Updated on December 10, 2021
Last Wednesday, Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of its operating system, which comes 20 years after the release of their first modern version of Windows, Windows 95.
Meant to make up for the ill-fated nature of Windows 8, Windows 10 has dialed back the more radical, tablet-oriented changes Windows 8 implemented, while keeping some of 8’s additions in place. The Start menu, dropped in favor of the Start screen in 8, is back in 10. However, the Windows 10 Start menu keeps the live tiles of Windows 8.
I went on Saturday to Best Buy to look at Windows 10 for myself. While the store had dedicated Windows 10 signage, not all of the PCs on display had Windows 10 installed. Fortunately, that shouldn’t matter when it comes to buying one—any Windows 7 or 8 PC can be upgraded to 10 over the next year for free. My impression is that it’s greatly improved over Windows 8, with Windows 7 users feeling more at home.
The other major change to Windows 10 is the long-overdue retirement of Internet Explorer, with Edge as the new default browser. IE will still be on machines, but as a legacy program in a secondary directory. I tried out Edge; it looks and feels a lot like Chrome or Safari. Edge also includes a few features, such as being able to write/draw notes and other information on a page. From what I’ve read, Edge doesn’t come with the ability to install extensions like those for Chrome or Firefox.
I didn’t see any indication if any of Windows’ security features/issues have changed or upgraded, as security is traditionally one of Windows’ weaknesses.
There’s been various articles written so far about the newest version of Windows. Here’s a few:
- Engadget’s review notes the merger of Windows 7 and 8 features.
- Re/code discusses the new Edge browser in detail.
- ZDNet reports plans by Microsoft to release “Cloudbooks,” an updated take on last year’s HP Stream—basically Chromebook competitors running Windows 10.
Overall, I expect Windows 10 to be a quite successful operating system, and I’d recommend it for those who’ve held off upgrading from Windows 7.