Windows 10 is being distributed to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 via the Internet currently and it is a free download as long as it is downloaded before July 29 2016. Windows 10 is also available on a number of new computers purchased from retail stores.
Well, first of all, the familiar Start menu is back. The Start menu from Windows 7 and below has been reintroduced giving you quick access to your software and other favourite things. A new digital personal assistant called ‘Cortana’ has also been introduced which is similar to Apple’s Siri which allows you to find things on your PC, manage calendars, find files and a lot more all using your voice – however this function is yet to be released in New Zealand. Other changes to file browsing and the way that configuration items are accessed via the system tray have also been introduced.
Another new feature is called ‘Task View’ which gives you a view of all of your open windows on a single screen so you can find what you are looking for quickly. For hardcore gamers there is also improvements with regards to graphics.
Major changes have been made to the Internet browser in Windows 10. Dubbed ‘Microsoft Edge’ it introduces a number of new features including the ability to makes notes on web pages, faster searching and a reading mode to help when perusing text on a page.
There is no option to turn off Windows updates, by default personalised target advertisement settings are turned on and there are some privacy settings which need to be adjusted following installation.
Whether or not you should upgrade to Windows 10 will depend on whether the software and devices you commonly use (such as printers, cameras, scanners etc) will work with Windows 10. Common software packages like Microsoft Office 2007 and above will work fine with Windows 10 but if in doubt check with the supplier of the software or hardware or your IT provider to ensure that your software or device is compatible with Windows 10.
However, if you do upgrade to Windows 10 and find it isn’t for you can roll back to your previous version of Windows as long as this is done within the first 30 days of Windows 10 usage following upgrade. After this time a full rebuild of your computer will be needed.