Windows 10: one OS to rule them all

Usability often takes a back seat with operating systems, not so with Windows 10.

We've come a long way since the days when the command line ruled the world of personal computing. MS-DOS and similar text-based operating systems came with a steep learning curve and not everyone possessed the visualisation skills needed to understand the abstract concepts that underpinned them.

So it's no surprise that the more familiar notion of a Desktop with icons and folders proved much more popular. So popular, in fact, that computers have been using this model in one form or another for more than 30 years.

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For most users, that means Microsoft Windows and it's remarkable just how long the core ideas of Windows have lasted. Windows 3.1 may have launched in 1992, but it's still clearly recognisable as the precursor to the many versions that followed  and by far the most popular PC operating system today.

When one interface isn't enough

The problem is that a user interface designed to be controlled by a mouse isn't much use when a computer doesn't have one. And the mouse, along with all other traditional' pointing devices, is one PC accessory that's falling by the wayside as tablets take hold. So what's the solution?

One thing is certain. An operating system with an interface that stays the same no matter what device it's used on isn't it. The functional requirements of an operating system differ greatly according to its host device, which means adapting to suit the screen size and even the most appropriate input method. So while tablets are increasingly popular in business, for example, a multi-touch display isn't the best option when there's a long document to be written  and a user interface should be sympathetic to that.

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Now it's straightforward enough to address such a diverse array of needs by deploying an equally diverse array of operating systems, but supporting more than one with everything from training to technical support is something few businesses are equipped to do. What's really needed is a single cross-platform operating system that's sophisticated enough to adapt to different hardware, while retaining enough consistency to makes it as easy to use on a smartphone as it is on a tablet or notebook PC. And that's where Windows 10 comes in.

Why Windows 10 matters for mobile

Designed from the start to suit a wide range of different hardware, Windows 10 combines the best features from the Windows that business users know inside out on the desktop with finger-friendly features that make it so easy to use on a touch-screen device. So not only will users feel right at home with Windows 10 on a notebook PC, but the interface feels equally familiar on a tablet.

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Windows 10 runs the wide range of standard software that's vital to any business, all accessed from the familiar Desktop and Start menu. So there's next to no learning curve for anyone who's used a Windows PC at any time over the last couple of decades  and with a 2-in-1 device like the HP Elite x2 1011, there's no need to abandon the keyboard and mouse when it comes to getting some serious work done.

Not everyone sits at a desk each day, of course, and mobile professionals need a PC that's as portable as it is powerful. That's where Windows 10 with the HP Elite x2 1011 also comes into its own. Simply detach the keyboard and it becomes a slim and lightweight tablet, but one with all the same essential Windows features  and one that still runs the same essential software.

One device for wherever your business takes you

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The key is that with the HP Elite x2 1011 undocked, Windows 10 switches automatically to tablet' mode, complete with a user interface that's much more suitable for multi-touch display control. The Start menu's Live Tiles expand to fill the screen for easy at-a-glance updates for everything from email and social media to the latest headline news, while full-screen universal' apps focus on what's important when you're on the move.

But here's the really important point. This experience isn't dictated by the kind of device you're using or its hardware features, and you're free to use Windows 10 in whichever mode you prefer at any time. A simple tap turns on tablet mode when the HP Elite x2 1011 is docked to its keyboard, for example, while universal apps can be run in resizable windows and even tiled side-by-side using multi-touch no mouse or trackpad required.

It's this adaptability that makes Windows such a winning formula for business, but it takes a PC with all the flexibility of the HP Elite x2 1011 to make the most of it. Whether docked in notebook mode or detached as a tablet, it's the one device you need for wherever your business takes you.

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