Windows 10: Ready for Primetime?

Category: Windows-10

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.

Windows 10 November Update

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

If you've been waiting for the right time to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10, this might be it. Remember, you can "downgrade" within 30 days, and return to the previous version if you run into problems or don't like it. See my article How To Undo a Windows 10 Upgrade

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...

 
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Most recent comments on "Windows 10: Ready for Primetime?"

(See all 35 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Andrew
19 Nov 2015

Need to block Epson printer updates - they block the usage of third party cartridges so that you have to buy theirs at 3 to 4 times the price.


Posted by:

Jeff
19 Nov 2015

It updated my girlfriends computer which came with Windows 10. But mine, which I upgraded from 7 to 10 a couple of months ago, will not update. I tried the regular update method and the media creation tool. But both failed. The regular update method failed during restart. The media creation tool update failed during the install.


Posted by:

James
19 Nov 2015

My question is:If I upgrade to 10 what happens to all my favorites I have bookmarked and my desktop icons? My email server? Do I have to do it all over again?
I've been tempted to give 10 a try although I don't know why. I'm using 7 pro at the time and am really quiet pleased with it. It even plays a European dvd that none of my other computers will play.


Posted by:

Dave
19 Nov 2015

Thanks for the info Bob. I'm still not in a hurry, but nice to know one can do a clean install. However, with ms, igo w/if it ain't broken, don't fix it.


Posted by:

Tim
19 Nov 2015

Guess what folks? - Windows 10 is still in the "development phase", and all who have installed it are the one's doing the testing/development for Microsoft, plus giving up TONS of personal information too, - have fun, it might be civilized in a couple years, or a relic - LOL

I turned off Auto Updates July 28th on all my W7 computers, and nuked all the spy KBs too, and haven't had to deal with any screwball problems at all!


Posted by:

GILBERT
19 Nov 2015

MICROSOFT???
i do not understand those idiot every time they had a new window always problem are they professional or a bunch of kids changing the system every morning i did try all the window for many years only XP was the best but for commercial reason they did stopped or they should be sue for it now i am with window 7 and very scare to go on window 10 when it will be finished and work very very efficient doing business on 7 or not to happy with they window or can become very sluggish at time .also in a year time with all the update with window 10 we will become again very slow until they will put another window on the market has usual they do control the market and exploited us in a very bad way.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
19 Nov 2015

I have upgraded to Win 10, twice!!! I still do not like it and probably, never will.

The second time I upgraded, I was having trouble trying to do something and used the Search in Help. It took me to the MS Support page, for the solution. When I started reading what to do, I noticed that the solutions were for Win XP, Vista and Win 7 -- NOTHING for Win 10! To me, this is very bad news. As someone already said, those who have upgraded to Win 10 are nothing more than Beta Testers.

I doubt that I will upgrade to Win 10. I am extremely happy with Win 7 Pro and how my PC runs. Win 10 is very problematic, for me. First time I upgraded -- I lost ALL of my Causal Games. I had to re-install all of them, when I went back to Win 7 Pro. Believe me, I was NOT a happy camper, over that one!!!


Posted by:

Noble Bowes
19 Nov 2015

I am in failure to understand mode. All the complaints about this and that. I have been using 10 since first available to insiders. Would never go back Yesterday I updated my Surface 2. Took about 40 minutes over my slow wifi. Loaded a couple cad programs on it, and they function as they are supposed to.

I tell all my friends to upgrade. they all love it. I Have 2 desktops, 1 laptop and 1 tablet which were upgraded flawlessly. From power on to using on my desktop and Surface is less than 20 seconds.

From what I have been reading, I wonder if I am the only one that's happy.


Posted by:

robert roberts
20 Nov 2015

Sick and tired of deleting the prompt for 10 from my taskbar. Just upgraded to 7 about a year ago and so have no need to go to 10. MS is using its market heft badly. Just begging for the Justice Department to do something about its size and market dominance.


Posted by:

Ray Jensen
20 Nov 2015

I am running Win10 on 3 of my 10 PCs and it has been nothing but trouble. My pewrsonal computer was running Win7 and I immediately upgraded to Win 10. I purchased 2 new PCs with Win10 already installed. Biggest issues have been printer drivers and internet access. I am not upgrading any of the 7 PC running Win7 and Win8,1 until I have to do so.
I tried to revert my personal PC back to Win7 15 days after the upgrade. MS said they hac already erased the Win7 files.


Posted by:

Huey
20 Nov 2015

I am surprised anyone switched to Win 10 last August. This happens every time MS issues a new product. It flips, it flops, it confounds, it confuses and then MS makes some changes and issues an updated version. Why would anyone need Win 10 so badly that they would even stick their toe in the water? I may wait until month 11 and give it a try.


Posted by:

Marcus
20 Nov 2015

I think Windows 10 will be a flop just like Windows 98 (MS had to release Windows 98 SE aka Second Edition due to bugs many users had installing or upgrading to Windows 98), Windows ME (Millennium Edition), and Windows Vista. I do wonder if marketing information is still shared with Microsoft even if you disable the default enabled settings. This can be a big issue for people and companies who require confidentiality. For example a doctors office or hospital are required to comply with patient confidentiality laws and the IT persons who install Windows 10 on their systems may not understand all the privacy settings that are enabled by default resulting in a hospital or doctors office unknowingly violating patient confidentiality laws. These settings could also revert to their default enabled settings after an update. From my understanding you are unable to disable automatic updates in Windows 10 which is also a deal breaker for me. I had to disable automatic updates on one of my computers because a Windows 7 update from March of this year kept repeatedly trying to install and fail in an endless loop and to this day still hasn't been resolved by Microsoft.


Posted by:

Ralph
20 Nov 2015

I bought a refurbished desktop in early October when my longtime Win7 Pro machine died. Three days later, I upgraded to Win10 and have never looked back. Initially, I was disappointed that there was no support for external memory card readers, but T2 fixed that. Even before the upgrade, I noticed my desktop booted much faster, perhaps due in part to the faster CPU and SATA3 hard drive, but my seldom used old laptop also boots faster on Win10. On several occasions, my desktop has frozen, prompting a reboot, but I don't know if it's a Windows issue or the application that was running. I suspect Windows, but I can live with that happening once every three or four weeks.


Posted by:

Chris
20 Nov 2015

I upped from Windows 7 to 10 on my desktop about 10 days after it came out. Worked fine (I liked it a lot) for a couple of weeks then my machine froze and would not let me back in. No back-up point, Safe mode, nothing. Finally had to use my back-up discs for a reinstall and lost anything that had been added to the hard drive that week. I am now really leery about trying again.

The only thing I found that might have had a bearing on the problem was that I have an nVidia card, but no solution to the issue was available at that time.


Posted by:

Paul
21 Nov 2015

@RobertRoberts to get rid of the taskbar Windows 10 stuff you can use the free GWX Control Panel program http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/2015/08/using-gwx-stopper-to-permanently-remove.html works great.


Posted by:

Joe
22 Nov 2015

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 i
I went as directed in the above sentence and there is no find my device. Did I do it wrong? Thanks


Posted by:

Top Squirrel
22 Nov 2015

Bob, can you (or someone else) please publish a guide that tells people how to disable things that users are likely to want to disable in W10?
I read so much of stuff that W10 brings into your computer and sometimes a method to get rid of one thing.
Most of us don't know all the questionable stuff W10 brings in so we have no handle on what we would want to disable if we did know.
It could be organized in subject classifications. Like, a section on dealing with all the privacy-invading stuff and how to disable each if you don't want it.
What about it?
Also, are there instructions somewhere on line for how to "downgrade" your W8.1 into W7? I'd rather have another W7 machine than a W10.


Posted by:

Mike
23 Nov 2015

Windows 10 is a great upgrade from Windows 8. It's easier to use and stops the annoying and confusing switch between screens seen in 8. However, it does have more in common with Windows 8 than Windows 7. If your using 7, and you like it, there's no real need to upgrade unless you just want to try the new os. I have seen a few problems with the upgrade process. It's a good idea to make sure your system is working normally before upgrading. Existing issues can carry over. It you have a problem with say windows updates, you may still have it after upgrading to 10.(Unless you do a clean install as per above.) Another issue I've seen is that sometimes the wrong sound driver is set and the sound does not work unless you go in and select the correct one. The upgrade can also fail and leave you unable to boot to either os. Windows 10 does have multiple privacy settings that can be changed so it doesn't send information to Microsoft. There is a program called oddly enough Shutup 10 that can adjust these settings for you.


Posted by:

Mike
23 Nov 2015

Windows 10 is a great upgrade from Windows 8. It's easier to use and stops the annoying and confusing switch between screens seen in 8. However, it does have more in common with Windows 8 than Windows 7. If your using 7, and you like it, there's no real need to upgrade unless you just want to try the new os. I have seen a few problems with the upgrade process. It's a good idea to make sure your system is working normally before upgrading. Existing issues can carry over. It you have a problem with say windows updates, you may still have it after upgrading to 10.(Unless you do a clean install as per above.) Another issue I've seen is that sometimes the wrong sound driver is set and the sound does not work unless you go in and select the correct one. The upgrade can also fail and leave you unable to boot to either os. Windows 10 does have multiple privacy settings that can be changed so it doesn't send information to Microsoft. There is a program called oddly enough Shutup 10 that can adjust these settings for you.


Posted by:

billz
26 Nov 2015

I installed win 10 in October and rolled it back 2 days later. It didn't seem to get java right.
Msoft kept inviting me to install ad nauseum. I then saw, somewhere that they came up with their first "patch" and i decided to try it again.
I rolled it back about 2 hours later.
Again it was having problems with java.
Since I'm 68 yrs and don't do much except play a particular rpg and email and surf and listen to youtube music and I hear they are going to support win 7 and 8 I'm keeping my laptop with win 7. My wife is keeping her win 8.whatever and when she's ready for a new one it will be a Mac.
I was and mcse for a few years before retirement and Msoft continues to disapoint.


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