On the Charm offensive


One thing with the soon to arrive Windows 10, is the removal of the charms. This, if you’re a tablet owner especially a worrying prospect, when Joe Belfiore said, he wanted them gone but wasn’t sure on what would replace them, it didn’t bode well.

Desktop owners probably didn’t care too much over the loss of the annoying menu that appears if you dared to venture to the top right hand corner of the screen in Windows 8, but a said Tablet owners especially made use of the feature. In honesty it depends how you work, even on full desktop PC I still  find myself using charms, be it server or desktop PC.

Being able to right slide with the thumb and going straight into settings to choose your wifi, select your VPN of any other of the handy settings was going to take to some replacing to make it as snappy and responsive. The good news is Microsoft’s nailed in technical previews, lets hope the features here to stay.

Time to notify

In the later builds notifications now appear to replace charms, but also add a lot more to the Windows experience.

notification iconHiding away in the bottom right hand corner net to the clock is the notification menu, currently while under testing this section delivers messages from Microsoft with regard to updates and notifications about your PC. When it’s filled in or “white” you have a notification message ( a little like the mobile platform does). No notifications, and the speech bubble icon is clear.

What lies within

The notification button is perfectly placed, away from harm with the mouse, but spot on of the old right thumb tap, so tablet owners, you have not been forgotten.

notification buttons

Clicking, or tapping the icon reveals the notification bar, taking up approx,just under a quarter of the screen, above the buttons is an expand ^ option when clicked on reveals more features

notification buttons expanded

Tablet mode : An easy toggle if the continuum feature (swapping from laptop to tablet display when you split a 2 in 1 ) does not work with your PC. A straight simple switch changing you from the Windows 10 menu, to a full screen tablet mode, and back.

All settings: Invokes the “cog” icon / menu, in fairness the other buttons are shortcuts to the features within settings, avoiding a severe case of trigger thumb (or excessive mouse movement) to get to the options you’ve set up. The two I’ve found most useful in my work is the VPN, being able to just select your connection and “Display” to flick you to external monitor, or to even miracast if required.

Having lost your charms

The notification is an excellent adaption of the mobile phone feature, with a far more impressive effect than just telling you have a social media message outstanding, its still “sad” to see the loss of a Windows 8 feature, but a well preapared and useful replacement has been found without shadow of a doubt

Anyone who was a disgruntled user of Windows 8, you‘ll find it hard to bring down Windows 10. The speed and efficiency of working the operating system is a true pleasure to use. It’s as responsive as 8 was and more features that 7 could even provide without littering the desktop or dreaded start menu with shortcuts.

Addendum May 2015

Since the release of build 10130, the notification menu is no longer  a black slab, the menu will appear transparent  with an “aero” type effect.

A lost of my testing has been on the desktop, but when in tablet mode the notification menu can be active by sweeping in from the left hand side of the screen.