Windows 10 review: 5 ways it is better than Windows 8

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

How to force Windows to start downloading the Windows 10 update files.

Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 who “reserved” a free update through the Get Windows 10 app will start to see a notification pop-up informing them that their update is ready for installation.

New York: It took me just a weekend to get comfortable with Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, something I never did with its predecessor, Windows 8, even after nearly three years. In addition, the installer will check to make sure that a device’s apps and hardware are compatible with Windows 10, and will warn the user before proceeding or avoid installing altogether.

Even if the Windows 10 install app still says it will “notify you when ready,” you can force Windows 7 or Windows 8 to start downloading the Windows 10 files (thanks to Reddit’s Windows 10 subreddit for helping us figure this out). Build 10240, which Microsoft released to members of the Windows Insider Program two weeks ago, is the same build that people who are upgrading from previous versions of the operating system will receive Wednesday. First, navigate to “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download” (you may need to replace C: with a different drive letter if you installed Windows elsewhere) and delete all the files there. It’s still difficult to wrap your head around the fact that Microsoft is ditching all the legacy that is IE and launching a new browser build from the ground up. With the tool, people who use Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 can create USB disks and ISO disk images that can be used to install Windows 10 on other computers.

People on platforms that can’t use the Media Creation Tool such as Windows XP and Mac OS X will get direct links to ISO downloads so they can also create installation media. Although you could split the screen, apps could be placed only side by side, not top to bottom, as you’d probably want when having email and streaming video open at once. Changing the default browser on an operating system is a massive undertaking, especially if that operating system has always been so closely tied to its browser.

Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through … read more » We sat down with Drew DeBruyne, director of program management at Microsoft, and Jason Weber, group program manager at Microsoft, to dig a little deeper into Edge. “Knowing that browsing is still one of the very top activities that people do on a PC, we knew there was an opportunity, and really an obligation, to push the web browsing experience … and so that’s what we’ve done with Microsoft Edge,” DeBruyne told VentureBeat. Microsoft also released an evaluation version of Windows 10 enterprise that IT professionals can try out for free to check out the operating system’s features. Build a browser that feels “responsive, fast, and lightweight” but that is also “clean, doesn’t get in your way, and also works great with the modern web.” Oh, and the team wanted to deliver something that is “familiar” (you’ll hear that word used a lot in Windows 10’s marketing) “but still felt fresh.” In other words, Microsoft was attempting the impossible.

People who download it have to register their information with Microsoft, agree to be contacted by Microsoft during the 90-day preview period and agree that they’ll have to do a clean install of their operating system if they want to downgrade from Windows 10. Developers will “soon” be able to port their Chrome extensions and Firefox add-ons to Microsoft’s browser, but for now Edge is a powerful browser clearly not meant for power users. You get some functional improvements, such as a virtual marker to draw arrows or circle an entry on a Web page to share over email, Facebook and other means. Some websites, including those from Google, aren’t as smooth on Edge as they are on other browsers, but the problem might be limited to Microsoft’s Surface tablets. DeBruyne spelled it out for us: “Second to the start menu, it’s probably the most trafficked place in the Windows user interface.” Behind Edge’s address box, a relevance algorithm is constantly running and trying to match what you type to the above types of queries and possible search suggestions.

— An Action Centre offers quick access to settings such as Wi-Fi, brightness and “quiet hours” — a way to suspend notifications and sounds if, say, you’re giving a presentation. Because you might feel awkward talking to your computer, you have the option of typing in commands, such as “Remind me to get milk.” Cortana is integrated with the Edge browser, too. This site type was chosen because finding restaurants and booking a table “is a very common task on the web.” When asked what types of sites were next, DeBruyne listed shopping, social, research, and frankly concluded that “we’ve look at all of the common uses of the web.” Because the feature is server-driven, Microsoft can add new sites as well as new classes of sites without even updating Edge itself.

Whether you’re using a mouse and keyboard (select, right click, choose Ask Cortana) or a touchscreen (select, long press, choose Ask Cortana), on any page anywhere on the web, you can pick some text and get Cortana to tell you more. Copies were grabbed from the Internet only when you needed them, which meant files weren’t always available when using laptops on the go, away from WiFi. If it’s preceded by Jeb, Cortana will know to give you more information about Jeb Bush, because she’s taking the context of the page into account. As with any upgrades, make sure your favourite apps and accessories will work, as it might take time for outside developers and manufacturers to catch up. Interestingly, Microsoft made a conscious decision, based on user feedback and telemetry it had collected, not to build this into favorites. “There’s such a huge range of use cases for favorites, some people don’t use favorites at all, some people treat it as a junk drawer and search against it, and some people seem to organize their entire lives with favorites,” DeBruyne explained. “It’s pretty incredible.” “So we decided not to mess with that and add another concept on top of favorites,” he continued. “We did a pretty straightforward implementation of favorites in terms of having hierarchical folders, a favorites bar, and so on.

It works well enough on the desktop, but in DeBruyne’s words it “really sings on a tablet.” The Reading View button doesn’t light up on sites that aren’t showing an article. This is supposed to be a simplification for the process that currently goes a little something like this: Grab the URL, copy random parts of the webpage, paste everything into a note-taking program, and annotate it there. Unlike IE, however, Microsoft also took on a different philosophy: Namely, if there is a de facto standard, the company will push towards making sites work, as opposed to being stubborn with the actual standard. DeBruyne said this has made a difference for how well Edge works “with Google properties in particular.” The decision to use two browsers — one that is left behind for legacy purposes and the other that is aimed at the “modern web” — is a big deal for Microsoft. Furthermore, this allows Edge to be essentially the same app across all form factors: “It shares a universal code base and renders webpages with the same new rendering engine” and the user interface is “designed to adapt to whatever device it’s running on, whether a phone, laptop, or large-screen desktop PC.” Windows is always getting better from a developer perspective: Richer APIs, richer capabilities, better performance, better security, better reliability.

In earlier versions, we were going back to Vista, which was really challenging, because the graphics stack underneath Windows Vista were five, six, seven, eight years old at the time, quite dated from a programming perspective, a performance perspective, etc. versus what was in say, Windows 8.

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