When there is a technical preview of a Windows operating system available to the public I usually install it on my desktop in a dual boot configuration with my current OS. That allows me the flexibility to test it throughout the day or use it as my daily driver but still have my solid current desktop OS running – in this case Windows 8.1.
The installation of Windows on a system that already contains a Windows install will manage giving you a dual boot menu as part of the installation process of the OS. You can modify the defaults for that so that a specific OS always boots up and the amount of time (up to 30 seconds) which the dual boot menu will be on screen so you can make a selection.
If you are like me though I always set that timer for less than 10 seconds and quite often I miss the dual boot menu and end up restarting the system all over again to get back to it and the OS I want to boot into.
That frustrating process is the catalyst for a feature that could be very useful in Windows 10 and tied into the current power menu off the Start Menu/Start Screen.
Windows already knows you are in a dual boot setup as I mentioned earlier but this information is also available in the System Properties under Advanced system settings>Startup and Recovery>Settings options.
Pro Tip: You can also use these settings to modify the default OS and length of time the boot menu is displayed. If you remove a dual boot system you can also turn off the dual boot menu from here as well.
So since Windows knows you are dual booting it should not be too hard to insert entries on the power menu to allow you to close down the OS you are in and then boot into your desired OS.
Here is what that menu looks like in the current build of Windows 10.
Now here is a mockup, not to scale of course, of what that revised power menu could look like and allow this functionality of selecting other OS’s to boot into.
So what do you think? Would you find an option like this useful?