As you might have noticed by our bevy of posts on the operating system, Windows 10 is coming. Many of you are asking what this means for both PC gamers and everyday users alike. With a complete break down of all today’s news as it hit live, we’ve written up a few articles, but here’s everything we know about the new OS so far.

First and foremost, those looking to upgrade their current Windows to a new version have been very shy since the launch of Windows 8. With its vastly different appearance, anyone who hasn’t had a tutorial from their local nerd might be intimidated by a complete lack of Start Menu. This was so much a problem that Windows 8 underwent a major update, released for free to those with the OS to add on a Start button yet again. Windows 8.1, as it is now known may feature a Start button, but yet still consumers haven’t been happy with the function of this button only opening a panel of colorful blocks that still confuse those without the operating system and push them away. With Windows 10, for the first time in many years we will see the true return of the Start Menu.

With this over-sized Start Menu making good on what Windows 8.1 could not, users familiar with older versions of Windows up to Windows 7 can enjoy a familiar environment yet again. Shown above, we can see a Start bar filled with some of the user’s favorite applications, as well as a Start Menu filled with applications. In this display we can see some of what was successful about the Windows 8 platform in ease of access to weather, news and mail, as well as applications still being available in just a few clicks in the “All Apps” button. This will operate much like the “Programs” section of older Windows platforms, but save you a few clicks on your favorite games and business applications.

Off to a promising start, Windows 10 wants to help you find what you need without the conventional search function. Sure, the new Windows will allow for the traditional type-to-search, but with the addition of a former Windows Phone exclusive, you’ll be searching with your voice in the Windows of tomorrow. Windows 10 will introduce Cortana, a familiar AI from the Halo series that acts similar to Siri from Apple’s iPhone, but with more fluent and real speech in reply to your questions. Asking Cortana to search for “Mail”, she can take you to your email inbox, or help you find the post office nearby in a Bing search, depending on your needs. Cortana will serve as a complete replacement for the Windows search function, where she will do everything you already can and more if you request it – even show you the results to your favorite sporting events if you’re interested.

Windows 10 will also kill a much maligned browser that has been paired with the OS for over 20 years. That’s right, Internet Explorer is dead. Replacing the vulnerable browser with an all new option, Microsoft is tentatively calling the new browser “Project Spartan”, likely in line with the addition of the Cortana search function. This browser is being constructed from the ground up, using none of the Internet Explorer framework, which could bring significant improvements to safety and compatibility with a constantly changing internet. Highlighted today, Project Spartan has a “note-taking mode” that allows someone working on a touch enabled device, or someone with a Leap Motion to write straight on the page and highlight the details they need to save on Microsoft’s OneNote. If you’re reading loads of articles like these, Spartan will also allow for a “reading mode” where you can save articles for later reading if you’re on the go, similar to what the Safari browser can do today.

As a reader on PowerLeveled, you likely know what we’re all about – games! Windows 10 is all about games as well, with some of their biggest highlights coming from the gaming sector. Announced as part of their gaming push with the next Windows, we can look forward to an all-new DirectX platform. DirectX 11 is currently one of the industry’s leading rendering platforms for producing beautiful games on your PC. Competing almost exclusively with the OpenGL service, it’s more than likely that you’ve installed DirectX a few hundred times in the last 20 years, and your video card knows just how to use it. Releasing DirectX 12 with Windows 10, not only will we see a significant boost in graphics potential, but your existing video cards may perform much better with the software update. This is great news for both the PC and the Xbox One, which both currently run on a Windows 8.1 backbone with DirectX 11. According to the official DirectX 12 website, the video card you’re running right now should have about half the load – assuming it’s compatible.

Speaking of Xbox One, you’ll love what Windows 10 does for Xbox One this year. As Windows 10 launches, those with an Xbox One can soon play cross-platform against PC gamers. Because both operating systems will be built on the Windows 10 framework, you’ll not only be able to play with and against PC gamers with your Xbox One, but you can now stream games from your Xbox One to your PC, or other Windows 10 platform. Yep, this means you’ll be playing Xbox One games from your Laptop, Tablet, and potentially your Windows phone. Anything that is running on Windows 10 can stream your Xbox One with the Xbox App, allowing you to play the Halo: Master Chief Collection for the first time on PC, assuming you own an Xbox One. All non-exclusive titles have the potential to play cross-platform, but no specifics were given on whether you would have to buy your games in the Windows Store to make this happen.

If you’re looking at the greater Microsoft ecosystem, there were some pretty huge announcements today as well including Windows phones, tablets and other software.

Regarding Windows Phone, simply put, there is no “Windows Phone.” Windows 10 is now specifically tailored to change its layout for devices smaller than 8 inches. These smaller devices will look similar to how Windows Phone looks today, with with much less limited app selection, thanks to the elimination of a distinction between Windows and Windows Phone. With Windows 10, you’ll be working with the same notifications and we shouldn’t have to worry about whether we’re using an ARM processor [Smartphone/Tablet] or an x86 processor [Traditional PC.] Microsoft was very clear today that we’re not going to be working with a Windows Phone operating system ever again, just regular Windows on a phone – something everyone has been searching for since the days of the Palm Pilot.

With the unification of both Windows and Windows Phone, we can soon enjoy the convenience of business without being tied down to a chair, as PowerPoint and the entire Microsoft Office suite will go mobile on Windows 10. Now that we don’t have to worry about compatibility issues, or what version or Windows we are buying, picking up a tablet to make a presentation or write up a document is easier than ever. Previewing that same presentation on your phone won’t be an issue either – a welcome upgrade. Of course we would be amiss to leave out OneDrive, Microsoft’s heavily focused cloud program. As our focus shifts from one device to another, your documents will naturally be able to come along for the ride, syncing all of your documents across all of the Windows devices you own. For those upgrading from Windows 7, this might come as a serious surprise, but it’s a welcome change if you own a desktop and a laptop, or forgot a flash drive at home when you needed to give someone a document. OneDrive was teased with a larger role in photos and music as well, but a sync for these features could be added in “a month or two,” should Microsoft follow up.

There’s one more thing we forgot to mention: Windows 10 is free for some Windows owners.

What do you think, will you make the move up to Windows 10 this year? Sound off in the comments below and look forward to more Windows 10 news right here on PowerLeveled.com