about windows 10

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Published date: 4 December 2022
7 December 2022 on 10:00 am

With more than a billion active PCs running it, Windows 10 is still the most widely used operating system for desktop computers in the world. Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 with servicing updates through at least 2025, despite its focus on the brand-new Windows 11. The OS features cutting-edge features like touch input, facial authentication, comprehensive security, and mixed reality tools. Unified notifications, a better window organization, and an improved screenshot tool are all significant but less noteworthy additions. Windows 10 has attained a level of usefulness and polish that has led to the Editors’ Choice designation from soft360.

Most recent version
Users of PCs can download the most recent version, Windows 10 November 2021 Update. Microsoft emphasized that big improvements would arrive once a year rather than twice a year as we’ve seen in recent years in the same announcement for that release. While there aren’t any significant new features being added, you can see from Microsoft’s blog articles that plenty of problems are still being fixed, and several first-party apps and features (including Your Phone/Phone Link and the app Store) receive updates along with their Windows 11 counterparts.

The November 2021 update, like other recent “feature upgrades” (to use Microsoft’s terminology), is primarily a service update with few true new features. The majority of the upgrades focus on enterprise deployments, but overall security and dependability, as well as support for VPNs, virtualization, and Wi-Fi 6, have all been enhanced. These tiny upgrades, which according to Microsoft provide a “scoped set of enhancements to improve performance and increase quality,” have the advantage of being simple and quick to install.

Users may actually notice some of the changes made in the May 2021 update: The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is now the default web browser, powering both the Edge browser itself and Windows store apps that need access to the internet. Since the fundamental rendering code is the same as that used by Google Chrome, this implies that both the browser and the apps that use the web engine become more compatible with websites. It’s also important to note that Edge works with Android, iOS, macOS, and now Linux in addition to Windows. Prior to that, the October 2020 Update (also known as 20H2) included a sleeker Start menu, a more useful version of Edge, and other useful changes.

Recent in-between update feature improvements, such the News and Interests taskbar panel and the Meet Now icon in the taskbar, have helped Windows 10 by enabling the creation of ad hoc video chats.

OS Windows 10
The following standout Windows 10 upgrades still merit praise: Clipboard History (a lifesaver if you often copy and paste), a strong screenshot tool, Timeline, Focus Assist, Game mode, Dark mode, Nearby Sharing, parental controls, and an enhanced News app. The Your Phone app allows LTE-enabled computers and Android phones to sync images, SMS messages, and even voice calls. These improvements are added to Windows Hello biometric login and other proprietary features. Longtime Windows users will still be able to utilize the OS even with all these cutting-edge features. I’ve put together a list of 15 Windows tips for Mac users for the benefit of curious Apple customers.

What Impact Will Windows 11 Have on Windows 10?
Windows 11, which was introduced on October 5, 2021, featured significant interface changes. Along with Teams integration, rounded window corners, and a Widgets feature, the more recent version of Windows includes revamped taskbar, Start menu, and notification center.

Shockingly, all Windows 11 users can currently test out the ability to run Android apps. Although the system requirements have received a lot of attention, Microsoft has recently enhanced Android gaming on Windows 11 and offered more hardware combinations to the upgrade options.

What new Windows 11 features, if any, make it into Windows 10 will be interesting to see.

Microsoft Windows 10: A Success
Windows 10 is currently installed on more than a billion active devices, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned in the Build 2021 keynote. However, the company now claims 1.4 billion active Windows devices overall, making it difficult to divide this number by version. According to recent reports, Windows 11 now accounts for more than 23% of Windows installations. According to StatCounter, Windows accounts for more than 75% of all desktops globally, with Windows 10 accounting for more than 72% of those. Comparatively, less than 15% of computers use Apple’s macOS across all versions. Chrome OS receives less than 1.5%, and Linux receives less than 3%. These figures refer to active internet-connected devices.

The vast majority of the millions of desktop applications created in past years are still supported by Windows 10, something macOS cannot claim. Yes, that means Windows still keeps configuration settings in the infamous Registry, but on today’s fast hardware, that’s not really a big deal. For Windows 10, Microsoft no longer advises utilizing any third-party registry-optimizing software.

Obtaining Windows 10
Running Windows Update, which can be accessed from the Settings app, will let Windows 10 users stay up to date. To learn more about the setup process, visit How to Download Windows 10 for more information. By visiting the Windows 10 Download page and using the Update Assistant app, you can force the issue if you don’t see the update in Settings > Update & Security. The Windows Update page of Settings will blatantly inform you if the update isn’t ready for your computer.

In the odd case that your PC lacks a Windows license, you can purchase the software for $139 for Home and $199 for Pro through download or USB stick. Through independent online digital shops, you may typically discover less expensive solutions.

Microsoft increased the minimum hard drive size requirement for Windows 10 to 32GB from 16GB starting with the May 2019 Update, which is still hardly a large drive by today’s hardware standards. The other system requirements, a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, are still remarkably low. The RAM requirement for Windows 10’s 64-bit edition is increased to 2GB. A display with a minimum resolution of 800 by 600 pixels and a graphics card with DirectX 9 support are also required.

The majority of consumers can choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 in the Home and Pro editions, while Microsoft is gradually phasing away 32-bit versions. Windows 10 Pro offers business-oriented features like network domain joining, Hyper-V virtualization, group policy administration, and BitLocker encryption. (Note that Windows 11 no longer retains the now-outdated 32-bit option.) Personal users who are concerned about security may also be interested in that final one.

Of course, there are additional Windows 10 editions for certain use cases. For instance, large enterprises looking for bulk licensing discounts can still choose the Windows 10 Enterprise edition. Windows 10 Pro Education and Windows 10 Education are two versions aimed for K–12 institutions. Not to be overlooked is Windows 10 IoT Core, a lightweight variant that drives Raspberry Pi and other IoT devices.

Desktop Windows 10
Windows 10’s User Interface
For experienced Windows users, there is essentially no learning curve with Windows 10, which manages to include several of Windows 8’s innovations, like a speedier launch, tablet compatibility, better alerts, and an app store. Its windowing power is still unparalleled, allowing you to quickly display the desktop and snap windows to the screen’s corners and edges.

When compared to macOS and Ubuntu, which lack a single location for users to begin working with apps, files, search, and settings, the Start menu stands out. The Launcher tool in Chrome OS is available, but it is not as comprehensive as the Start menu in Windows. As opposed to macOS and Ubuntu, which use the operating system menus along the top of the screen, apps on Linux have their own menus.

With each upgrade, Microsoft’s relatively new design language, Fluent Design, makes a stronger impression by using movement, blurring, and translucency to provide helpful visual signals. Acrylic Material, a fun Fluent effect, giving objects like menu bars a semi-transparent appearance and the impression of depth while the mouse is over them. It currently encompasses almost all Windows tools, such as the Action Center, Settings dialog, and Start menu. Microsoft launched Fluent open-source at Build 2020 so that other developers may utilize it as well.

For the May 2020 Update, the search box adjacent to the start menu was a top priority. With the AI’s icon removed, it is no longer bound to Cortana and allows you to search both your local files (including any text included within them) and those kept on OneDrive or in your company’s SharePoint servers. The weather, news, today in history, and top movies quick search buttons have been added to the search panel. Developer focus has also been given to desktop search’s back end. To decide whether to and when not to carry out its intensive indexing operations, it employs a new algorithm.

The Start menu, Taskbar, and bundled programs are all affected by the Windows dark theme, however the old-style Control Panels are still excluded. Additionally, the updated version of Edge now complies with the system’s light and dark mode settings. Night Light, which decreases blue light to help you fall asleep more easily, is another eye-saver I like, but at this point all major OSes already contain a comparable option. The OS also features revamped, more colorful icons and a real Light Mode.

Without the need for a second button click, the Start menu displays the Most Used and Newly Installed app lists. Basic folder icons can be configured to appear or not, as desired. You might have icons for File Explorer, Downloads, Documents, and other programs show up directly above the start button, for instance. Although you can disable them, Windows 8’s leftover tiles are still present. They help me open my most-used programs more quickly.

The Quick Access section of File Explorer is another aspect of the design that I’ve grown to love. This makes it simple to locate any file you last worked on, regardless of the program you were using. Therefore, it is immediately available in the Quick Access list if you modify an image and then want to add it to another app. Never have to recollect where you saved a file in order to locate it quickly. File Explorer is missing tabbed windows, which are present on Linux and macOS.

Sadly, the Settings App and Control Panel still have different designs, but the narrative is always becoming better, especially with Windows 11. The Settings app is used for the majority of system settings, but you still occasionally need to use the Control Panel for more intricate, technical settings. By right-clicking the Start button, you can access more advanced options like Device Manager and Disk Management, but Control Panel is no longer an option. Instead, it manifests itself when you take particular activities, such as attempting to remove a legacy program.

Just enter “Control” in the Start menu search field to access the Control Panel. The majority of settings currently required by users may be found in the more recent Settings app, but techies still see control panels with an outdated look. Disk Management will go to Stuff in a future update as Microsoft continues to shift even nerdy settings there from Control Panel.

Storage Sense will take the role of Disk Cleanup in the new Settings interface, which is another feature that makes use of the previous design language. The function automatically deletes downloaded installers and temporary files. The Clean Now option allows you to run it whenever you like, set it to run automatically when your storage is low, or schedule it to run periodically.

Microsoft Timeline
At the bottom of Task View, a timeline appears, adding time-related components and displaying your activity for the previous 30 days. If you’ve been working in Office 365 or browsing in Edge, it could save you some time, but it’s mostly for usage with UWP and Microsoft apps.

I initially objected to the feature’s integration with the Task View for numerous virtual displays, but I’ve subsequently come to the conclusion that it’s well thought out and executed. The tasks that are currently in progress are displayed at the top, followed by the Timeline entries. You may even look up previous activity.

History of a clipboard
History of a clipboard
The updated Windows clipboard, which allows you to access numerous previously copied items, is one of my favorite new features in Windows 10. This convenience is long overdue on all computing platforms. Instead of using Ctrl-V, use Windows Key-V to go to the list of copied things. By syncing the cloud clipboard, you can access them on other PCs that you are logged in to. Later, this will even be possible on phones thanks to the SwiftKey add-in keyboard. A new Settings option allows you to enable clipboard syncing. Microsoft documentation states that simple text, HTML, and pictures under 4MB are supported by the clipboard history.

Sketch and Snip
Windows 10 introduces new screenshot tools
There are some really useful new Windows 10 screenshot features related to the clipboard. Now, you can choose a portion of the screen to copy by pressing the Windows key while holding down the Shift key. You can choose from the complete screen, a free-form shape, or a rectangle. A screenshot that perfectly fits a window on the screen is also an option. When you use Windows Key-Shift-S to take a screenshot, a panel with the option to open the image in a new app displays in the bottom-right corner of the screen. The Snip & Sketch application starts when you tap this.

With the new Snip & Sketch app, you can annotate and distribute your snippets. You can even use a protractor to cut out non-rectangular shapes, such circles. Screenshots can be cropped, but the crop tool lacks an aspect ratio choice, making it unable to choose a square or widescreen (16 by 9) crop. Additionally, the screenshot editor on macOS lacks a text tool similar to that in Windows and basic image adjusters for things like brightness and color. Fortunately, you can use the overflow menu in Snip & Sketch to open your screenshot in another picture editing program.

OneDrive may be configured to automatically store screenshots when you use the PrintScreen key to record the entire screen, or Alt-PrintScreen to capture the window that is now in focus. This is another particularly helpful screenshot option. You can avoid the stages of switching from the clipboard to an image editor like Paint to save an image file. To learn more about this frequently used feature, read How to Take Screenshots in Windows 10 for a comprehensive overview.

The Connection to Mobile
You may connect your Android or iOS mobile to your PC via the Phone section of the Settings app. With the Continue on PC app, any iOS or Android browser can instantly load a webpage on a Windows 10 PC or produce an Action Center notice with the link. Sync Your Smartphone to Windows 10 With Continue on PC for advice on how to use this feature.

And that’s only the beginning. Even greater integration is possible when using the Edge browser on iOS or Android devices. The subject of my following segment is the next step, Your Phone.

Your Phone Link Is Now Your Phone App
Windows 10’s “Your Phone” app
The Your Phone (recently renamed as Phone Link) program on Windows 10 and Windows 11 enables you to see and even drag-and-drop photographs from your Android phone, view alerts from, send SMS text messages, and make calls on a connected phone from the PC. Installing the companion app on your phone enables them. Currently, this only functions with Android. Microsoft is attempting to gain the same connectivity on iPhones by collaborating with Apple, but I wouldn’t hold my breath considering how tightly Apple controls its platforms.

Phone Link performs an excellent job of instantly displaying photographs and screenshots you’ve taken on the phone, showing notifications (which appear in Action Center), and allowing you to text and contact, even if it works best with Samsung phones (which implies most Android phones). Users of Samsung Android devices can now use numerous apps from their phone on a large-screen PC.

Another choice is mobile-connected PCs, with the most recent instances being newer models with Qualcomm CPUs. Windows offers the Messaging and Mobile Plans apps for these.

In Windows 10, photos
Additional Photos
In addition to being a competent photo editor, the built-in Photos software can also edit films and enable mixed reality items. It has a transparent window and is styled in the sleek Fluent Design System manner. Additionally, it offers an AI-powered search feature that enables you to enter terms like “dog” or “mountain” and see images from your photo library that contain those objects.

In addition to displaying raw camera data from well-known formats like Canon’s.CR2, Nikon’s.NEF, and Sony’s.ARW, Photos allows you to import media from any device or folder. You may categorize your images into albums, make automatic photo editing adjustments like red-eye removal, lighting, and color adjustments, and add Instagram-like effects (for the most recent raw compatibility, you must install the Raw Image Extension, available in Windows’ app store). Slider bars are used in the app’s UI for simple touch input, and you can draw on both photographs and movies.

Editing photos in Windows 10
Based on images taken at similar times and locations, Photos automatically produces galleries for you, choosing the finest of those photos to add. With the help of its facial recognition, you may finally link names to the faces by grouping all the images of a single person.

Editing videos in Windows 10
Editing videos in the Photos app
Tap the Produce button, then select Automatic video with music to automatically create a video with the ability to remix it. You can select Create a video with music from an image’s Edit & Create button. This enables you to connect selected photos or video clips, add appropriate background music and titles, apply titles, crop them, and apply filter effects. The recipients of the video were pleased with the outcomes when I produced a movie based on a recent weekend trip.

There are no timeline tracks in the video editing interface because it is storyboard based. You can reorder the thumbnails by dragging them back and forth in the list, and you can also crop individual video segments. You can apply 3D effects and even use motion tracking to link them to an object in your film, which is a very nice feature. Use your own songs or the ambient music that is available. Transitions are timed to the beats if you select the former.

Editing videos in Windows 10
You can select a star from your video as the automatic video selection. The software recognizes faces in the images and videos, and you can select one to be highlighted. It then produces a video in which that individual is the key component.

Tricks for Cortana
One of Windows 10’s most well-known features is Cortana, the AI digital assistant that responds to voice commands. The voice assistant is more than a year older than Apple’s Siri for the Mac. Cortana underwent a big overhaul for the May 2020 Update. It now operates in a fashion like to a conversational chat, and you may choose the window’s size and where the results panel appears on the screen. It can access system settings as well.

Microsoft has maintained for more than a year that Cortana is not intended to compete with Amazon Alexa, but rather to be a productivity tool. Voice control for smart home gadgets and music streaming services is removed in the May 2020 release. It still allows you to set reminders, check your calendar, ask for general information including the weather, and make to-do lists. It can access apps, change settings, set alarms and timers, and still crack jokes.

Windows 10’s Cortana
The feature has been cut down and streamlined by Microsoft; it is now independent of the Windows search bar. It’s great that it allows both spoken and typed input. Siri on macOS, in contrast, only supports voice.

Cortana can look for lines like “I’ll bring you the report by the end of the day” in your emails from Outlook.com or Office 365 and create a reminder. If you have privacy concerns, you may entirely opt-in to this, the wake word feature, and Cortana itself. Business users, many of whom use Microsoft 365, benefit from even more Cortana integrations.

Microsoft Ink
Apple continues to adhere to Steve Job’s dictum that touch displays don’t make sense on laptops and desktops, despite the fact that a touch screen is the most natural interface type. Touch and pen input compatibility is a key differentiation between Windows 10 and Apple’s macOS. You can use your finger to press a button when you see anything you wish to interact with. Both touch and stylus input are supported by Chrome OS, albeit this support is not as widespread as it is in Windows 10.

I’ve been using a Surface Book and an Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC all-in-one PC for the past year or two, both of which have touch screens, to the point that, out of habit, I try to tap buttons on PCs with non-touch panels. Ubuntu provides some touch support, however it varies depending on your hardware and software.

With Windows’ digital ink features, stylus input can be converted to text and behave like a pen or pencil. Although it is a cutting-edge function, only users of tablets and convertibles like the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop Studio, or Surface Go will find it useful.

The stylus button can be used to call up the Ink Workspace. In more recent Windows versions, it has been simplified. There are only two options available when you click the stylus button right now: Whiteboard and Full Screen Snip. Sticky Notes is still available, however Sketchpad is no longer supported.

The workspace for Windows Ink has been drastically decreased.
The pen keyboard is one of the most innovative inking features. You can change from the default on-screen keyboard to this mode (or by tapping in a text box with the stylus point). Text predictions appear when you begin writing on that line. Whenever you write in a text field, press Enter to convert your writing to text. Even with sloppy handwriting, it works pretty well, and simply striking across your writing can effortlessly eliminate it.

In contrast, Apple offers a creative solution in macOS Catalina that enables users to utilize their iPad as a pen and touch input device since the company’s operating system doesn’t directly support pen input. Direct input from the iPad will be sent to the Mac by the system. Of course, you have to spend several hundred dollars on a separate touch-capable device, and it only allows input from apps that are compatible with it. It functions more like a second screen than a full touch surface.

Windows 10’s on-screen keyboard
Display Keyboard
On touch-screen PCs, you can swipe text, similar to the mobile SwiftKey keyboard, in addition to pen input in the on-screen keyboard. In fact, the Windows on-screen touch keyboard uses the same machine-learning SwiftKey technology, allowing it to learn your vocabulary and writing style.

The on-screen keyboard features a microphone that can be activated with Windows Key-H (for hear) so you may utilize voice dictation in any application on your PC that supports text input if you wish to type without touching anything.

Sharing Nearby
With AirDrop, Apple has long provided a mechanism to transfer files to an iPhone or Mac that is in close proximity. We Windows users can now do the same thanks to Windows 10’s Nearby Sharing feature. You must enable the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities for it to work. That’s simple because you have the choice to do so the first time you use the Share button in any app. The recipient’s device receives a notification when you send something, just like with AirPlay.

Sharper Edge Web Browser
Microsoft completely redesigned the Edge web browser using the Chromium rendering engine to improve website compatibility. Users can download it via Microsoft’s Edge Download page for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. With strong privacy controls, home page customizations, an immersive reading view with lifelike voices for text-to-speech, and a useful Collections tool for web research, the browser continues to offer distinctive features.

The change should increase site compatibility, but since Google controls the Chromium project, I’m worried that it will extend Google’s hegemony over the internet. Microsoft’s choice has the above-mentioned availability for other OSes as a side advantage.

Edge also addresses a different compatibility issue for some business users: if your web application needs functionality only available in the defunct browser, you can enable Internet Explorer Mode. On June 15, 2022, IE will no longer be available as a standalone web browser.

Edge is still able to view Netflix in 4K UHD. Some of the original Edge’s distinctive tools, such the ability to configure toolbar buttons in the top window border and a right-click search panel for selected text, have now been brought back by Microsoft. The browser also has shopping tools that help you save money, like the option to test out various discounts and coupons for an item in your cart.

The speaker symbol that shows in any tab emitting sound can be clicked to hush noisy tabs in the browser. You can disable the browser’s auto-play music and video features. Edge has the ability to print webpages devoid of any unnecessary clutter, auto-fill safe information into online payment forms, and fully screen PDFs.

You can download extensions for Edge from the Chrome Web Store in addition to the marketplace that is referenced by the Extensions menu option in Edge. I ran a test by installing LastPass, which I think is necessary. AdGuard and uBlock Origin are two effective ad-blocking and privacy addons that are fortunately readily available. By authorizing the Chrome Web Store, you may also install Chrome extensions in Edge (AdBlock and Adblock Plus are also available, but I find those less useful).

Users of tablets and touchscreen devices will value Edge’s swipe movements, which enable you navigate back and forth across history, while desktop users will value the fact that, as with most browsers, right-clicking the back button drops down tab history. I also value the options for paste-and-go and paste-and-search that Edge, like other browsers, provides.

Action Center in Windows 10
Movement Center
The Action Center is a feature of Windows 10 that was inspired by mobile operating systems. Although earlier versions of Windows included a feature known as Action Center, the current version is more akin to a smartphone’s notifications and rapid action features. That is, in fact, what it is. Notifications are easier to skim because they feature the icon of the app that created them.

Similar to the Notification Center on Apple macOS, the Windows 10 Action Center keeps these notifications accessible in a right-side panel. Windows 10’s Action Center panel can be accessed by a taskbar button or by swiping inward from the right edge of a touch screen.

Additionally, the panel has buttons for operations including power, settings, networking, screen rotation, and screen brightness. You may adjust the screen brightness using a slider in the Action Center. It’s cool how the Connect function allows you to mirror your screen onto another device connected to your Wi-Fi network. I only needed to select OK on the TV to display the screen of my Surface Pro on a large Samsung TV without any additional configuration.

Windows 10 Focus Assist
Focus Support
Right-clicking the Action Center icon or pressing the Quick Action button will open Focus Assist. You can configure it so that only Priority contacts or alarms can reach you. You may choose who can break through and when to focus in the Settings app. Even when playing PC games, the feature can be turned on.

Windows 10 Microsoft App Store
Universal Windows Apps and Store
Why would a PC need an app store? One has been available to Mac users for a while, and it has the benefits of automated upgrading and a single location to find the products you require. It grants you access to purchased software across all of your PCs. When an app is approved for the Windows Store, Microsoft has also reviewed it for security. You may even install apps to external memory, which is useful for tablet users.

These contemporary apps have even more benefits in Windows 10 because they can integrate with the notification and sharing panels. You may submit shareable content through the Facebook app and view notifications for new messages, for instance, without having to visit the Facebook website.

Apps from the Windows 10 Store are referred to as Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps since they are compatible with the Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens 3D augmented reality headset in addition to PCs, tablets, phones, and the Surface Hub. UWP—Universal Windows Apps—modern Microsoft Store applications don’t come with any registry slack.

That’s in part why Microsoft created Windows 10 S, which only supports apps from the Windows Store and is now regarded as a Mode rather than an unique OS version. In the future, “users can opt to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled,” according to the official Windows Blog.

The OneCore platform of Windows 10 sits beneath these apps; it serves as a unifying foundation for all of these different device types and enables not just apps but also device drivers to interact with them. One more advantage of UWP apps is that they operate within containers, keeping the rest of your system unaffected.

Google News App
Office Mobile, Mail, and Calendar Are Included
With Windows 10, you have a surprisingly large selection of apps. Informational applications like Maps, News, and Weather are added to tools like Calculator, Camera, Paint 3D, and Voice Recorder. I found 23 such stock applications and utilities in total. News features a simple layout, a wide range of topics and sources, and a cool dark view. Additionally, the Windows app syncs with corresponding iOS and Android mobile versions. As previously indicated, you can now delete 17 of these apps that were previously required thanks to the May 2019 Update. The Print 3D app taking up system space is not necessary for everyone. New Notepad settings and shortcuts are additionally arriving with that version.

The built-in Mail app is becoming more intelligent thanks to features like Focused Inbox. The Outlook for iPhone and Android apps already include this fantastic functionality. It only displays mail from people with whom you regularly contact or that is otherwise deemed significant by the service, filtering out any newsletters and promotions in the process. Of course, you can turn off this focusing for mail you don’t want and still see everything else by tapping a tab.

Using @ signs in an email body allows you to include people in the conversation in the Mail app. The app still has some bugs and isn’t as robust as the desktop edition of Office 365. With rumored development on Project Monarch, Microsoft is anticipated to replace this stock software with a web-powered one that will run on both Mac and Windows. This will make use of the Outlook.com web app, which I now prefer over the default mail client, in part because it enables me to use Gmail accounts with the Focused Inbox function.

Calendar and Contact apps are accessible through buttons along the bottom of Mail and are linked with the Mail app. Multiple calendars, appointments, and views are handled by Calendar in a presentable manner. The Calendar includes cards for deliveries and trip reservations, color-coding for event categories, and public calendar subscriptions for sporting events and television programs. Even links to internet check-in services are included on the cards for trip arrangements. Mail and People still do not let you to construct mailing lists, and the People app does not allow you to export contacts.

You can listen to music on your computer’s hard drive or in your OneDrive cloud storage with the Groove Music app. Groove’s ability to play FLAC lossless audio is impressive, and it even has an equalizer.

Movies & TV is another featured software that has a content store and lets you play your own videos. You can watch video in a small, always-on-top window using the Compact Overlay option while using other PC features.

You still have access to a large number of utility apps, such as a scanner, alarms, and voice recorders.

Windows Maps
With the amazing Maps program, you can annotate a map on a touch-screen PC with a stylus or your finger using Windows Ink. And that’s not all—you can also use it to get directions between any two spots you tap on a map and calculate the length of a line you draw on it. If you don’t have a touch screen, a mouse can perform the same functions. You may also make your lines straight by using a virtual ruler on-screen. The program features tabs for directions and numerous location searches.

3D paint
Paint, a longtime favorite for simple picture manipulation, is now available in the Windows Store. The Paint 3D is used as a replacement by default. In addition to allowing you to design, personalize, and embellish 3D things, it also allows you to share them with the Remix3D.com online community. Using the PC’s camera, you may even display your 3D works with backgrounds from the actual world. Despite the app’s name, 2D image editing is still supported; it performs regular JPG, PNG, and TIFF editing with ease.

An upgraded version of the Terminal program is now accessible to techies. You can download Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store app store, which describes it as “a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.”

Dropbox and Skype
OneDrive picture
OneDrive for online storage and syncing and Skype for communication are two Microsoft cloud services that have grown in prominence in Windows 10. They have a key advantage over Apple’s comparable iCloud for macOS in that they can be utilized on any platform. Apps for Skype and OneDrive are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

OneDrive Files On-Demand saves you from having to download everything to all of the PCs associated with your account; instead, everything is displayed in the OneDrive folder, but files that are only stored in the cloud display a cloud icon in File Explorer’s status column. Even if OneDrive is excellent at synchronizing Office files and customization preferences and Skype is a very feature-rich communication tool, Microsoft still has to work on integrating them with Windows 10. Sharing from Photos to OneDrive is now possible, but only if you download the OneDrive UWP app. OneDrive still has the incredibly helpful Fetch feature, which allows you to browse any folders remotely from the OneDrive online interface if you activate it.

The Desktop, Documents, and Photos user folders can be automatically synced and backed up with OneDrive. The majority of what people want to protect is still in those folders, even if you can’t designate any folder on the system for backup like you can with Google Drive or SugarSync. In October 2019, OneDrive’s new Personal Vault functionality became available to all users. For the protection of your most sensitive files, it employs robust encryption. To open the folder, you must authenticate your account. “Personal Vault enhances the robust privacy and security that OneDrive currently offers, including file encryption at rest and in transit, suspicious activity monitoring, ransomware detection and recovery, mass file deletion notification and recovery, virus scanning on download for known threats, and version history for all file types,” according to a Microsoft blog post.

Skype picture
The Skype application for Windows is now finished. Happy to save you from opening yet another program, Action Center allows you to reply to Skype communications instantly. Although it’s not quite there now, Windows has the potential to match the FaceTime and Messaging programs on macOS. With an SMS relay option for Android via the companion app Your Phone, Windows 10 is moving closer to the Mac solution, which is still more frictionless. Also bear in mind that, unlike the Mac, which only connects to the iPhone’s mobile connection and necessitates the phone’s proximity, Skype is a complete, standalone VoIP service that can call normal phones. Like OneDrive, Skype is compatible with all of the main operating systems.

Windows 10’s “Meet Now” button
With the Meet Now function, Skype now provides ad hoc group video chats, addressing the need for video meetings that fueled Zoom’s growth. Even a Meet Now button was introduced to the taskbar as part of a recent Windows 10 upgrade to help you get started.

iPad Mode
With a full-screen tile-based Start screen, tablet mode is a condensed, more touch-friendly version of the operating system. Windows will ask you if you want to switch to Tablet mode, where the Start menu and contemporary programs take up the entire screen, after you remove the keyboard from a tablet like the Surface Pro or convert a convertible laptop to tablet mode (typically by bending the screen backward).

Windows 10’s tablet mode
The All Apps view spans the screen with huge tiles to make it quicker to access any app, and touch motions like quitting an app by swiping down from the top of the screen operate in this mode. On a Surface Go, I find using tablet mode to be easy. The Start menu and Action Center may be accessed by swiping in from the sides, and the large tiles can be used to launch apps.

Windows 10 gaming
One area where Windows far outperforms macOS or Ubuntu is gaming. And Microsoft keeps improving the appeal of Windows 10 for gamers. They can view an activity feed on the Xbox software for Windows 10 in addition to other features like a game DVR and game streaming from an Xbox One to the PC. On Microsoft’s Twitch rival Mixer.com, you can also broadcast games to the public.

Windows 10’s Xbox app
With the integration of the Xbox and Windows 10 Stores, you can now purchase games for one platform and play them on either the console or the PC thanks to the Play Anywhere concept. The progression of the game syncs across platforms. Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 4, Killer Instinct, ReCore, and Resident Evil are just a few of the notable titles that have started to emerge on the list of Play Anywhere games, which has increased since my last check and now contains 44 titles with 5 more “coming soon.” The list is updated on the Xbox Play Anywhere page.

If you prefer playing VR games on Steam, Mixed Reality for Steam VR is now available in its entirety. Cliff House and SkyLoft are now your two options for home bases for your Mixed Reality virtual worlds. The Steam VR catalog contains more than 2,000 VR games, and you can now pick from six different mixed reality headsets made by companies like Samsung, Acer, and Dell.

Beyond the Xbox app, Windows 10 uses the DirectX 12 3D video engine, which some game developers claim could give virtual reality games a whole new level of realism. Additionally, Windows 10 enables you to disable VSync in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps and activate AMD’s Freesync and Nvidia’s G-Sync instead. For UWP games, the same upgrade also enabled frame rates. On our sister site, Extreme Tech, you can read more about what Freesync, G-Sync, and unlocked frame rates imply for Windows 10.

Recent Nvidia graphics cards have the capacity to use DirectX ray tracing, and Windows keeps adding support for it. This makes it possible to calculate shadows and reflections in real time, creating scenes for games that are more effective and realistic.

When you press the Windows key with the letter G, the Windows 10 Game Bar appears, allowing you to start streaming to Mixer.com, DVR recording, and using audio controls while in Game Mode. It is now a complete application that can be opened from the Start menu as well. The Game Bar can now display an FPS counter and achievement overlays thanks to the May 2020 Update.

When you are playing a game, the OS’s Game Mode directs system resources away from background tasks. This and other gaming-related aspects are also controllable under the Settings’ dedicated Gaming section. Mixer.com’s game broadcasting feature offers sub-1-second latency, allowing for considerably closer engagement with your audience. As a further contribution to the growing esports frenzy, it also enables people to design their own Arena player competitions on Xbox Live.

Unsure of the best game to play? Pick a few from the collection of excellent games in our Best PC Games section.

Privacy and security
You may create a local account for Windows 10 without using a Microsoft account, but doing so prevents you from using many of the OS’s best features. Despite this, Microsoft has come under fire from several critics for automatically collecting usage data, therefore the corporation has made privacy settings more clear. You may also view and control any data saved in your Microsoft account using a Privacy Dashboard. Read Windows 10: How to Protect Your Privacy for more information.

The Windows Defender Security Center was renamed to Windows Security as part of the October 2018 Update. Additionally, you can now allow apps to access protected folders (part of the system’s ransomware defenses) and there is a new tab added that displays the third-party security software you have installed.

The integrated antivirus in Windows 10 has significantly improved in recent years, even receiving a perfect score in the most recent AV-Test tests. Neil J. Rubenking, the principal security expert at soft360, nevertheless believes that third-party security software offers the best level of security because it guards against more threats than just viruses.

The improved Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) in Windows 10 is useful for IT professionals because it guards against and keeps track of new threat indications. With the Controlled folder access option, the Security Settings panel provides consumers with a ransomware defense alternative. Additionally, it has features for exploit protection, such as Data Execution Prevention and Mandatory ASLR, both of which are outside the purview of this article.

Windows 10 business and educational customers have access to Windows Defender Application Guard protection, which may thwart even sophisticated, targeted attacks. Windows Defender offers notifications about risks and can schedule routine system inspections. Since the most recent version, there are options to scan for infections, update virus definitions, and more when right-clicking Defender’s system tray icon.

With the help of Dynamic Lock, you can log off based on the proximity of a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. I put this to the test using my iPhone X and a Surface Book. I moved away from the Surface for about 50 steps before it, indeed, entered lock-screen mode. Since you are only logged off when you are away and not on when someone approaches, it is a security feature.

Edge, like Firefox, currently disables Flash unless you allow it to run by touching a puzzle-piece icon. Flash can be enabled at all times if you like, but why not benefit from that additional layer of security?

The use of VPN software can also improve your security and privacy. This protects your IP address from hackers and encrypts your data. Additionally, it stops your own internet service provider from profiling you by gathering information about your browsing. See How to Set Up and Use a VPN for details on how to configure a VPN.

Recent upgrades in Windows 10 benefit parental control. Family settings like site restriction are now applied to Windows, Xbox, and mobile Microsoft products including the Edge browser and Android Launcher. Parents can also set spending limits on Xbox and Windows stores, control screen time, and monitor usage. Parental supervision now extends to mobile devices in addition to PCs thanks to Microsoft 365.

Linux within
The May 2020 Update for Windows 10 includes a fully functional Linux kernel with WSL 2. (Windows Subsystem for Linux). Though it still primarily interests developers, the Linux subsystem can now execute applications with graphical user interfaces, which is an interesting development. The Microsoft Store offers Linux distributions for installation. In addition to supporting GPU processing, the new version of WSL is substantially quicker than its predecessor.

Microsoft Hello
On PCs with a 3D and IR camera, such as the Intel RealSense devices, Windows Hello biometric authentication is supported. Additionally, you can utilize third-party biometric login tools like the Eidon Mini fingerprint scanner and a Nymi bracelet that recognizes you based on your distinct cardiac signature. The Logitech Brio 4K webcam is one appliance with which I’ve had great Hello success. The most recent version allows you to configure Hello from the lock screen.

Apps that support Hello include Dropbox and iHeartRadio. On the software side, Windows Universal Apps and websites you read in Edge can also use Hello for authentication, comparable to identifying yourself on an iPhone or Apple Watch with Apple’s TouchID.

What Will Windows 10 Do Next?
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted at significant changes for Windows at the developer conference Build 2021, saying, “I’ve been self-hosting it over the past few months, and I’m incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows,” he said, clearly referring to Windows 11, which was previously mentioned. “We will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade soon to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators.”

In a severe setback, Windows 10X, a radical new Windows version that had been proposed and was meant to compete with Chrome OS and run on two-screen devices, has been included into the core Windows 11 codebase.

Speaking of Chrome OS, which can run Android apps, Windows 11 can also run Android apps, but only through the Amazon AppStore or by APK sideloading, so don’t expect a flawless experience doing so on Windows. On a positive note, the default and perpetually buggy Mail client is anticipated to be updated with a web-powered version, with work progressing on a project c.

You can sign up for the Dev, Beta, or Release Preview channel, in order of increasing stability, if you’re deeply curious about what the future of Windows holds. This Flight Hub page tells you exactly what features are included in each channel. If you’re interested in what the future holds for Windows, you can join the Windows Insider Program and experience the features coming to future updates months before they’re released.

News and interest redesign may be seen at https://46c4ts1tskv22sdav81j9c69-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/sites/44/2021/03/News-and-interests-redesign.gif” alt=”Windows 10 Fluent icons” “>
New features periodically appear between major updates in Windows 10 due to the software-as-a-service model, arriving when they are prepared rather than waiting for a bundled introduction. The sleek News and Interests panel, which displays the temperature in the Taskbar, is one illustration. When you place your mouse over it, a panel displaying your News and Interests appears. More instances of slip-streamed updates include the introduction of Fluent Design (see GIF above) in a number of stock apps, updated Family controls, new Photos app capabilities, and new program icons as standard.

Ample Opportunities
Windows 10 provides a wide range of options, whether you’re speaking, gesturing on a touch screen, writing with a digital pen, creating a 3D model, or playing a AAA PC game. The platform is accessible on the majority of form factors as well, including the tiny Raspberry Pi, enormous gaming PCs, the spacious Surface Studio, and the enormous Surface Hub. Add the HoloLens and Mixed Reality headsets to that list of brand-new Windows gadgets. The defunct Windows Mobile ecosystem remains Windows 10’s one device vulnerability, despite the growing number of integrations for iOS and (particularly) Android smartphones, including the Phone Link app and mobile versions of Edge, Office, OneDrive, and Skype.

Windows 10 is well-known, cutting-edge, and flexible to the size and hardware specifications on which it runs. Windows 10 receives soft360’s Editors’ Choice award, a distinction it shares with the polished and outstanding macOS, for managing to incorporate so many features while being recognizable and user-friendly. Detailed comparisons can be found at macOS vs. Windows: Which OS Is Best?

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