What's New in Windows 10?
If you're upgrading or switching to Windows 10 for the first time, here are some of the features you will find. You can click images for larger versions. I've included Microsoft links for more information. If you're familiar with Windows 10, click here to skip to what's coming.
Get Started app
Straight out of the box, you can easily get to know and learn about Windows 10, with the included Get Started app. You can browse the many topics to get more information. (You can also use the excellent search features in Windows 10.)
If you prefer more watching and less reading, you can watch the video tutorials in the Watch videos section.
You can click the What's new tab of the Getting Started app, to find out about Windows 10's latest features.
New with Windows 10, Windows Hello can recognize your face (or fingerprint), and give you access to your Windows device in an instant. If you're tired of typing in passwords to unlock your PC (and you have the required hardware), I'm sure you'll like this feature.
A new Start Menu
New to Windows 10 of course is the Start Menu. It's resizable, fully customizable, and comes with live tiles - which update with relevant information, can be turned on or off, and are also resizable.
(This one has been customized.)
- Four ways to customize the Start menu (Microsoft blog)
- See what's on the Start menu (Microsoft Support)
- (Alternative Start Menus for Windows)
If you'd like to find something on your PC, like an app for example, just hit the Windows key and start typing. Or if you're looking for something online, you can use the keyboard shortcut for Search. Also see Cortana, below.Windows + S - Search (including Cortana)
Cortana (Personal Assistant)
Another key component new to Windows 10 is Cortana. Whether you type or talk, if you need a personal assistant to help, remind, inform, educate or entertain you - try getting to know Cortana.
Microsoft Edge (Web Browser)
Windows 10 comes with the new Microsoft Edge web browser. It has clean looks, fast performance, Reading View, web page doodling, Cortana assistance, extension support, and it's also leading the pack at HTML5Accessibility.com.
- Four ways to get the most out of Microsoft Edge (Microsoft blog)
- Get to know Microsoft Edge (Microsoft Support)
- (Other web browsers for Windows)
Microsoft says that Windows 10 is the most secure Windows operating system ever. And with Windows Defender built straight in, you needn't worry about security. Windows Defender is also getting a new look in the upcoming 2017 Creators Update.
Not completely new, but still improved for Windows 10, you can control your PC without needing a keyboard and mouse - with Windows Speech Recognition, and you can hear speech read aloud - with Narrator.
Don't forget Cortana of course.
Windows 10 Anniversary Update also brings with it more accessibility improvements.
- Windows Speech Recognition (Microsoft Support)
- Hear text read aloud with Narrator (Microsoft Support)
- Making progress on accessibility (Microsoft Accessibility blog)
Multiple Desktops (Virtual desktops)
Other operating systems like Ubuntu have been able to do this for years, but finally Windows 10 now allows us to have multiple virtual desktops - by using Task View.
This means you can have different apps open on different desktops, and then switch from desktop to desktop very easily.
Touch or Pen
When sitting at a desk, I prefer using a keyboard and mouse with my Windows 10 PC. However, Windows 10 was very much designed to be used with touchscreen devices, too. There are plenty of touchscreen or touchpad gestures to speed up your workflow, and you can also use a tablet pen to write and draw.
With the new Windows Store we can now enjoy using thousands of free or paid apps in Windows 10. And don't forget the latest versions of classic Microsoft apps and games, too.
- Windows Store
- A closer look at the Windows Store (Microsoft blog)
- Explore the Store (Microsoft Support)
Do you remember Remote Assistance from yesteryear? Quick Assist is Windows 10's new, easy and safe way to help someone with their computer over the internet. Hit the Windows key and search for Quick Assist.
Anniversary Update (August 2016)
If you are running Windows 10, keep an eye out for Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which started rolling out on August 2, 2016. This is an automatic update via Windows Update, and it brings with it some nice new Windows 10 enhancements.
If you haven't seen the Anniversary Update yet, you can get it here.
Creators Update (Early 2017)
The Windows 10 Creators Update brings 3D for everyone, the best experience for 4K gaming and for game broadcasting, and a faster way to connect with the people that matter most. Get a first look at these features and more, coming early 2017 for free to over 400 million Windows 10 PCs. - Microsoft
To find out more, visit the Microsoft page below:
Windows 10 free upgrade for those who use assistive technologies
Windows 10 was a free upgrade for all Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 users until July 29, 2016. Now you will need to pay for Windows 10 if you want to upgrade. Having said that, the free upgrade is still available for those people using 'assistive technologies'.
Windows 10 Insider Program - Use Windows 10 for free.
If you'd like to always know what's new in Windows 10, plus use Windows 10 for free, you can join the Windows Insider program. As a Windows Insider you can be among the first to see and try new Windows 10 features, and you can help improve Windows 10 by supplying feedback.
Help and How To
For more Windows 10 information, visit the popular sites and links below.Microsoft
- Windows 10 Features
- Windows 10 Upcoming Features
- Windows Insider Program
- Windows 10 Help
- Windows Blog
- Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies
- Top Support Solutions
- This Week on Windows (YouTube)
Windows 10 Forums
Like many 'Windows Insiders', I've been using Windows 10 since the Windows Insider Program started in October 2014.
I happily switched from Windows 8.1 back then (for which I wasn't a fan of the Start Menu), and have used both the Insider Preview, and consumer versions of Windows 10 since they've been available.
We've watched Windows 10 slowly evolve and improve, as Microsoft listened to the millions of Windows 10 Insiders - who submitted feedback to help steer Windows 10 to where it is today.
(Backup your important data)
Before you upgrade or install any operating system, it's good practice to backup your important documents and files to a removable storage device - just for safe keeping. This will give you peace of mind, so you don't lose important files forever - if something goes wrong.