I used to be an Apple Fanboy and still have the gear; but over the last year I have really enjoyed moving back to Windows.I have been a beta tester for Windows OS since XP 64 bit. I tested Vista, Windows 7 (even hosting a Windows 7 party for the launch), but missed out on Windows 8. Probably a wise move in hindsight.
I got myself a Lumia 925 last year. I love that phone. Am running Developer’s Preview 8.1 Update 1, even creating my own apps using AppStudio beta (appstudio.microsoft.com register for free to get a developer’s licence for free on a month by month basis). These apps work on my phone and on my laptop as well.
I recently saw that Microsoft had removed licensing fees for the Windows 8.1 with Bing OS for budget tablets. But how would it fare?
I bought a Toshiba Encore 10.1 inch tablet for just £219 from Littlewoods. This tablet feels just as nice at the Galaxy Note 10.1 I sold to buy it. The cameras are not as good, but for Skype the front one is decent enough. What sets it apart is that it has a quad core Intel Atom processor, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB on board. I have also expanded it by adding a micro SD. I used a class10 32GB card and formatted it to NTFS so that I can use it as a D drive for storing documents, pictures etc.This saves the on board storage for programmes.
This tablet runs FULL windows 8.1, not a pared down version or RT. This means you can download an install any programme you can run on a normal Windows 8.1 laptop. It runs apps and has desktop mode. This was the deal breaker for me. A tablet running full flash, silverlight, office and anything else you want to throw at it. You even get a free year’s subscription to Office 365, worth £79. This tablet is well built and feels nice in the hand. the touchscreen is sensitive enough and is a delight to use. It has a decent battery life as well. It also has Dolby stereo speakers.
I has a combined 3.5mm mic/headphone jack. It also has a built in microphone. You can stream it to an HDMI connected TV or Monitor by using a micro-HDMI- HDMI cable. You can extend, duplicate and choose which screen to use, as per any other Windows 8.1 pc. This is basically a laptop in a tablet. Fully functional and fully laden. It supports USB On-The-Go so that you can attach a portable hard drive to it, flash drive or wired mouse/keyboard. It has Bluetooth built in, as well as wifi. This means you can connect Bluetooth devices, like a phone, speaker or even a Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard and mouse which uses built in Bluetooth rather than its own adapter. You can also add a USB hub to give yourself a few more ports.It has an HD screen and is capable of playing HD content. When streamed to a TV by HDMI the output is up to 1080p.
If you are looking for a cheap alternative to an android or iPad, then you could do a lot worse than the Toshiba Encore 2, available from Amazon and Littlewoods and Very.
I have been testing Windows 10 preview. I installed it onto my laptop (beware they recommend you not to install it on your main pc), but as I have a tablet to fall back on, this was ok for me. I don’t mind wiping and reinstalling my OS. Been doing it for years.
First impressions are good. The start menu is back which is great, although it could do with some better reorganisation. The live tiles can now be pinned to the start menu instead of the scrollable screen. There is a way to bring back the start screen if you prefer it. I have not done that as yet.
I have had no trouble installing and running windows 8 programmes and applications. Even the ones I created myself, which is really nice. It is extremely fast, and incredibly stable for a pre-release copy. I am not too happy about the new snap feature. Seems a bit backwards to me; and is not as practical as the Windows 8.1 version. But I like the idea of multiple desktops, which I have been using in OSX for a few years. It is still a little sloppy when full screen apps are open with multiple desktops, but this is still a pre-release so I hope this will be tidied up before final release.
Windows 10 seems an odd choice. What happened to Windows 9? There are several theories. Some people say that the number 9 is unlucky in China, so it was skipped. Some people think 8.1 was meant to be Windows 9. Then there is the issue that when Windows 95 and 98 were developed programmers used the term 9x in coding and this could cause issues if the new OS was called Windows 9, because it was already in use.
Another theory is that 10 is close to 1.0 and with the Xbox One this gives it a unifying look. Whichever it is, Microsoft finally seem to be getting things right. This OS seems to have the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 with a smattering of freshness and true speed.
It is free to join up, so if you are geeky, have a windows phone or just want to give it a try, look up the windows insider website in a search engine and download it. It is about 4GB for the 64 bit version. Remember to back up ALL your files before you mess around with your operating system.
I hope you enjoyed my little review and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Cheers.