How to get Windows 10’s best features right now

Windows 8 wasn’t as successful as Microsoft had hoped, but with Windows 10 it will try to correct its mistakes. Windows 10 contains a lot of new features, but many of these improvements are already available on Windows 8.1 with some useful third-party apps.

The Start Menu, easier navigation, and apps in windowed mode are all improvements that Microsoft will push in Windows 10. But you don’t have to wait until 2015 to experience these updates. App developers have already fixed these problems with apps.

Windows 10 Start Menu

Back in April 2014, Microsoft showed off the return of the Start Menu. Essentially it’s the Start Menu from Windows 7 with support for Windows Store apps.

If you don’t want to wait until 2015 to get your hands on Windows 10, there are already apps available for Windows 8.1 that give you most of Windows 10’s features. The apps look different, but offer almost the same functionality as the Windows 10 Start Menu. The only thing missing is Live Tiles.

Windows Store Apps in windowed mode

Windows 10 will let you use all programs and apps in windowed mode. The separation between Modern UI apps (now called Universal apps) and legacy desktop apps didn’t make it easy to navigate in Windows 8.1. Now everything will be able to be displayed in familiar windows, making it easier for new users to understand.


There are two apps available that let you use apps in windows: ModernMix and Actual Multiple Monitors.

windows_8-apps-in-desktop-window

Windows 10 – with or without the Charms Bar

Many Windows 8 users didn’t like the Charms Bar. Microsoft claims there will be improvements in Windows 10, but there aren’t any known details. According to rumors, Microsoft wants to automatically disable the Charms Bar on PCs without a touchscreen, which makes sense since features in the bar already exist elsewhere in the operating system.

Windows 10 Task View for Windows 8.1

Another new feature in Windows 10 is the Task View feature for switching between apps. The feature should make it much easier to organize your windows and apps in Windows 10. It’s basically a copy of OS X’s Mission Control, but developers have already created apps that do this in Windows 8.1.

Emcee for Windows 8 is an useful app for switching between apps. Desktop programs and Windows Store apps appear in different views. The app is also compatible with touchscreens.

Emcee for Windows 8.1
Windows 10 isn’t a revolutionary operating system, but it fixes a lot of issues people had with Windows 8 and 8.1. When the new operating system releases in 2015, Windows users should expect a more polished and well-designed OS.

The question is if there will be a substantial reason for Windows users to want to upgrade. It’s possible that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade, but Microsoft is staying quiet about pricing for now.

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Article translated from German for Softonic DE.

Follow me on Twitter @mkasanm.

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