It’s been five months since Windows 10 officially launched, yet consumers still have plenty of questions regarding Microsoft’s latest upgrade. Whether you’ve already installed Windows 10 or are considering doing so in the future, you need to make sure you understand a few key facts.
Windows 10: 4 Things to Know
Windows 10 officially launched on July 28, 2015, and is being offered to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users free for an entire year. Those running earlier versions are able to purchase Windows 10 for $119, and Windows 10 Pro for $199. Here are four other things you need to know about the newest release from Microsoft:
- Controversial Start Menu
When it came to the Windows 8 and 8.1 releases, the biggest issue most customers had – and still do have – is the new start menu structure. This was the first time Microsoft ever deviated from the traditional start menu. They instead introduced “tiles” that are pinned to the home screen, similar to a tablet or smartphone. The general public didn’t approve. The good news is that you get the best of both worlds with Windows 10.
“Security and manageability are always compelling, and the return of the Start menu and a cleaner split between desktop and tablet modes removes a major adoption barrier that enterprises had for Windows 8 and 8.1,” David Johnson, Forrester analyst, said in advance of the release.
- Stronger Security Features
From an enterprise perspective, Windows 10 adds a number of security features that are very attractive. Microsoft claims they’ve given more specialized attention to issues like information protection, threat resistance, and identify protection and access control.
For example, when you use access control in Windows 10, users are required to pass through two-factor authentication. This requires hackers to have two pieces of private information in order to break into a system. Furthermore, Windows 10 has data loss prevention technology that is able to distinguish between personal and corporate data for stronger backups.
- Four Different Configurations
Windows 10 comes in many different configurations to meet the needs of every Microsoft customer. The home version is what Microsoft refers to as the “core experience” and comes with all of the primary features. The Pro version has everything that the Home version has, plus additional advanced features and business elements – including Remote Desktop and Group Policy Management.
The Enterprise version is the most complete Windows 10 version and includes everything the other versions have, plus extra features such as AppLocker and Windows To Go Creator. The Education version is the fourth common configuration. This version is identical to the Enterprise version, except it doesn’t have the Long-Term Branching Service feature, which controls how Windows versions are delivered to users.
- Cortana Sticks Around
Many Windows 8 users have a love-hate relationship with Cortana, the virtual assistant that comes built into the platform. Well, she’s sticking around for another run on Windows 10. To activate her, all you have to do is say the simple command, “Hey, Cortana.” Follow this with a specific command and your personal assistant is working for you, free of charge.
Navigating Windows 10
If you haven’t yet updated to Windows 10, or are still trying to feel your way through the new features, this concise and informative guide should teach you a thing or two. While Windows 10 isn’t for everyone, it certainly has the potential to be as great as Microsoft believes it will be.
However, you need to be prepared for change. As is the case with any Windows upgrade, there’s a learning curve. With that being said, Windows 10 is the most advanced and feature-rich release to date.