Windows 10 (Windows Ten) What is it?

Windows 10 is the version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system that follows Windows 8; the OS was released in July 2015.

Microsoft chose to skip Windows 9 as a way of suggesting discontinuity with earlier versions — and Windows 8 in particular — rather than incremental change. Windows 10 is designed to address common criticisms of Windows 8, such as a lack of enterprise-friendly features and poor integration of touch and keyboard interfaces.

Some Windows 10 features:

  • The familiar Start Menu (which had been replaced by Live Tiles in Windows 8) is back.
  • The Metro interface, with its Live Tiles, is accessible from a panel to the right of the Start Menu.
  • Users can toggle between touchscreen and keyboard interfaces on devices that offer both.
  • The OS runs on desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets and embedded devices.
  • The final release is expected to detect touch or keyboard input and seamlessly switch apps from one to the other accordingly.
  • Integrated search makes it possible for users to search all local locations as well as the Web.
  • A virtual desktop feature enables the creation of multiple desktop environments, which the user can switch between through Task View.
  • Containerization capabilities allow administrators to manage and secure applications and data on both user-owned and company-owned devices.

Windows 10 supports a full range of microdevices (such as Internet of Things chips) and mobile, tablet, embedded, laptop and desktop systems, along with a full spectrum of peripheral devices. The intention is to provide a universal OS for all user types. Microsoft developers have focused on three principal areas for Windows 10: interface, security and manageability.

The original release of Windows 8 offered a radical new user interface that proved to be a shock for many users. The touch-enabled, gesture-driven graphical user interface that works so well on mobile systems such as smartphones and tablets did not translate well to traditional desktop and laptop PCs; especially in enterprise settings.

As an enterprise computing OS, Microsoft Windows 10 should improve security features like user identities, making it easier to prevent data theft and phishing by integrating support for multifactor authentication schemes such as smartcards and tokens.

Support for BitLocker encryption is expanded to protect data anywhere as it moves between systems, storage devices, email or cloud services. The goal is to improve data security to help support a workforce using a proliferation of mobile devices in bring your own device (BYOD) programs.

Windows 10 is also touted as a more manageable OS, making it easier to upgrade legacy machines directly from  Windows 7 or Windows 8 without re-imaging or performing intrusive and time-consuming system wipe and upgrade procedures. Businesses can pick and choose how Windows 10 is patched and upgraded, allowing adopters to balance the needs of new versions against the need for stable, disruption-free production environments. Microsoft Windows 10 should also cater to mobile and cloud devices, bringing mobile device management to traditional desktop and laptop PCs.

Windows 10 is the most powerful operating system that Microsoft has ever made, but it’s also the most complex. While the user interface is extremely intuitive, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to customize your experience, get maximum performance and make the most of features such as the Cortana voice assistant, Edge browser and multiple desktops.

In the next few pages, you’ll find over 100 Windows 10 tips and tutorials, split into eight categories and designed to help you learn the basics, disable common annoyances, save storage or be more productive.