Introduction to Windows 10
Windows 10 is the latest operating system from software company Microsoft. It comes in two editions, Home and Pro. Since its release date on July 29th, 2015, if you have a legitimate Windows 7 or Windows 8 license, you are able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. If you currently have a computer with Windows XP or Windows Vista, you are not eligible for the free upgrade and you will have to buy a full license if you want to be on this latest version of Windows.
The edition of Windows 10 you will get, depends on the current edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 that you have. You can check out more details about the upgrade path here.
Comparing Windows 10 with Windows 7 & Windows 8
The Start Menu is similar to Windows 7, but with graphic design elements from Windows 8 (live tiles). Windows 10 includes familiar Start Menu features like the Most Used or Most Recent programs on the left side, and access to All Programs and Settings, such as: Control Panel, printers, sounds, etc. You also have access to Power Off or Restart or Log Off your computer from the start menu at a more reachable place.
On the right side of the Start menu are Live Tiles. You can customize what tiles go here, and change settings for each tile.
The Taskbar has stayed in Windows 10 desktop. On the Taskbar, you can still create shortcuts or “Pin…” your favorite or most used applications. You can customize some things on the taskbar, such as hiding the search bar, or view the different virtual desktops you have open. Near the clock, are still the small notifications icons from different programs or system components.
The Action Center replaces the Charms area from Windows 8/8.1 with notifications from different programs and actions from those notifications. If you have a touch-screen device, the Action Center can be viewed by swiping from the right-edge of the screen to the left or by clicking on the icon that looks like a small chat/message bubble in the system tray area.
Windows 10 has an all-new default browser called Edge, which replaces the old and clunky Internet Explorer browser. We could get very technical here about all the things that the new Edge browser is and has, but we will just go over the main features:
- Edge is not “Internet Explorer 12”; it’s a brand-new browser “built from the ground up” available only in Windows 10
- Edge is twice as fast as Internet Explorer
- Edge has a cleaner and less busy look, so the main focus is the content of the page you are browsing
- Do you ever wish you could point out to someone, a part of the website and share a comment easily? Edge has “Web Notes” under this icon:
This gives you access to a “pen”, “highlighter”, “eraser”, and “Type” tools that allow you to draw right on the website you are are looking at and share what you’ve marked up
Cortana could be your personal assistant in Windows 10, if you allow her. Cortana, by default is not activated in Windows 10. When you go through the initial setup of Windows 10, you can choose to activate Cortana. If you choose to, you are allowing her to know everything you do on your Windows PC/Windows tablet/Windows Phone, such as your calendar appointments, emails, contacts, addresses, and even websites you are browsing. Cortana also functions as a search engine, so if you use your voice to ask a question, she will search for what you are looking for online or in your computer.
Be aware, although she might be useful, you will be sharing your personal and private information with a piece of software that communicates with multiple internet sources to help you.