win10-logo01Today, Thursday, November 12th, 2015, Microsoft releases the first “bigupdate to Windows 10 to the general public.

This update (which has been called many things, including The Fall Update, The November Update, and even Threshold 2) brings a series of feature additions and improvements that “Windows Insiders” have been testing the past four months.

Since its release on July 29th of this year, Microsoft HAS released small “patch updates” to Windows 10, but there have been no major “version changes”.

Today’s update is an actual version upgrade with an actual change in the “version and build” number.

I personally think it’s way too confusing to worry too much about, but here are a few tidbits about Windows 10 version and build numbers for the general public…

  • The initial release of Windows 10 was called Version 10.0, build 10240.
  • With today’s update, Microsoft moves to a new way of naming versions. The newly updated version will be Windows 10 version 1511 (which stands for 2015 November) build 10586.
  • From this point forward, Microsoft is expected to release version upgrades either quarterly or twice a year.

Again, there’s no need for the normal home user to worry too much about version numbers, since Microsoft will automatically upgrade your Windows 10 computer as new versions are released.

And this includes the one coming out today. Without any extra effort on your part, the upgrade should happen over the next few days.

Checking Your Version Number

Still, if you would like to check what your version number is, here’s what you can do…

  • Click the Start Button to display the Start Menu
  • Click All Apps
  • Scroll down to the “Witems and click Windows Administrative Tools
  • Under Windows Administrative Tools click System Information
  • (And yes, you can also just type “System Information” into the taskbar search box to find this icon)

In the window that appears, you’ll see an entry for Version, which shows your actual Windows 10 version number, including the Build.

Here’s what mine looks like (before today’s upgrade)…

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Checking Manually For Updates

Update-Sign01As I’ve mentioned, Microsoft automatically updates Windows 10 computers (you actually have no choice but to take their updates), but you can “manuallycheck for updates at any time.

Here’s what to do…

  • Click the Start Button to display the Start Menu
  • Click Settings
  • In the Settings window, click Update & Security
  • If it’s not already chosen, click Windows Update on the left panel, and if it’s not already happening, click the Check for Updates button.
  • Once Check for Updates is done, a list of available updates will be displayed, and a button will appear allowing you to either Download or Install the updates.

Windows 10 Fall Update Features

Don’t worry, you won’t see any massive differences when you update to the Windows 10 Fall release.

Instead, you’ll see a series of smaller changes that should make your Windows 10 life a bit easier!

Here are some of the more notable changes…

  • On the Start Menu
    • Context menus (RIGHT-click menus) are more informative
    • Tile columns on right can now be 4 columns wide
  • On the Desktop
    • Aero Snap (the feature that lets you snap windows to take up 1/2 or 1/4 of the screen) gives you more control of the window size
  • Cortana
    • You can now use Cortana without signing into your Microsoft account (i.e. with a Local Account)
    • She can now track more events based upon emails you receive
    • She can understand and track online movie ticket booking
    • She can tell you about coupons for various online stores when you visit their sites in the Edge browser
    • While reading a PDF, you can highlight a word and ask Cortana for more information about it
  • Backgrounds and Colors
    • You can turn off the Windows background picture on the Sign-In (password) screen.
    • There are more color options in the Personalization window

 

As always, if you have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you. You can leave your thoughts below…

 

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