Windows 10's Coolest Features in Five Animated GIFs

By Eric Limer on at

Microsoft put out the first Windows 10 preview right after its first big announcement. But now— following all of Wednesday's chaos—there's a new one. Here are some of its most notable features in GIFs.

Of the new features in this latest build of the Windows 10 preview, one of the major ones is the introduction of the first bits of Microsoft's "Continuum," which helps convert the OS from desktop mode to tablet mode. When you go into tablet mode, all of your windows blow up into full-screen apps, and the Start Menu defaults to a full-size start screen. It'll trigger when you detach the keyboard from a Surface Pro 3 for instance, or you can trigger it manually, like this:

Windows 10 Preview in GIFs

Then there's the long-awaited Cortana on desktop. She's pretty buggy right now, to the point of being practically unusable. But! A few things still work. You can get her attention by saying "Hey Cortana" at any time, if you turn it on in settings:

Windows 10 Preview in GIFs

And even if you aren't using voice control, Bing-powered Cortana is the new face of internal (and web) search from the desktop, from finding your files to searching Wikipedia to launching applications:

Windows 10 Preview in GIFs

The Charms bar—that thing you swipe in from the left—is still around, but now it's the notification centre. Not unlike what you'll find on OS X Yosemite desktops, and analogous to the Notification Center that got introduced into Windows Phone 8.1:

Windows 10 Preview in GIFs

And last but not least, Windows 10's tablet mode means that it plays nicer than ever with legacy desktop apps. Now when you're in tablet mode, older desktop-only apps will respond to the same gestures as tablet apps, so it's easier than ever to just use your fingers on the go:

Windows 10 Preview in GIFs

Windows 10 is definitely coming along, but this is still a preview for sure. There are plenty of bugs—Cortana in particular is a shadow of what I hope she will one day be. But even just a little time with this new previews proves that Windows 10 really really has the potential to be the hybrid future operating system we deserved all along. It's impressive already. I can't wait to see it finished.