Showing posts with label Windows 10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windows 10. Show all posts

Friday, 20 May 2016

Pass your Windows 10 exam 70-697 with these top tips

 By Sarah Morgan


In January 2016, just six months after its release, it was estimated that Windows 10 was active on 200 million devices. This means Microsoft’s latest operating system is currently growing faster than any version of Windows ever. It is at the forefront of Microsoft’s cross-platform vision aimed at improving usability and reliability. Windows 10 runs on PCs, mobiles, tablets, servers and games consoles.


Image courtesy of Microsoft

The growing popularity of Windows 10 means businesses need people with the skills to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot the new operating system. This gives you a huge opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn Windows 10 skills before the majority of other IT professionals. By passing the Windows 10 70-697 exam: Configuring Windows Devices, you'll achieve both the MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 certifications. These will prove to employers that you have advanced skills on the latest version of Windows. If you’re acting quickly to make the most of this opportunity, below are our five top tips to get you the necessary Windows 10 skills to pass your Windows 10 70-697 exam.


1. Use Microsoft Virtual Academy


Microsoft Virtual Academy has a huge amount and variety of resources aimed at helping you get the knowledge and skills to pass Microsoft exams and achieve Microsoft certifications. There are videos, articles and more to help you learn about Microsoft technologies. Plus many are aligned to Microsoft exams.

The new release of Windows 10 means there aren’t a great amount of resources. However there are a couple of videos and presentations that are extremely useful for helping you study for the Windows 10 70-697 exam. The first, “Getting started with Windows 10 for IT professionals” has 9 different sections all dedicated to teach you more about Windows 10. Titles include, “What’s new in Windows 10 deployment”, “Runtime provisioning in Windows 10” and “Windows as a service: What does it mean for you business?”. There’s also “Accelerate deployment of Windows 10 at scale”. This includes an hour long video that covers some of the key topics in the 70-967 exam.



Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is ideal for giving you information that can help with your preliminary exam preparation. It’ll familiarise you with the new features of Windows 10 and how it differs from previous operating systems.


2. Take a course


Learning from a course is the best way to make sure you cover all the content you need to be prepared for the exam. Courses are dedicated to giving you all the skills and knowledge you need, not only to pass the exam, but to be able to use them in your workplace.

Firebrand offers accelerated 6 day MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10 courses that both prepare you to sit the 70-697 exam. Remember, you’ll achieve both certifications after you pass. As with all Firebrand courses, you’ll spend 6 days in an immersive classroom environment. You’ll learn from an official Microsoft instructor and bounce ideas off other students in the classroom. 


3. Take Practice tests


Practice tests are the best way to replicate the types of questions you’ll face in the real exam. They’ll also cover the full range of topics the exam could include. This’ll give you a better idea of what topics you’ll need to study. What is unique about practice tests is the immediate feedback they give you. This highlights any weaknesses you may have and gives you the chance to focus your studies in those areas.

MeasureUp is the official provider of Microsoft practice exams. It is one of the most extensive resources for IT certification practice tests, offering packages for a large range of exams.  You can find the Microsoft exam 70-697 practice exam here. This includes 119 questions to help you refine your knowledge on subjects like Windows desktop administration, maintenance and troubleshooting, Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. It then gives you thorough explanations about where you went wrong and how to improve.

MeasureUp’s 70-697 exam practice test costs £79 to buy. Alternatively, 60 and 30 day online versions are available for £72 and £66.

Firebrand also offer free and comprehensive practice tests for the 70-697 exam. You can access these on pages for MCSA: Windows 10 and Specialist: Windows 10. You can also find practice tests for all of Firebrand’s other 200+ accelerated courses.


4. Use a revision guide


Getting a revision guide is crucial to studying successfully. They give you integral information about the exam topics. They’ll dissect complex technologies or theories giving you in-depth detail. Plus they’ll often indicate which sections require more focus than others. Here are our top recommendations for the 70-697 exam.

Microsoft’s official revision guides are often a great place to start and are closely aligned to the exam content. The revision guide for the 70-697 exam, “Exam Ref 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices” is no different. Written by Microsoft MVP, Andrew Bettany, it covers exam objectives including, plan desktop and device deployment, configure networking and storage and manage data access and protection. It also pushes you further with varied real-world scenarios that show you how your new knowledge can be used.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1509303014.

A reliable alternative to Microsoft’s study guide is the “MCSA Microsoft Windows 10 Study Guide: Exam 70-697” by William Panek. This is also closely aligned to the latest version of the exam to make sure the information you get is as useful as possible. As well as including plenty of content on all of the exam topics, it also gives you access to the Sybex interactive online learning environment. This gives you extra online content and flashcards to expand and vary your studies. This book covers the exam content in a slightly different way that may suit your leaning style, with the possibility to learn online at times when you may not have the book with you.

You can find it on Amazon here. The ISBN is  978-1119252306.


5. Use a trial version


Downloading a trial version of Windows 10 Enterprise is the best way to practice and implement your Windows 10 knowledge. Combine this with a revision guide and you’ll be able to walkthrough each 70-697 exam topic, learning to manage each Windows 10 feature as you go. This’ll help make your learning more real, giving you an edge in the exam room. 

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.


Monday, 21 December 2015

10 best IT certifications for 2016

 By Sarah Morgan


1. (ISC)2’s CISSP


The Cyber security skills gap has been around for years now, and shows no sign of closing. The Financial Times described it as the “largest human capital shortage in the world”. (ISC)2’s CISSP continues to establish itself as the top IT certification and global standard in the field and is the perfect certification to elevate you into top level roles. It’s also now required by a vast amount of top jobs. 

It is so coveted because it covers the elite skills in both technical and managerial aspects of security including security engineering, risk management, access management, software development security and network security.

The demand for IT security will continue to soar in 2016 and getting CISSP certified will continue to be a fantastic way to reach the top security roles within the growing industry.


2. EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker


EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification can be directly used to prevent the cyber-attacks that have been making headline news recently. Ethical hackers carry out processes to simulate a real life cyber-attack on a business’s network. The difference being that when they find a weakness that could be maliciously exploited, they use their skills to protect businesses and close the gaps in security.

Because of these high profile attacks, such as JP Morgan Chase who recently lost 76 million data records, EC-Council’s CEH is continuing to be in high demand. This means the CEH is going to continue to grow to become a massive certification in the IT industry in 2016. 


Image courtesy of EC-Council

3. Cisco’s CCNA (Routing and Switching)


The skills gap is not exclusive to security. In a recent TEK Systems survey, 81% of bosses from all areas of IT say they have difficulty finding the right talent. Another of the most in demand areas is networking.

Cisco’s CCNA (Routing and Switching) is the best certification for you to get into a networking role and teaches you all the fundamental skills in areas like IP addressing, network device security, IP routing and LAN switching technologies.

The CCNA is not just a great certification to get into networking, but is a great certification to get into IT. This is because these skills are versatile, and networking is applicable in many other areas of IT. Getting CCNA certified in 2016 is a great move to get your IT and networking career moving in one of the best directions possible.


4. Microsoft Specialist: Windows 10


The release of Windows 10 back in July was probably one of the most exciting IT events of 2015. Certifications to accompany it, helping you get skilled up on the operating system are rapidly being released.

The primary certification for Windows 10 in 2016 is likely to be the new Microsoft Specialist: Windows 10. Following Microsoft Official Curriculum, the course will take you right through from installing Windows 10, to using all of Windows 10’s advanced capabilities. These include managing user profiles and state virtualisation, managing Hyper-V and managing devices using Enterprise Mobility Solutions and Enterprise Desktop.

With further development to the content and refinement as more and more people get certified, Microsoft Specialist: Windows 10 will be one of the certifications to get excited about in 2016.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

5. AXELOS PRINCE 2 AGILE


Brilliant managers who complete successful projects at a high rate are hard to find. This is why project management skills are useful in almost any workplace at almost any time, particularly in IT.

The PRINCE2 Agile certification from Axelos is one of the most comprehensive in the world as it combines two of the most popular project management methodologies. PRINCE2, the most popular methodology in the UK, along with Agile, give you unrivaled breadth of project management knowledge from a certification.

Learn the highly transferable skills that the PRINCE2 and Agile methodologies include, and you’ll be much more able to move up the careers ladder, completing successful projects at a higher rate. 


6. The Open Group TOGAF® 9.1 Certification


1000s of companies worldwide have implemented TOGAF skills to improve their productivity and the UK leads this trend accounting for 16% of all TOGAF certified professionals. Continuing this trend, many businesses are now making a TOGAF certification a requirement for a wide variety of roles in IT. 

This trend of more businesses adopting Enterprise Architecture skills like those in TOGAF, means getting certified in 2016 will be a great move for almost anyone in IT. Gaining skills and knowledge in the Architecture Development Method (ADM), The Enterprise Continuum and the TOGAF Resource Base can help you get a better return from your IT operations, helping things run faster, cheaper and reducing risk.


7. Microsoft MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect


Cloud technology made huge strides in 2015, becoming much more important to businesses and the momentum will continue throughout 2016 and beyond. In the coming year we’re likely to see an increase in the capacity and reliability of cloudops - analytics that will allow cloud performance to be monitored more closely and predict when it is likely to suffer.

Microsoft’s Azure is at the forefront of the cloud movement. If you haven’t migrated your existing on premise infrastructure to Azure (or another cloud offering), 2016 is a great time to get your business’s architecture prepared for the future.

Getting Microsoft MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect certified will teach you how to integrate into one of the world’s leading cloud platforms. You’ll have the skills to migrate your business’s architecture to the cloud, managing Azure Virtual machines and the hosting and storing of web applications and SQL data.

You’ll then be able to start reaping the benefits cloud technology brings like increased flexibility, simpler disaster recovery, better security, automatic software updates and capital-free expenditure.


8. (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) 



(ISC)2’s CCSP specialises in cloud security. The above-mentioned growing cloud market needs IT professionals to adopt vital skills including security, another industry currently in high demand.

The CCSP will teach you comprehensive knowledge of cloud security operations. It covers data protection, data recovery, access management, the software development lifecycle and every aspect of cloud infrastructure protection.


Image courtesy of FutUndBeidl/Flickr
2016 is a fantastic time to get cloud certified. As the technology continues to develop and expand, more professionals with cloud skills will be needed to deploy and maintain cloud architectures. It’s worth mentioning those who are slow to adapt their skills to the cloud now, will be left regretting it in the future when cloud technology becomes the norm.

9. VMware® vSphere: Fast Track [V6]


VMware’s vSphere v6 was released earlier this year and is now established in the market. It is the best way to learn how to introduce and manage a vSphere infrastructure into your business. Version 6 introduced new capacities, supporting up to 64 nodes and 8.000 VMs as well as 12 vCPUs and 4 TB vRAM. These now allow you to make more of the high availability, hardware flexibility, reduced power consumption and faster provisioning that VMware and vSphere can bring to your business and help make it more efficient.

All of this means that 2016 is an excellent time for you to introduce vSphere to your business with the skills the VMware® vSphere: Fast Track [V6] certification can give you. Or if you’re already implementing vSphere, learning to use vCenter Server, manage host storage, configure virtual networks, create a vApp and how to install vSphere components will be valuable in improving how you currently manage the technology.

10. Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2016


The launch of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2016 platform has been highly anticipated. Since early 2015 Microsoft has been drip-feeding snippets of information about their new offering and while the technology is still yet to be officially launched, Microsoft did recently announce the launch of the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certification. Firebrand also had the fantastic opportunity to have a sneak-peek at Windows Server 2016 back in August which further built anticipation.


The exact curriculum still remains unannounced, but the course will teach you to implement and manage Windows Server 2016, as well as covering server security, storage and architecture management. It will be exciting to see what developments Microsoft has for their new Windows Server platform in 2016, as well as the MCSA that will accompany it. 

Many people are already eager to get skilled on the latest Microsoft technology and as the certification officially launches, it will be one of the hottest new certifications to hit the market in 2016.

 About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

How the launch of Windows 10 affects your business


Microsoft’s highly anticipated Windows 10 was released yesterday. The new multi-platform operating system is intended to bridge the gap between Microsoft devices and merges the eccentric Windows 8, with more traditional components of Windows that users are familiar with.

Whilst achieving these things, the intention is to advance Microsoft’s operating system, giving businesses a platform for the long-term future of computing.

Also, for the first year, it is free to anyone with Windows 7 or 8 currently installed. Find out how to upgrade here.

How the new features can help your business

Being multi-platform, Windows 10 will increase interactivity across the workplace and when working from home. Transitioning between a PC and tablet has never been easier. The majority of Microsoft Office programs are now Universal apps, which means they are available across all Windows 10 platforms.

Operating features like the new start menu, Action center and Quick Access area will increase productivity, making day-to-day usage quicker and easier. Also, Microsoft’s new, faster browser Microsoft Edge, allows you to annotate, save and share web pages easily between colleagues.

Your business’s data will be more protected with the new Windows Passport. This removes the need to use passwords, which can be hacked, instead using fingerprint readers and eventually face and iris readers to gain access to data. This is vital for protecting sensitive data.



The range of platforms on which Windows 10 can operate



What else is new?

  • Security enhancements, including Windows Passport
  • Device Guard - ensures a device only runs apps authorised by your business
  • Device management features – allows you to lock down a device to for a function, for example a portable device for drivers to check their route, to manage multiple users who have Azure AD accounts and to manage VPN configuration
  • Enterprise Data Protection - preventing accidental data disclosure through apps and services outside of your control like e-mail, social media and the cloud
  • Provisioning packages – come with simple instructions so it is quick and easy to configure multiple devices in your business and without mobile device management infrastructure
  • Task view - makes switching between apps and windows easier giving you multiple desktops, allowing you to separate different areas of your work


How you can master Windows 10 first

Because Windows 10 is such a large scale release, expect it to affect many certifications. As referred to in our previous blog post, at WPC 2015, Microsoft unveiled six new MOCs relevant to Windows 10. As well as these, we expect Microsoft to announce a new curriculum for Microsoft MCSA: Windows 10 towards the end of 2015.


Related Articles:




 About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Microsoft unveil new MOCs at WPC 2015

This year the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was held in Orlando, from the 12th July until the 16th. Whilst we were expecting news on SQL Server 2016, Windows Server 2016 and SharePoint 2016, Microsoft also unveiled new MOC titles.

In this blog we’ve compiled a list of the newly announced MOC’s, including discussion and speculation. Microsoft has not yet stated which certification, if any, each MOC is relevant to.



Windows 10

Windows 10, Microsoft’s new multi-platform operating system, is planned for release on 29th July. Microsoft revealed new MOC titles to accompany the launch of Windows 10, which should align to MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications.

Expected to be released around September this year, Microsoft revealed these new MOC titles:

  • Installing and configuring Windows 10
  •  Deploying and Managing Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  •  Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10
  • Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  • Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications
  • Administering System Center Configuration Manager and Intune

As Windows 10 is an upgrade for Windows 8.1, one would assume that certifications like MCSA: Windows 8.1 would be updated too. The first two MOCs in the above list are similar to those in MCSA: Windows 8.1 titled “Configuring Windows 8.1” and “Supporting Windows 8.1”. This supports the thinking that these new MOCs are direct upgrades.

Plus, the “Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise” could be an addition to the MCSA: Windows 10, whilst the “Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10” MOC appears completely new.

The current version of “Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications” is included in MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certification. It looks likely that we will now see an update of this certification that includes these new MOCs.








Windows Server/System Center

These MOCs apply to another new release for Microsoft, Windows Server 2016, as well as System Center:

  • Fundamentals of a Windows Server Infrastructure 
  • Fundamentals of Windows Server Storage and Virtualisation 
  • Configuring and Managing Windows 10 Devices (ecm) 
  • Planning and Implementing a Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Advanced Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Enterprise Windows Infrastructure 
  • Managing and Maintaining a Windows Cloud Infrastructure 
  • Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext

We can only assume that the first three courses in the list apply to the new MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 course because the current MOC titles are worded slightly differently; “Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services” and “Administering Windows Server 2012” for example.

The new Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) is expected September/October and the new MOCS normally arrive 3-6 months after the technology, so expect these in 2016. These could possibly be upgrades to the curriculum for “MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2”, “MCSE:Server Infrastructure”, “MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure” and “MCSE: Private Cloud”. However the names are so far removed, it is hard to tell what Microsoft has planned.

“Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext” is an upgrade path from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016. If you have an existing MCSA or MCSE relating to Windows Server 2016 (could also be related to Windows Server 2008), this will be the course for upgrading your certification.

Data Platform

SQL Server 2016 is scheduled for released in September or October this year. This means certifications like MCSA: SQL Server, MCSE:Business Intelligence (SQL Server) and MCSE: Data Platform (SQL Server) will be updated. The newly unveiled MOC titles are:

  • Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016 (this is an upgrade path) 
  • Install and Configure SQL Databases 
  • Query Data with Transact-SQL 
  • Analyze and Visualize Data with Power BI 
  • Developing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Data Clients with MVC and LINQ 
  • Performance Tuning and Optimizing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Non-Relational Databases 
  • Provisioning a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Operating a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Implementing SQL Server High Availability 
  • Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse 
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports 
  • Delivering Dashboards and Self-Service BI

Again, we are likely to see the new MOCs arrive in early 2016, 3-6 months after SQL Server 2016’s release. Many of these titles are similar to those in current SQL Server certifications -  e.g. “Querying Microsoft SQL Server” and “Implementing Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server” in the MCSA: SQL Server certification.

Expect some to be added to other certifications, but it is difficult to predict exactly how and where. In addition, “Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016” is clearly an upgrade path for the new technology.

Messaging

Lync Server began the transition to Skype for Business Server on April 14th 2015. Businesses now benefit from a familiar Skype interface, a more global reach and continuity from existing Lync features. At WPC Microsoft revealed these new Messaging MOCs:

  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • Managing Office 365 Identities and Services
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 (no exam)
  • Core solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 (no exam)

In line with this, the MCSE: Communication certification will be updated, probably with “Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015.”

The second MOC on the list, “Managing Office 365 Identities and Services” is included within the current MCSA: Office 365 certification. It’s safe to assume that there is a direct update on the way for this certification.

“Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016” and “Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016”, are directly linked to the MOCs within the existing MCSE: Messaging. Finally, the last two MOCs are part of the MCSE: SharePoint course. We can be confident that this is a direct curriculum update for the existing MCSE SharePoint certification.

It’s worth noting that currently, both the “Advanced Solutions” of Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint Server MOCs, align to an exam. Whereas, the versions revealed at WPC the 2016 technologies do not align to an exam. Perhaps this will become clearer when Microsoft Exchange Server is released around September or October.

We’ll keep you updated with anymore MOC news coming out of WPC and beyond.  As always, expect accelerated Firebrand courses for Microsoft’s newest technologies.


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Microsoft ends mainstream support for Windows 7


By Sarah Morgan


Mainstream support for Windows 7, the world’s most popular operating system, ended on Tuesday.

Windows 7 is now entering an extended support phase that will continue until at least January 14 2020. After this January date it will take its place aside the now unsupported Windows XP operating system.




What is Extended Support? 

On the 13 January 2015, Windows 7 entered Extended Support. That means support for users will now consist solely of security updates. 

Users will now miss out on free incident support, warranty claims, fixes for non-security bugs, design changes and feature requests. Users will also no longer receive new features or be able to call Microsoft for free tech support regarding issues with the OS.

Essentially, Windows 7 will not be receiving any more significant updates, though security vulnerabilities will still be dealt with. There’s nothing to worry about, so long as you regularly run Windows Update

You can also take a look at the Windows Lifecycle page for additional upcoming sale and support dates covering Microsoft’s desktop operating systems. 


The world’s most popular operating system 

In October 2014 Microsoft ceased shipping Windows 7 to retailers. But despite the operating system now only being available to consumers whilst stocks last, it remains the world’s most popular operating system with over 50% market share. The release of Windows 8 didn’t do much to damage this market share but that’s set to change with the release of Windows 10.

If you’re sticking to an older Windows OS, 2015 is set to be the year to upgrade. Windows 10 is around the corner and with it comes the return of the start menu, as well as a host of other improvements. And if you are running Windows 8, you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free





Find out more about what to expect from Windows 10 here.


Related Articles:
About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Download Windows 10 tomorrow and shape the future of Microsoft's new OS

By 

Microsoft yesterday announced the launch of Windows 10. You can be the first to download the technical preview tomorrow by signing up to the Windows Insider Program. As an IT pro or PC expert, you will gain exclusive access to the beta and help craft what Windows 10 will become. 

For those eager to get hands-on with the technical previews for Windows Server and associated management tools, i'm afraid you're going to have to wait a little longer. These will be launched 'soon after', which roughly translates to 6-8 weeks.

So let's take a closer look at the new launch....


What to expect in Windows 10


Although it's early days in the development of the new OS, Microsoft's statement of intent is clear. Skipping Windows 9 and going straight to Windows 10 suggests that the new OS is less of an incremental improvement,  but an aspirational phase shift to a new generation of Windows Operating systems.

In fact, that's almost word for word what Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft said:

Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect. This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers,” 

In summary: Expect big things from Windows 10. With a focus on the Enterprise.


New Features


Although specific details are yet unclear, we've been given an advanced screening of what to expect in tomorrow's technical preview:

Start menu: Back by popular demand, the Start returns bringing with it customization features allowing you to add your favorite Live Tiles and Apps.




Everything runs in a window: Just like when opening standard desktop applications, the Windows Store Apps will now open in in the same format. Windows can be resized and moved around with the standard maximize, minimize and close buttons also included.




Snap enhancements: It is now possible to open 4 apps on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. This allows rapid transition between applications improving the ability to mutli-task. Should the 'quadrant layout' not contain 4 apps, Windows will suggest other apps with smart suggestions to fill additional screen space.




Multiple desktops: It's now possible to create different desktops for projects, purposes and jobs roles. A desktop for every occasion so to speak. These can be switched between with consummate ease.




New task view button: Transition rapidly between open files and desktops using the new task-view button found in the taskbar.



Find files faster: File Explorer has been upgraded to include a display of recent files and frequently visited folders.

Check out this video from Joe Belfiore,Vice President for Windows, where he introduces you to all the aforementioned features:



What the experts are saying


Whenever a new system is launched, everyone has an opinion. Having perused my way through every Windows 10 launch article imaginable, here's the buzz.

The Register - Iain Thomson
Microsoft unwraps WINDOWS 10. Evidently, Seven ate Nine

"It's very early days yet, and what we've seen so far is only a small facet of what's coming for Windows 10 and its apparent focus on the enterprise sector. More consumer features will be announced in the coming months but, based on the sneak peek, this new OS may get Microsoft back in the good books of enterprise buyers."

The Next Web - Roberto Baldwin
Hands on with the Windows 10 preview build

"Microsoft made certain the audience understood that we were seeing an early build of its next operating system. Early build or not, for power users that demand multi-tasking, the oddly named Windows 10 looks ready to help you get everything done."

BBC Technology - Richard Taylor
Microsoft unveils Windows 10 system with Start Menu

"The user interface feels familiar yet modern. The "dual mode" - which aimed to satisfy tablet and PC users, but alienated both - has been replaced with a dynamically-adjusting interface and behaviour, determined by whether you are using a keyboard/mouse, or touch."

"Ultimately Windows 10 success will depend on its execution. But at least under the new leadership, Microsoft is showing it is listening. It needs to if it is to stay relevant and stop the march of Android and Apple."

Techcrunch - Alex Wilhelm and Frederic Lardinois
Microsoft Announces Windows 10

"One thing Microsoft clearly learned from the experience with Windows 8 is that if it wants to build a single operating system and user interface for every device, it can’t just optimize for edge cases."

Techworld - Juan Carlos Perez
With Windows 10, a contrite Microsoft will try to atone for Windows 8 mistakes

"Humbled by businesses' dislike for Windows 8, Microsoft has issued a mea culpa, offered the world a first peek at Windows 10 and pledged that the new OS will delight IT executives. But the true test of whether Microsoft can move past its Windows 8 mistakes will come when Windows 10 is commercially released at some point next summer."

Make your own decision


Come this time tomorrow, you could already be getting to grips with Windows 10 and making your own opinion on Windows 10. As well as perhaps making some credible suggestions on how Microsoft can make it better.

I for one will be first to put my name down to see what's in store. Exciting times lie ahead.

About the Author

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.