Windows 10 superguide: Everything you need to know

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

14 Million Computers Now Running Windows 10.

There’s nothing like a free upgrade to bring your existing customer base running to a new product. A man shows Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover on March 15, 2015. (credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images) PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) – Microsoft says its new Windows 10 operating system is now running on more than 14 million computers, two days after the software was released as a free download.In the first 24 hours after beginning the rollout, Microsoft said it saw “unprecedented demand” for the new operating system, with reviews and customer feedback “overwhelmingly positive” around the globe. And with the backlash Microsoft received on Windows 8, Redmond definitely needed to make friends and influence more than a few people on this release.

It appears MSFT is doing just that, as the company is now claiming over 14 million users have made the jump to Windows 10 (5 million or so are likely “Windows Insiders”). Following a hostile reception to Windows 8 in 2012, which was only placated in small part by the Windows 8.1 update in 2013, Microsoft is hoping that Windows 10 can help it regain favour among its 1.5 billion daily users.

The latest version of Windows saw a somewhat bumpy rollout on Wednesday, with problems including a “Something happened” error screen seen during the installation process. Microsoft will then check those computers for compatibility and push up a notification when a computer is ready to be updated. “If you reserved your upgrade of Windows 10, we will notify you once your PC is ready for Windows 10 and it has been downloaded on your PC,” Microsoft wrote. “The best way to know your upgrade is ready is to look for this notification in your system tray.” But Microsoft’s officially sponsored method isn’t the only way to get hold of Windows 10. However, while the PC version of the operating system has been well received, market analysts have questioned its ability to compete with Android and iOS on smartphones.

The Windows 10 rollout is taking place in waves, starting with people who signed up for the company’s Windows Insider plan and “reserved” a copy—that is, signaled interest in upgrading weeks ago. “We still have many more upgrades to go before we catch up to each of you that reserved your upgrade,” the company said in a public post. This is a move to get as many devices running Windows 10 as possible, from desktop PCs, to notebooks, tablets, smartphones and even the Xbox One game console.

One of the things that people hated about Windows 8 was the feeling that they were constantly being pushed to use “live tiles”, which were designed for touch-based computing, even when they were using a traditional desktop set-up with a keyboard and mouse. This was replaced in Windows 8.1 with a Start button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, but rather than opening up a navigation menu, it launched the tile-based touch user interface that most people were trying to escape. It features a redesigned Start menu, which brings together the Windows 7 navigation panel with “live tiles” from Windows 8, and a new web browser called Edge. Windows 10 also comes with Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant, Cortana, which pops up with notifications and suggestions, and learns the user’s preferences over time.

The strategy seems sound and I’d have to agree with Microsoft’s perception that users are reporting an “overwhelmingly positive” experience so far. When you open up the new Start menu, there is a panel of live tiles on the right, where people can “pin” their favourite apps, but there is also a traditional Windows 7-style Start menu on the left, that allows users to sort through all of their files, apps and settings systematically. More importantly, clicking on a live tile does not result in you being transported to another virtual universe where the app takes over your entire screen and it feels impossible to escape, as it did in Windows 8. Instead, Windows 10 will be used across all Microsoft devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones – as well as the Xbox games console and Microsoft’s holographic headset, HoloLens.

Meanwhile, workers shifted to smartphones or other non-Windows devices for many tasks, prompting some corporate technology managers to let slide their desktop software and hardware updates. For the better part of a year, it distributed in-progress versions to companies and gathered their feedback, and it sought input from developers of Windows-based business software that help sell its products to companies large and small.

The advantage of having them, of course, is that if you’re using a convertible device that operates in both desktop and tablet mode, then applications downloaded from the Windows Store will automatically adjust themselves to suit the mode, making switching between the keyboard and touch interface feel seamless. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader. So if you’re working on an Office Word document at your desk and then have to go and catch a train, you can switch to tablet mode and carry on working on the same document in touchscreen mode as soon as you get a seat.

If you don’t have the Get Windows 10 app on your PC, your device might be missing an update, so run Windows Update and install any available updates. Oh and not to mention, if you just pay attention to the screen prompts, rather than using express settings, you can specify apps settings and maintain your browser of choice. It feels more like the Google Chrome browser, with a light, stripped-back user interface and a simple set of tools along the top, under the search bar.

For example, “favourites” lets you bookmark a page and cache it for reading offline, “web note” lets you annotate live pages and then save a screenshot of the page, and “share page” lets you send a link to friends via email or social network. It’s a nice trimming to an otherwise successful product launch and the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld is going viral with a dual meaning that will pay dividends for the brand as well. Read mode is also great for people who like to read long articles online, allowing you to strip out all the ads, and sidebars, pop-ups and links, and scroll through a single column of text and pictures. Or, if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait, you can always download the Window 10 Media Creation Tool that we stepped through at HotHardware, which will allow you to create a bootable Windows 10 USB stick or upgrade your system directly from the tool itself.

If you give Cortana access to your email and calendar clients, for example, it can start to act more like a real personal assistant, extracting relevant information and proactively offering information. There are, of course, many other features in Windows 10, like the ability to run multiple “desktops” side by side, which is the virtual equivalent of having multiple PC monitors with different apps open on each screen.

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