Featured

As we approach the release of Windows 10 this summer, I thought it might be helpful to give you a quick overview of the most important things we currently know about what Microsoft is sending us.

When will it arrive?

Microsoft has not yet set a firm release date, but most tech insiders report that it will be at the end of July. A lot of it depends upon how the last part of development goes, and how many last-minute changes they decide to make.

Who can get it?

Windows 10 will come as a FREE upgrade to legal users of Windows 7, 8.0, and 8.1, as long as they upgrade sometime during the first year of the release. Microsoft also says that they will continue to provide all future updates free of charge.

At this point, Microsoft is NOT providing an update for Windows XP or Vista users, although there are RUMORS that Microsoft will release a $39.99 pay-for upgrade for those versions of Windows.

How will you get it?

Although there’s no official word on this, most expect Microsoft to release Windows 10 through the regular Windows Update feature in Windows 8.0 and 8.1, and also with Windows 7 as long as you have upgraded to Service Pack 1.

Are there different flavors?

As with Windows versions of the past, Microsoft is planning multipleeditions” of Windows 10. Which edition you will get as a free upgrade depends upon the edition you currently have.

For example, those with Windows 7, 8.0, or 8.1 Home Basic or Home Premium versions will upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

While those with Windows 7, 8.0, or 8.1 Pro will get Windows 10 Pro.

Here are the editions Microsoft will be offering…

  • Windows 10 Home – Consumer version that includes all apps, and features like Cortana, Continuum, Windows Hello, and the new Edge Web Browser.
  • Windows 10 Pro – Small business version that includes apps for device management and more data security.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise – For large companies, includes even more security and management features.
  • Windows 10 Education – A special version for schools and universities, offered through academic volume licensing.
  • Windows 10 Mobile – Only available as an upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 users or on new smartphones.
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise – Targets large companies that need to manage a large number of corporate mobile devices.

What New Features will I see?

Although we won’t really know until the final Windows 10 release is out, the past 6 months Microsoft has made Windows 10 developer releases available to anyone interested in seeing and testing the system.

Here are the key new features we’ve seen so far…

  • A New Hybrid Start Menu – Windows 8 dropped the Start Menu in favor of giving us a Start Screen that consisted of “app tiles”. Not too many Windows users were happy with that. Windows 10 gives us back our Start Menu but with some changes, including the addition of an All Apps menu option and a left-side panel with app tiles.

Win 10 - Start Menu on Desktop01

  • A New Browser – Microsoft is ending the life of Internet Explorer, and giving us a completely rebuilt browser called Edge (also known as Spartan). It’s supposed to be faster, cleaner, and more secure.
  • Still have Apps – Like Windows 8, you will still have Apps and access to new apps via the App Store, but now they will run in regular desktop windows.
  • Solitaire is Back – For some strange reason, Microsoft did not include Solitaire with Windows 8 (although you could download it from the App Store). With Windows 10 it returns.
  • Cortana – This is Microsoft’s version of Apple’s Siri, and is a “digital assistant” that responds to your voice commands.
  • Continuum – This feature helps Windows 10 work better with devices that support both “touch input” and “keyboard & mouse”. It changes the Windows interface to work best with whatever input method you are currently using.
  • Windows Holographic – Windows 10 supports a special Microsoft headset called HoloLens that allows you to interact with your computer through a “floating screen” and hand gestures.

 

Finally, to give you an idea of what you might see later this summer, I checked YouTube to see if there were any good, current demonstrations.  Although most were a bit more “geeky” than I wanted to show you, I did find one by Chirstopher Barnatt of ExplainingComputers.com that was pretty good.

[I edited the video, leaving just the parts that actually show the Windows 10 interface]

You can click the FULL SCREEN (double-headed arrow) button at the lower right (above) to expand to full-screen.

Of course, I’ll have lots more information for you as we get closer to a release date, including a new Using Windows 10 book that I’m already working on.

Until then, as always, I’d love to hear your comments. You can leave them below!

 

FREE eNewsletter Subscription
Wondering who you can trust when it comes to computer technology? Need answers that aren’t full of techno babble? Sign up for the FREE DiscoverSkills eNewsletter

comment01

{ 3 comments }

What’s Your IQ when it comes to Phishing?

Thumbnail image for What’s Your IQ when it comes to Phishing? by John Lortz Featured

A few days ago, I browsing my favorite online tech  and news sites, catching up with the latest tech happenings, and I ran across an article written last December on CBSNews.com, talking about the number of people that still get tricked by “Phishing” emails. Phishing is something we talk a lot about when we teach our […]

Read the full article →

Save some time with Keyboard Shortcuts!

Thumbnail image for Save some time with Keyboard Shortcuts! by John Lortz Featured

Those of us who use our computers on a regular basis have learned over time that the more you have to take your hands away from the keyboard (i.e. use the mouse), the longer it ultimately takes to do things. A good example of this is when you’re typing up a document (as I’m doing […]

Read the full article →

Using Bing for Pictures & Clipart

Thumbnail image for Using Bing for Pictures & Clipart by John Lortz Featured

A few weeks ago I was teaching a word-processing class and discovered something I hadn’t seen before. At one point in the class, we started talking about adding clip-art to a document, and one my students who was using their own laptop computer and running Microsoft Word 2013, raised their hand with a problem. I came […]

Read the full article →

iPad & iPhone Battery Saving Tips

Thumbnail image for iPad & iPhone Battery Saving Tips by John Lortz Featured

Battery life has always been an issue with battery-powered devices, and since we now use mobile tablets and phones more than ever, and expect them to work longer during the day, extending battery life is almost critical. For that reason I thought it might be a good idea to pass along a few battery saving […]

Read the full article →

My 2015 Internet Safety Suggestions

Thumbnail image for My 2015 Internet Safety Suggestions by John Lortz Featured

Over the past few months,  Stephen (the person who runs the AgeWell Computer Lab in Lincoln, NE) and I have had numerous discussions about the big increase we’ve both seen in online threats (viruses, malware, scams, etc.), and how it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep your computer and personal information safe, even if you take all […]

Read the full article →

Most Popular Technology Articles of 2014

Thumbnail image for Most Popular Technology Articles of 2014 by John Lortz Featured

As the new year approaches, one thing I always like to do is go back and re-read articles I’ve written the past year, just to remind myself of what happened during the year, and to review the most urgent questions my students asked (since I often write articles in response to questions). But this year, as […]

Read the full article →

How to Check Your Windows Update Settings

Thumbnail image for How to Check Your Windows Update Settings by John Lortz Featured

As I’ve mentioned in numerous “security” related articles here on DiscoverSkills, Windows Updates are an important part of keeping yourself safe from the “nasty stuff” that’s out there on the Internet. And because of the importance of making sure your updates are happening, I routinely get asked… “how do I check for updates” and “can […]

Read the full article →

Beware of “Fix Your Computer” Scams!

Thumbnail image for Beware of “Fix Your Computer” Scams! by John Lortz Featured

By now you’ve probably heard of them, but in case you haven’t (and since they are still a popular method of fraud), I wanted to make sure you all know about “Fix Your Computer” scams. What Happens There are various forms of this scam, but here is typically what happens… You get a phone call or […]

Read the full article →

Black Friday to Cyber Monday… What’s it all about?

Thumbnail image for Black Friday to Cyber Monday… What’s it all about? by John Lortz Featured

[Updated for November, 2014] Marketing people love an excuse for a sale. Any excuse will do. If “something” is happening, a sale can be built around that “something”. This time of year the “something” is Christmas, which is an obvious no-brainer for marketers to build sales around. But not being happy with just “Sales for Christmas”, […]

Read the full article →