July 29 was one of the most waited dates in 2015. It was the day when Windows 10 started rolling out in phases, after it was unveiled nine months ago and started receiving Insider Preview builds, giving consumers access to the new features that were added to this operating system. 24 hours later after Windows 10 was officially released, no less than 14 million devices were already running it and there were plenty upgrades to go, after the users made a reservation to get a copy of it. More about this new OS and what changed did Microsoft bring, you’ll find out from this article.
Windows 7 was the best upgrade from Windows XP, but Microsoft messed things up with Windows 8, which was far from what the users would have wanted. This operating system was criticized for its user interface, which was optimized for touchscreen use, and the desktop users weren’t ready for the Tablet Mode and they surely didn’t agree with the removal of the Start Menu. Microsoft tried to repair its failure with Windows 8.1, but things didn’t look for the company, who decided to skip Windows 9 and to release Windows 10 instead.
The biggest change was to transform Windows into a unified platform for all supported devices, whether they’re computers, tablets or smartphones. From now on, smartphones will no longer run on Windows Phone, but on Windows 10, and all applications will be compatible with the aforementioned devices, as they will be created to support any resolution. Also, on Windows Store will be uploaded all applications, so you will no longer have to search on the internet for applications such as Netflix, Adobe Photoshop, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox etc. because you will find them on the Windows Store.
If your computer is currently running on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, you will be able to upgrade for free to Windows 10, if you’ve purchased a license for these operating systems. The good news is that all users who bought any of the three versions are eligible to upgrade to Windows until July 29, so there’s plenty time until then.
Those who want to purchase a copy of the Windows 10 Home or Pro, the retail prices are $119 and $199 respectively. In addition to the Home and Pro versions, there are five other versions, including IoT, Mobile, Enterprise, Mobile Enterprise and Education.
The system requirements for a computer to support the new operating system are:
– a Microsoft account
– a processor clocked at 1GHz or higher
– at least 1GB of RAM for 32bit or 2GB of RAM for 64bit
– at least 16GB of free hard disk space
– Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics coupled with a WDDM driver.
Changes and new features
This is the place where you will find all the former Charms functions and it is displayed on the right side of the screen, as a full-height bar. At the bottom you will see the Quick Actions that contain features such as WiFi, Bluetooth and Location, which you can enable or disable.
There’s the option to switch into Tablet mode, to access the Settings or to launch the OneNote application, while Quiet Hours will banish notifications when you’re not in the mood to get any. Also, you will be able to connect to Bluetooth speakers and to lock rotation. Notifications will pop up in the bottom-right and you will swipe them away, flick them or close them by clicking the X.
The Start menu
Its return will surely make you happy, but it’s Windows 8-like and maybe this will bring you nightmares. The Live Tiles are animated and they allow you to group and rename them, while the start menu can be resized by dragging the sides. You will no longer find the Search option here, as it has been moved to the taskbar.
It resembles the taskbar from the previous version, but it was slightly changed, featuring a colored bar below the open applications. You will be able to reduce the Search bar to make it look like an icon, or you can get rid of it. But the Task View icons won’t move from their place and they will stay along with the Start button.
Windows 10 comes with a bunch of built-in applications such as Photos, which is more like a catalogue containing your images, allowing you to group them, edit or filter them. Another application is Mail, which benefits from new features, Sport and News have been improved, Music is no longer called this way, because its name was changed to Groove Music, and Internet Explorer is history, as it has been replaced with Microsoft Edge, which was codenamed Project Spartan.
Windows 10 received Cortana, the virtual assistant which was introduced in Windows Phone. Since it’s integrated into the Search option, the users can give voice commands to search for local files, or for information over the internet.
Microsoft added support for biometric security hardware (the feature is called Hello), meaning that the users can log into their Windows and apps using their fingerprint, or by scanning their faces or iris.
Another novelty is the use of PINs instead of passwords. In addition, Microsoft updated the Snipping Tool and brought a new Command Prompt.