So Windows 10 is here and for early adopters, if you have reserved your Windows 10 prior to 29th of July, here are the steps to get your on your way to the latest Windows release.
Note that the upgrade is currently available for PCs and tablets with pre-loaded Windows 8 that qualifies for the free upgrade, the free Windows 10 Mobile for smartphones will only be available at the end of the year.
Why Should I Get Windows 10?
The 12 best new features and benefits of upgrading to Windows 10 are as below:
- Fast, resumes faster, more secure and compatible with existing hardware and software
- The Start button and Start Menu with Live Tiles – best for both touch and mouse driven devices can also be expanded to full-screen
- Personal digital assistant called Cortana – try playing music, create reminders, set alarms and perform searches using natural language queries.
- Internet Explorer replacement called Microsoft Edge – new modern browser built from group up for speed and Cortana integration.
- Improvement to Core Apps: Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging, Music and Video – Mail and Calendar apps receive a good revamp. Windows 10 Mail now supports POP and Windows 10 Calendar supports Google Calendar
- Window Store Apps known as full-screen Metro apps in Windows 8 are now windowed on the desktop with the usual maximise, minimise and close buttons.
- Virtual Desktops called Task View – add new virtual desktop and go between different open apps on multiple virtual desktops.
- Notification sidebar called Action Center is a pop-up reminder complete with relevant information from mail to calendar to social media. It also includes quick buttons for common functions i.e. Bluetooth, VPN, Tablet Mode, Note, Connection, Location and Quiet mode.
- Easy configuration for touch enabled devices using Continuum – dynamically switches between desktop and tablet mode to suit with full screen Start menu in tablet mode and bigger touch friendly buttons.
- Xbox One integration with Xbox app and streaming – Activity Feed from Xbox Live Friends and Twitch stream great for gamers to stay up to date and in touch. Support for game streaming from Xbox.
- More Settings on Metro interface – system settings are now cleaner and simplier with most options found under the metro interface. No more checking on the traditional Control Panel for more configuration settings.
- Universal app syncing function using OneDrive for core apps across all Windows devices (Maps, Photos, Mail & Calendar, Music, Film and TV) and greater selection of apps for Games and Entertainment
The Different Windows 10 Versions
I am currently on Windows 8.1 Pro Edition and will be upgrading this at mid day today to Windows 10. It remains to be seen if this upgrade will take me to the same version. There are altogether 7 editions this time and they are:
- Windows 10 Home – this entry level OS has all the essential features of Windows for laptops, desktops and hybrids targeting home and personal use. Here is a base OS for surfing the web (MS Edge), browsing Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music and Video. It also includes Xbox One integration and for touch capable devices, it is compatible with Continuum, a mobile like configuration app to navigate desktop functionalities.
- Windows 10 Mobile – this is the new version to replace Windows Phone and it goes beyond smartphone, as it is also the upgrade path for tablets. Unifying the two devices, smartphone and tablet under one OS. Think iOS and Android which are used on both smartphones and tablets making app development easier.
- Windows 10 Pro – for enthusiasts and businesses with features like more control over security, real-time software updates, Secure Boot, Device Guard, Windows Update for Business and Cloud Technology Support.
- Windows 10 Enterprise – here is a version for medium to large corporations with advanced capabilities to protect the system from security threats targeted at all levels; devices, identities, applications and information. It includes Windows Update for Business and Long Term Servicing Branches and is available only through Volume Licensing program for bulk purchase.
- Windows 10 Education – for the first time, a dedicated version for academic purposes is now available. Instead of choosing the Enterprise Edition as before through Volume Licensing for Education, schools, colleges and universities can now have their own version. It will still only be available through Volume Licensing for students and teachers.
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise – for medium to large organisations that want more control over mobile devices for their workforce; smartphones and tablets for workplace, Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is the answer. Again, available via Volume Licensing program only, the Mobile Enterprise offers more control and administrative features such as software updates, system modifications, real time protection and security using device policy.
- Windows 10 IoT Core – first of its kind OS is customisable for household appliances such as smart thermostats and machines. It is likely to be seen on devices and not heard as it is embedded by companies wishing to take advantage of Windows connected technology and cross platform compatibility.
The likely Windows version for most users would be Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro on their personal laptop or desktop.
5 Easy Steps to Schedule the Windows 10 Upgrade
Here are five easy steps to get you on your way. Start by looking for the Get Window 10 icon on the taskbar, bottom right in Desktop mode.
1. Click on this to reveal the following pop-up.
2. Click on Schedule your free upgrade!
You can look at a slide show (below) for more information for simply go to the next step
3. Click on OK, let’s continue
4. Click Accept on Microsoft Software License Terms
5. Click Schedule it for later and set a time.
This will allow Windows to start downloading the files it needs if it has not already done so and only install it at a time of your choice, when you are not using your machine.
You can check the progress of the download by clicking on the Get Windows 10 icon and View download progress button on the pop-up window.
Be sure to check back soon for more updates on the installation of Windows 10.