After months of anticipation-building, Windows 10 is finally here. Microsoft has now made Windows 10 officially available for the general public in 190 nations across the globe. And as promised, the latest Microsoft OS is available as a free upgrade to all previous Windows owners — pirated and original alike. (Pirated owners see this)
The most important change which comes with the release of Microsoft’s latest OS, is the software-as-a-service part. This essentially means, that there would be no new, completely-overhauled-OS launches for Windows, with Microsoft providing regular updates to Windows 10 OS. Pretty much on the lines of what Apple does with its MacOS.
Announced in September last year, Windows 10, often termed as the start of Microsoft’s re-emergence as a software giant, has been undergoing extensive testing by over 5 Million Windows Insider testers. In fact, Microsoft itself has been extremely proactive in releasing fresher and more developer friendly builds of its newest OS.
Upgrading to the new OS from a Genuine Windows 7/8/8.1 OS is pretty much a breeze. Starting today, a new notification on your taskbar will alert you when your upgrade is ready to be installed. For business customers, Windows 10 is available to start deploying within your work environments and starting August 1, organizations who have volume licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.
Devices from Microsoft’s OEM partners Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer with Windows 10 pre-loaded are available for purchase today from retailers globally. Microsoft says that ‘many more devices’ will follow in the coming weeks from a broad range of partners including new devices designed specifically for Windows 10 features like Windows Hello.
Interestingly, Microsoft has also announced the general availability of Windows 10 IoT, its OS meant specifically for connected devices. But the company hasn’t said anything else about it.
As for Windows Insiders, the latest build, i.e. Build 10240 is what Microsoft has released today for general users. So no need to upgrade for Insider devs.
Let’s take a quick run-down of features within Microsoft’s latest OS :
Start-Menu Is Back !
Perhaps the single-most feature which has been on top demand charts, ever since Microsoft came out with Windows 8. And even though the humble start came back in Windows 8.1, it wasn’t quite the menu users have been used to and cravingly wanted.
That has been solved in Windows 10, and a modern-UI enabled, same-as-before Start menu is back.
Microsoft has laid special stress on security this time, owing to numerous cyber attacks we witnessed this past year, most of them of occurring on corporate PCs running one or the other version of Windows.
The Redmond giant is now offering an enhanced Windows Defender and Smart Screen to help safeguard against viruses, malware and phishing. Windows Hello debuts today, providing a fast, secured, password-free way to log in.
Microsoft finally paid heed to those IE trolls, and realised the fact that Internet Explorer has been left way too far behind, when compared to faster, more secured alternatives like Google Chrome, Firefox and rapidly updated ones like Safari.
Microsoft hence came up with ‘Project Spartan’, which was eventually renamed to ‘Edge’.
Edge is snappier, and gives you a feel of a new, modern-age browser, designed keeping the current user requirements in mind. And while I have personally not used Edge yet, testers and experts have often said, that Edge might just bring back those glory days of IE, and probably more.
A Windows Meant For Gamers
Even though Windows commands a massive share in the OS market across the globe, it still failed to inspired gamers in particular, who had to contend with playing on the OS, largely because of its pre-dominant use. Microsoft however, with its recent success with Xbox One, has for the first time, focused on the gaming segment.
The integrated Xbox App delivers the Xbox experience to Windows 10, bringing together your friends, games, and accomplishments across Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.
Revamped and A Filled-Up App Store
Windows phone have always complained of a substantially lesser number of apps for their platform, as compared to Android or iOS. In fact, some of the major, more popular apps and games like Instagram or Clash Of Clans, are either in Beta or no yet available. That, will change with Windows 10.
With Microsoft focusing on App Store for Windows 10, developers would be rather forced to develop apps for Windows environment, if they want their icons to be present on desktops of over 70% users worldwide.
The new Windows Store is the only Store where you can use Cortana to control apps with your voice and get real-time notifications on your app tiles. All Windows Store content is certified by Microsoft to help keep your devices safer.
In addition to existing Windows 8.1 apps such as Netflix, Flipboard, Mint.com, Asphalt 8: Airborne and The Weather Channel, the Windows Store provides a constant stream of new and updated Universal Windows Apps and games, including Twitter, “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta”, Hulu, iHeartRadio, USA Today, Candy Crush Saga, and others including WeChat and QQ, which will launch soon.
All set to upgrade ? Great, here’s how you do it. Starting today, a new notification on your taskbar will alert you when your upgrade is ready to be installed.