Windows 10 is the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. There are many different versions of Windows, including Windows 8 (released in 2012), Windows 7 (2009), Windows Vista (2006) and Windows XP (2001). While earlier versions of Windows primarily ran on desktop and laptop computers, Windows 10 is also designed to run on tablets equally.
An operating system manages all the hardware and software of a computer. Without it the computer would be useless. To learn more about how operating systems work, see our Computer Basics tutorial on Understanding Operating Systems and Getting to Know the OS.
How is Windows 10 different from other versions ?
Many users complained that Windows 8, the previous version of Windows, was confusing and difficult to use. As a result, Windows 10 looks and feels similar to older versions. Still, it includes a lot of new features and improvements.
Top Features of Windows 10
Windows 10 may very well be Microsoft’s most powerful platform ever made for organizations and their employees. Windows 10 is more familiar from a user experience standpoint. Still, it also includes so much of what businesses need -including enterprise-grade security, identity, and information protection features, which reduces complexity and proves a better experience for the business’s modern needs.
The newest powerhouse platform offers a host of new and advanced features ; below are our top five :
- New Start Menu
Microsoft has brought back the Start Menu. Now, when you click on the Start button at the bottom left of the screen, you get two panels side by side, with the left column showing pinned, recent, and most-used apps.
You also get a power button at the top for options such as Hibernate, Standby, and Shutdown, while the right column features a selection of live tiles that you can customize, resize, and reorganize. Plus, you can have the Start Menu expand to the full screen whenever you want, eliminating the need for a Modern UI Start Screen.
- Cortana Integration
Windows 10 will bring Microsoft’s voice-controlled digital assistant Cortana to desktop computers to make it easier for you to interact with your device without lifting a finger. You will be able to search your hard drive for specific files, pull up photos from specific dates, or launch PowerPoint presentations just by telling your PC to do so. You can even get Cortana to send an email while you’re working on a spreadsheet, making multi-tasking much more manageable.
- Microsoft Edge Web Browser
Internet Explorer was replaced by Microsoft Edge, which features a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML. Edge integrates with the Cortana Digital Assistant to provide voice control, search, and personalized info to users.
Users can also use Edge to annotate web pages, and these annotations are stored on OneDrive and can be used with other users. A “Reading List” function syncs content between devices and a “Reading Mode” that strips out the formatting to allow more comfortable reading on devices. Many of the alterations have been made to keep Edge more in line with rival browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.
- Tablet mode
Unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 makes a clear distinction between desktops and tablets. If you’re using a keyboard and mouse with Windows 10, you’ll be in desktop mode by default. If your computer also has a touchscreen, you can go into tablet mode at any time. Tablet users can also switch back to desktop mode if they prefer.
- Universal Apps
To make the transition across devices more seamless, Microsoft is introducing a new category of software called Universal Apps, which use the same code but adapt their interface to the device in your hand. Microsoft is also bundling its own set of Universal apps with the OS, including Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging, and Mail & Calendar, which function the same way on tablets, and PCs. The content is stored and synced via Microsoft’s cloud service OneDrive so you can pick up where you left off on another device.
How to download windows 10 for free ?
If you’re currently running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro, here’s how to get Windows 10 for free :
- Visit the Download Windows 10 website.
- Under Create Windows 10 Installation Media, download the tool now and click on Run.
- Select Upgrade this PC now, assuming this is the only PC you are upgrading. (If you’re upgrading to another machine, select Create installation media for another PC, and save the installation files.)
- Follow the prompts.
- When the upgrade is complete, go to Settings Update & Security > Activation, and you should see a digital license for Windows 10.