information together into one application. Examples of this are the likes of whether reports, Facebook, reminders, emails, stocks, news etc. – plus it does this across all of your Internet enabled devices. It will rely on you having a Microsoft account and using that account to ‘sign in’ on a device such as your phone, laptop or desktop to access the above information.
Windows 10 will also tie together previously ‘standalone’ applications such as Photos, Mail, Calendar, Maps, Movies and Music under the umbrella of OneDrive. Once again this feature is designed to ‘sync’ all of this information between devices as well as the Microsoft One Drive Cloud.
If you are noticing a trend here that further bonds users to an Internet connection then you are correct. Unfortunately for users that are not savvy with syncing and that may be on skinny Internet plans this could spell certain data loss disasters as well as nasty phone bill surprises.
Windows 10 will also offer ‘virtual desktops’ to help us keep more apps or files open and more efficiently move between them. As an example you could have a heap of photos open in one virtual desktop, Word documents in another and websites in another. You can then tab between these virtual desktops to more quickly find what you are working on. This should prove useful especially if you are only using the one monitor.
Speaking of multiple monitors – Windows 8 already incorporated good native support for using more than one screen and this has been carried over to Windows 10. It is already counterproductive for business users that are using more than one application to have only the one screen. In a home environment it has little effect but at work, as long as you have the room on your desk for a second screen it can help make you as much as 20% more efficient each day!
So what does Windows 10 miss out on? Very little that I can see so far – although I would have really liked to see an app that would display all general information about PC specs! A common benchmark standard for CPU’s that allows the average user to compare power ratings at a glance is still needed, not unlike the litres per 100kms economy rating on new cars. It is vital that consumers be armed with this important spec when shopping for a new PC.
Launching at the end of this month on the 29th, Windows 10 is more about giving users more choice in the way they can set their PC up and have it perform. It will offer every useful feature from the previous Windows 8 along with a great number of new features and enhancements. It will also offer a look that is more familiar to traditional Windows users than Windows 8 did (without a skin).
We will see retailers trying hard to push it to bolster existing mediocre white goods sales with the first desktops, laptops and tablets that hit the market with Windows 10 already pre-installed. Consumers need to keep in mind that these ‘new’ or ‘latest’ models will be nothing special as ANY PC off the shelf will be able to run Windows 10 as a free upgrade from 7 or 8 after the 29th of this month.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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