Windows 10: Ready for Primetime?
The first major update to Windows 10, code-named “Threshold 2” during beta testing, was released on November 16, 2015. It speeds boot-up times, includes updated drivers for thousands of devices, and adds new features to the OS, Edge browser, and Cortana digital assistant. Microsoft is proudly proclaiming Windows 10 is now ready for widespread deployment in businesses, signaling confidence in the platform’s stability. Here's what you need to know...
What's in the Windows 10 November Update?
Since its launch in late August, Windows 10 has been installed on about 117 million PCs and tablets worldwide, including 12 million in business environments. However, the adoption rate has been slowing in recent months, leading to speculation that Win 10 might flop as badly as Vista did.
The November update may boost adoption rates going forward. Let's look at what's new...
For starters, you can now enter the product key of your eligible Windows 7 or 8 installation directly into the Windows 10 upgrade wizard. That’s a big relief for users who want to do a “clean installation” of Windows 10 upgrade to a re-formatted hard drive. Previously, they had to install Win 10 over the old version, register it with Microsoft’s server, then re-format the drive and install Windows 10 again.
Following this update, Windows 10 will boot 30% faster than Windows 7 or 8.1, according to Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group. All aspects of the Win 10 user experience will be faster and smoother, thanks in part to the thousands of driver and app updates contributed by third-party OEMs and software developers.
Cortana now syncs with users’ Microsoft accounts, providing more data the digital assistant can use to customize its recommendations. Cortana can also recognize handwritten input scribbled on touchscreens with a stylus, a plus aimed primarily at tablet users. The biggest eyebrow-raiser is Cortana’s new ability to integrate with an Uber account regardless of the user’s computing platform.
You could always create an Uber account from a desktop PC, but until now you needed a smartphone to actually use Uber. Now, Cortana on a tablet, notebook, or desktop can book an Uber ride for you. Uber will need to know your general location so Cortana will ask permission to provide it when you order an Uber ride. You can ask Cortana to book an Uber ride via her query box, and tell Cortana to remind you to book an Uber ride based on your schedule of appointments. (GottaBeMobile has an illustrated in-depth explanation of how this new Cortana-Uber integration works.)
More Goodies in the November Update
The Edge browser built into Windows 10 can now sync favorites, readling lists, and settings across devices. A new “preview pane” shows a Web page before you click on a link to fetch it. Unfortunately, Edge still doesn’t support extensions.
The Win 10 Start menu is still cluttered with “suggested apps” tiles that are really sneaky ads, but the November update provides an easy way to turn off these nuisances. Just go to Settings > Personalization > Start and switch “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” to off.
A new “Find My Device” feature can help you locate a lost or stolen laptop, phone, or tablet. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Find My Device and click “Save my device’s location periodically” to enable it.
Skype is provided in three parts on the updated Windows 10: Video, Messaging, and Phone. Presumably, this segmentation will conserve system resources. Also, certain Win 10 apps can use appropriate Skype modules. You can still install the complete Skype app if you wish.
Apps can now be installed on removable storage devices such as SD cards, a boon for devices with overcrowded internal storage.
"It's My Windows Update, And I Need it Now!"
If you upgraded to Windows 10 during the 31 days prior to November 16, you won’t get this update right away via Windows Update. That’s because the update would interfere with users’ ability to roll back to their previous version of Windows if they didn’t want to keep Windows 10.
If you just can’t wait for the November update, you’ll have to go through the entire Windows 10 upgrade process again; head for Microsoft’s Windows 10 Upgrade page and click the “Upgrade Now” button. The November update is included in the Windows 10 Upgrade package.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Nov 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Windows 10: Ready for Primetime? (Posted: 19 Nov 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved