Windows 10 introduced a number of new elements, including the option to use a touch-optimized interface (known as tablet mode) or a traditional desktop interface similar to that of Windows 7 along with live tiles from Windows 8. However, unlike previous versions of Windows, where most, if not all, major features for that release were completed by its RTM, Windows 10 continues to receive major features and changes beyond its initial release to market.
Microsoft describes Windows 10 as an ‘operating system as a service’ that will receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality. This is supplemented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, and to use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, argued that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform.
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Windows 10 Features Version 1507
The Mail app adds user-configurable swipe gesture controls and POP3 email support. Google Calendar support is added to the Calendar app. The Settings app is expanded to have similar functionality as the Control Panel, albeit with a Metro-style user interface. The Map app can download maps for offline use.
Microsoft Edge is the new browser for Windows 10 and is the successor to Internet Explorer, although Internet Explorer will remain for compatibility and legacy purposes. Cortana has been integrated into Edge, accessible by the option “Ask Cortana” in the right click menu, as well as a Reading View and the ability to write notes directly on web pages and save to OneNote. A Reading List feature has also been added, where users can save articles or other content to be accessed and read later. Microsoft Edge also includes a Share button on its toolbar where tapping or clicking on it will bring up the system Share panel, where users will be able to share a webpage to installed applications such as Reading List or third-party apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Since its release, this browser has scored 402 out of 555 points on HTML5test
Windows 10 includes DirectX 12 alongside WDDM 2.0. Unveiled March 2014 at GDC, DirectX 12 aims to provide “console-level efficiency” with “closer to the metal” access to hardware resources, and reduced CPU and graphics driver overhead. Most of the performance improvements are achieved through low-level programming, which can reduce single-threaded CPU bottlenecking caused by abstraction through higher level APIs. The performance gains achieved by allowing developers direct access to GPU resources is similar to other low-level rendering initiatives such as AMD’s Mantle, Apple’s Metal API or the OpenGL successor, Vulkan.WDDM 2.0 introduces a new virtual memory management and allocation system to reduce workload on the kernel-mode driver.
Windows 10 has brought the Cortana assistant from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10. By default, Cortana appears as a search pane on the taskbar, but can be changed into a button, like in tablet mode, and can be activated by voice using the command “Hey Cortana”, when a user searches the Start menu, or when a user searches the Cortana search pane. With Cortana, users can ask Cortana questions about the weather, calendar events, and other types of notifications, along with online information. Cortana currently requires a Microsoft Account to function.
Windows 10 reintroduced the start menu as seen in versions of Windows prior to 8. However, unlike these versions, the new start menu includes live tile features from Windows 8. It is possible to resize the Start menu and view recently added and most used applications. It can also be made full screen for tablet users or users that prefer a Windows 8-like experience. The right hand side of the Start menu can be used to pin tiles. The menu can contain a limited amount of columns, depending on the screen resolution. These columns can be divided in groups that can all have their own title. Every group is divided into 6 or 8 other columns, depending on the user’s settings, to allow either 6 or 8 small sized tiles next to each other.
Task View is a task switching and virtual desktop system, accessible via the taskbar button, keyboard shortcut Windows+Tab ↹, or swiping from the left of a touchscreen. Activating Task View shows a zoomed display of all windows currently opened on a specific monitor; clicking on a window switches to it. Task View can also be displayed when a window is snapped to half the screen or three windows are snapped to fourths of the screen, prompting for a window to occupy the remainder of the screen. Task View also allows the creation of virtual workspaces; windows can be dragged into and out of these workspaces.
Windows 10 Features Version 1511
- Windows Feedback app now allows sharing of feedback.
- Mail and Calendar apps now support dark and light theme, with various accent color option. External images can be set to automatically download, and Digital Signature, S/MIME Encryption are now supported
- Introduces Skype Messaging, Skype Video, and Skype Phone UWP apps.
- Update to the Xbox App
- You can find friends using Facebook
- You can record voice while recording gameplay using Windows 10’s Game DVR feature
- Browse the Xbox One and Windows 10 games store directly from the Xbox app
- Compare game achievement progress with other Xbox Live users
- You can use the Xbox app for entering text on the Xbox One console
- You can Update activity feed and online friends list in real-time
- Other built-in apps have been refreshed with features and bug fixes
- New features (e.g. Canvas blending modes, pointer lock, <meter> element, etc.) in Microsoft Edge
- Object RTC API now available in Microsoft Edge
- Tab previews on hover
- Added media casting in Microsoft Edge, excluding protected content
- Ask Cortana works inside PDFs in Microsoft Edge
- Cortana is now available in Australia, Canada, India, and Japan.
- Users needn’t to sign into the PC with a Microsoft Account. They can simply log into Cortana separately.
- People can make handwritten reminder in Cortana’s notebook.
- Cortana can now notify the user of missed calls or send SMS through the desktop.
- Window snapping has been improved to allow auto resizing of the second snapped app when the first snapped app is resized. This only applies when two apps are snapped side-by-side (rather than when apps are snapped in the corners).
- More icons have been updated.
- The Start menu can now be set to house four columns of medium-sized tiles per group.The default is still three columns, same as that of the initial version of Windows 10.
- The context menu for an app icon or tile includes Jumplist support. The context menu items themselves have been reorganized, with some bearing icons.
- Suggested Windows store apps now show up on start.
- This version added option to turn off the Windows background picture on the sign-in screen.
- Window titlebar can now sport the user’s chosen accent color. By default, the titlebar is white, but with this update, enabling color for taskbar, start menu, and Action Center also enables the accent color on the titlebar.
- Windows 10 can now be activated using Windows 8.1/8/7 product keys.
- The last printer used is automatically set as default printer; this behavior can be turned off. Ability to set default printer by network location is removed.
- The settings app hosts a central location to manage connected accounts.
- Work Access enables devices to connect to Azure ID or enroll in a Mobile device management infrastructure.
- You can set time zones automatically.
- Email and Call History added to privacy settings.
- Installed apps can be moved to a different storage device using the settings app. Furthermore, new apps can be set to automatically install on a selected storage device.
Windows 10 Features Version 1607
- Messaging Everywhere allows users to send SMS from their PC through their Windows 10 Mobile or Android phones
- New Skype Preview UWP app
- New Connect app which extends Continuum related capabilities
- “Feedback Hub” app merges previously separate apps, “Insider Hub” and “Windows Feedback”. Users can now comment on feedback in the Feedback Hub
- More lightweight, scalable, and consistent UI, as well as underlying architecture improvements, and new features in maps app
- Support for browser extensions, which can either be installed from the Windows Store or be sideloaded from external sources
- New history menu when right clicking the forward or backward buttons
- Improvements to favorites, downloads, and history
- Pinning tabs, so that they stay open
- Experimental VP9 support
- “Paste and search” and “Paste and go” and options in the context menu
- Accessibility tree view, DOM API profiling, and extension debugging for F12 Developer Tools
- Drag and drop support for the upload feature
- Importing browser favorites from Mozilla Firefox
- Notifying about downloads in progress in the Action Center
- Support for changing the default location
- Controls in app previews on the taskbar have been redesigned
- Taskbar clock is now integrated with the Calendar app for showing events
- Clock now shows on all monitors in a multi-monitor setup
- Badges with number of notifications are now available for UWP apps pinned on the taskbar
- Taskbar settings moved to Settings app
- Volume flyout now allows users to switch between multiple audio output devices
- Virtual desktops can now be switched using touchpads by swiping four fingers to either side
- Windows can now be pinned to allow them to show up on all virtual desktops
- Cortana can now answer simple questions without signing into Cortana with a Microsoft Account
- Cortana in Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico), and French (Canada)
- Music search button is now accessible from Cortana’s main screen
- Cortana will now display reminders of commitments made via Email and of meetings that are urgent or outside of normally scheduled times
- It will inform users on PC if their Cortana-enabled mobile device is low on battery
- Cortana for PC now supports Find My Phone, including the ability to ring the phone regardless of volume settings
- It can share map directions from PC to a Cortana-enabled mobile device, and vice versa
- Cortana setup is now more simplified and automated
- Cortana now works on the lock screen with limited functionality such as setting reminders and searching
- Reminders can now be set using pictures or on content sent from contacts
- Search feature can now search for files in OneDrive
- Cortana’s reminder is now a share target for any apps that use Windows share contract
- Most used apps list and All Apps list merged into a single view and elevated to top of Start UI
- Moved Power, Settings, and File Explorer to be always visible in the left rail of Start menu
- Recently added section now shows 3 entries by default instead of 1
- Any additional folders the user has chosen to appear on the Start menu will now be immediately available without the use of a hamburger menu
Windows 10 Features Version 1703
- Ability to set a particular website as a reminder in Cortana by using the browser’s “Snooze” feature.
- Improvements in handling pages with heavy use of text input that results in smoother performance in sites like TweetDeck
- Ability to Export favorites as HTML file and the ability to import favorites from HTML file.
- Structural improvements to OneCore
- Windows Delivery Optimizations can now seed OS and App updates by peer-to-peer means to reduce server bandwidth.
- Pin input is possible with numeric keypad even when Num Lock is off.
3.Shell and user interface
- Tutorial banners are added to File Explorer
- Introductory Message in Action Center[
- Updated Wi-Fi settings page that unifies it across PCs and Mobile editions of Windows 10.
- “Windows Anywhere”, a feature that enables users to synchronize Windows settings across their devices.
Windows 10 Features Version 1803
Windows 10 April 2018 Update, or Windows 10 version 1803, is the fifth feature update to Windows 10.
- Timeline: A new feature to get a chronological view of the activities the user was previously doing and to switch back to those activities. Edge, File Explorer, Maps, and other built-in applications include support for Timeline. Any application written for Windows can interact with Timeline to give the system visibility into individual documents the user worked on inside that application.
- Windows Hello: Initial set up of Hello can be performed from the lock screen.
- Bluetooth: A new “Quick Pairing” capability that reduces the number of steps required to pair a nearby Bluetooth device. A toast notification is shown when a compatible device is near the computer and ready to be paired.
- Task Bar: The Acrylic visual style of the Fluent Design System is applied to the taskbar.
- OneDrive status icons are shown in File Explorer to show the synchronization status of files and folders.
- Game Bar: layout has changed to include a clock, and to provide new options to turn the microphone and camera on/off.
- Nearby Sharing: a new feature found in the Shared Experiences area of Settings that provides the ability to share files and web links to other Windows 10 machines over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
- My People: Acrylic visual style; three-contact limit is removed; new animations; drag-and-drop of contacts; app suggestions.
- Text prediction: A new optional feature to enable autocomplete and autocorrection in any Windows application. The on-screen keyboard also has support for multilingual text prediction, which shows suggestions based on the top 3 installed Latin languages.
- New visual layout of the homepage; introduction of a “house” icon to represent the link back to the home page; adoption of the Acrylic visual style.
- System -> Sound: New settings page in the System section to control audio input/output volume and devices, per-application audio levels, and access to the classic “Sound” control panel
- System -> Focus Assist: Previously called “Quiet hours”; provides new settings to control when notifications may be shown to the user, as well as specific people and apps that are allowed to show notifications when Focus Assist is enabled. There are also options to enable displaying a summary of missed notifications when Focus Assist is turned off.
- System -> Storage: New settings page called “Free up space now” which provides the same capabilities as Disk Cleanup. (Disk Cleanup is still included in 1803.)
- Devices -> Typing: New settings page called “Advanced keyboard settings” which provides the ability to choose a different input method than the installed language; new setting to enable or disable multilingual text prediction.
Windows 10 Features Version 1809
Windows 10 October 2018 Update, or Windows 10 version 1809, is the sixth feature update to Windows 10.
- Snip & Sketch (aka Screen Sketch) is now an app for screenshot.
- Notepad: Supports Unix (
LF) and Classic Mac OS (
- File Explorer dark theme; new unified dark color scheme on File Explorer.
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