Windows 10 has arrived, and Microsoft’s newest version of the world’s most popular operating system is earning millions of smiles from critics, gamers, and business folk. Here are some of the highlights:
- Tested by millions of users
The Windows Insider Program gave users a chance to see and shape the operating system from its earliest stages, and by the official launch of Windows 10, four million people were already using the new system. This direct collaboration between Microsoft developers and the Windows community was indispensable in shaping the newest version of the operating system.
- Quick learning curve
If you’re one of 1.5 billion Windows users worldwide, you already know how to use Windows 10. The start menu is back, now streamlined for better usability and highly customizable to suit your taste. You can pin apps and favourites to this new start menu, allowing you to access the stuff you care about most via live tiles.
- State-of-the-art security
Windows 10 addresses modern security concerns with advancements that protect your identity and data from cyberthreats. Windows Hello moves past traditional passwords to secure all your devices (PCs, tablets, phones) with biometrics. Device Guard vets your applications to ensure they’re safe to use. And Passport allows you to authenticate applications, websites, and networks for added security.
- Better browsing
Windows 10 introduces Microsoft Edge, a new web browser that integrates Cortana to provide voice control, more personalized search, and instant access to key actions. You can write or type notes directly on webpages, store them, and share them easily. There’s even a new reading mode that strips unnecessary formatting from pages for better online reading.
- Smarter snapping
Windows 10 allows you to snap up to four apps in place and see all open tasks in a single view. You can resize windows swiftly, manage multiple monitors easily, and create virtual desktops to maximize screen space or to group things by project.
- Device friendly
Windows 10 is a device-responsive operating system. With Windows Continuum, apps work in all modes and on all Windows 10 devices, including 2-in-1s. Users can touch, type, or write depending on their task or preference. Plus, new Windows phones with Continuum can be connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to work like PCs.
- Great apps included
A number of productivity-boosting apps come standard with Windows 10: OneNote, Alarms & Clocks, Calculator, Mail, Calendar, Camera, Maps, Music, Photos, Video, Voice Recorder, and Windows Store. These apps use OneDrive to store and sync your info across Windows 10 devices, so you can access your files and preferences from just about anywhere.
- Windows Store
You can shop for apps, games, music, movies, and TV shows from Windows Store, and all purchases are certified for security and are compatible with Windows 10 PCs, phones, and tablets. For businesses, Windows Store allows IT administrators to browse the app catalogue, buy apps in bulk, and manage licences using an organization-controlled identity.
- It’s free!
If you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1 on a device, you’re probably eligible to upgrade that device to Windows 10 for free. The Enterprise editions are excluded, unless you have Software Assurance. You will have one year to receive your free upgrade to Windows 10.
- Xbox on Windows 10
All work and no play makes for a dull user, so if you’re inclined to game after hours, you’ll be overjoyed to hear that Xbox on Windows 10 brings the Xbox Live gaming network to Windows 10 PCs and tablets. The integrated Xbox app allows you to play games with friends on your PC, streamed directly from your Xbox One console to your Windows 10 tablet or PC.
Sue Borden is the SMB Customer Marketing Lead at Microsoft Canada.