Some Awesome Windows 10 Features You Can Get Now on Windows 7 and 8

By on October 10, 2014 | 3:40 pm
Desktop showing some Windows 10 features
October 10, 2014 | 3:40 pm

You probably know that Microsoft recently announced the new Windows 10 Operating System, and it is going to be packed with some fantastic new features. As many Windows 8 users are unhappy with their operating system, it is likely that many will be tempted to upgrade as soon as possible. However, you can get some of the Windows 10 features without having to worry about upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.

Start Menu

If you are using Windows 7, you already have a Start Menu. However, Windows 8 and 8.1 users are not so lucky. Originally, Microsoft said that they would add a Start Menu in Windows 8.1 Update 2, but that did not happen, and it looks as though Windows 8 users will never see an official start menu unless they upgrade to Windows 10, which is rumored be a free upgrade, but Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny.

But wait, Windows 8 users can have a Start Menu right now if they install one from a third party. One of the best is Start8 from Stardock, which offers a Windows 8 style Start Menu that is very similar to the one in Windows 10. If you do not like that look, there are also Windows 7 style classic Start Menus to pick from.

Universal Apps in Windows

Microsoft has called these applications many different things including Metro, modern, immersive UI, Windows 8 style, Store and now universal apps. It does not matter what Microsoft call them, these full screen apps are still annoying and inconvenient to use. Microsoft has fixed this issue in Windows 10, where these apps will be able to run in a window instead of taking up the entire screen. However, if you do not want to wait for Windows 10, you can install ModernMix and make all of those annoying apps sit neatly in windows on Windows 8.

Virtual Desktops

Although virtual desktops have been a part of both Mac and Linux desktops for quite some time, they are only officially coming to Windows with Windows 10. But you can get virtual desktops today by using one of the many utility apps available. Desktop 2.0 is a utility offered by Microsoft that allows you to use virtual desktop support right now on your Windows 8 machine.

Task View (Expose)

This was a feature added to the Mac OS X operating system, and then a similar feature was added to Linux. However, Microsoft has refused to copy this feature until recently with Task View in Windows 10. There are plenty of third party applications that can do this, and one of our favorites is Switcher 2.0, an app that was originally designed for Windows Vista but works well on both Windows 7 and 8.

A Voice Assistant and Notifications

Eventually, Microsoft will add Cortana to Windows 10, but have not confirmed when. However, you can install Google Chrome. Simply open the browser, click on the microphone icon and perform a voice search.

Chrome also features a notification center with similar notifications, as those Cortana will offer.

Obviously, you cannot replicate everything that Windows 10 will have to offer, but at least you don’t have to wait for its release to be able to try out a few of them.

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