An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

By Sean Hollister on at

Here is a tablet. A Surface Pro 3, to be exact. I've never really wanted a Surface Pro 3, but Windows 10 is making me reconsider. Let me show you why.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Right now, this Surface Pro 3 has a pretty messy desktop. Those apps are just strewn all over the place. Not terrible if you're using a mouse and keyboard, but could be a major pain with the touchscreen alone.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

But! Rip the Surface Pro 3 off that keyboard cover, and Continuity kicks in. Up pops a toast notification asking you if you want to switch to tablet mode.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Bam! You're immediately looking at a full-screen app instead of a bunch of windows.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

And all your other open apps are still right there in the taskbar. What's more, all those taskbar buttons get a little bit larger and more finger-friendly too.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Swipe in from the left, and those previously opened apps are all there waiting for you.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Drag one to the left...

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

...and it'll ask you if you want to pin one of your remaining open apps on the right. Easy as that.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

You can even have "modern" Window Store apps and legacy apps like Paint live side by side.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Swipe in from the right for the notifications and setting menus, and... hey, that's weird. No place to adjust the screen brightness. Not even if you press that Display icon or the All Settings menu.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

I'll just ask Cortana. Ah, there we go. (Or at least we will in a future build.)

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Back in desktop mode, I don't need to scroll my mouse cursor way over to the edge of the screen or even remember how to Alt-Tab: There's a handy button for switching between apps.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Or, if I've got a compatible trackpad, I can even just swipe up, left, or right with three fingers to swap between programs.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Another handy button for notifications if you're using a mouse and keyb

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

The Start Screen is nice and big if you want it to be, and defaults to that in tablet mode.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

But if you want a small Start Menu, it's right here as well.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Cortana pulls in all sorts of info I might like without me even asking, much like Google Now.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

And I can ask Cortana to run a universal search. She's always listening for me to say "Hey, Cortana." She can also send entire dictated emails, but I couldn't try that in this build.

An Illustrated Guide to Why Windows 10 Actually Impressed Me

Jury's out for now, but I think I'm really going to like Windows 10. It feels thoughtful, like it was made for humans. I have to agree with Kelsey: It might seem like Windows 10 is going back to basics, but it also feels like a huge step forward.