Microsoft’s Windows 10 is nearly upon us, and from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like a seriously huge improvement over the disaster that was Windows 8.
But regardless of how much better Windows 10 is than its predecessor — which, again, was awful — the big question on many minds will be: How does Windows 10 compare to Apple’s OS X?
And, sure, while there are plenty of things that Windows 10 seems to have “borrowed” from OS X — the new notification panel is just like the Notification Center in OS X, and Windows’ Task View is a dead ringer for Apple’s Mission Control — there are a bunch of features in Windows 10 that OS X can’t match. Here are five of the most notable.
1. Scribble on web pages
Yep, we’re going there: Touchscreens were both a curse and a blessing for Windows 8. When Windows 8 first came out, using a touchscreen on a laptop or desktop felt strange and confusing. But after a while, you came to expect your PC to have a screen that responded to your touch.
Windows 10 is doubling down on touchscreen capabilities by letting you do things like annotate webpages using the new Microsoft Edge Web browser by writing directly on the screen, so long as your computer has a touchscreen display. Once you write on the page, you can save your chicken scratch as an image file or share it with your friends and colleagues.
Oh, and you’ll still be able to play touch-based games like Fruit Ninja.
2. Switch between desktop and tablet
Speaking of touchscreens, Windows 10 will also work much better when used on laptop-tablet hybrids such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga, thanks to its new Continuum Mode.
With Continuum, you’ll be able to use your Surface Pro 3 like a regular Windows 7-style laptop and then automatically switch to the Windows 8-style tablet mode when you disconnect the Surface’s keyboard.
Your Apple friends, on the other hand, will still have to carry around their iPads and MacBooks if they want to have both a tablet and laptop.
3. Search by voice
OK, the concept for Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant is a pretty big rip-off of Apple’s Siri. But whereas Siri is trapped on the iPhone and iPad, Cortana is coming to your desktop and laptop PC, which means you’ll be able to search the Web and your PC using just your voice.
But Cortana is more than just someone to talk to when you’re lonely: She, er, it will also provide you with weather updates and sports scores, help manage your schedule, and more — all on your desktop, laptop, or laptop-tablet hybrid.
4. Stream Xbox One games
Xbox One and Windows 10 are going to be excellent bedfellows, thanks to Windows 10’s new Xbox One game-streaming. As the name implies, the feature will let you wirelessly stream your Xbox One games directly to your Windows 10 desktop, laptop, or tablet over your home’s Wi-Fi network, so you’ll be able to play Call of Duty from the comfort of wherever.
But that’s not all Xbox One streaming gets you. It will also let you play multiplayer games with your friends who have an Xbox One from your PC — a feature gamers have wanted for years.
5. Play the hottest games
Of course, like its predecessors, Windows 10 will be the go-to operating system for anyone who wants to play the latest and greatest computer games with the best graphics possible. Sure Apple’s App Store offers some game titles. But the selection is nothing like what’s available for Windows. So if you want to be able to play things like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Mortal Kombat X, you’re going to need a Windows 10 PC.
More from 10 Days of Windows 10:
- Windows 10 Reviewed: Microsoft Returns to Sanity
- 10 Reviews of Windows 10: Yes You Should Upgrade, But Not Just Yet
- 6 Reasons Microsoft Edge Is a Better Browser than Internet Explorer
- 5 Reasons Windows 10 Is Good for Gamers
- Windows 10: The Product of a Chastened and Changed Microsoft
- Eight Reasons Not to Upgrade to Windows 10
- Here’s How to Check If Your PC Can Run Windows 10
- Windows 10: Which Version Should You Get?
- Inside Windows Cortana: The Most Human AI Ever
- Windows 10: 6 Excellent Reasons to Upgrade Your PC
- Windows Through the Ages: How Does Windows 10 Stack Up?