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Windows 10Windows 10 has been developed under the project name "Threshold" as successor of Windows 8.1. During development, the operating system was called Windows 9 but dropped by Microsoft for no official reason. This is the last Windows version according to Microsoft. This means that the major version number 10 will be kept, independent from the number of updates in future.
Microsoft offers a free upgrade from Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 within the first year since the release. The upgrade is performed after confirmation of the user. All of the necessary files for the upgrade have been downloaded through the automatic update before. You can install the operating system later on the same computer and the license will be activated automatically. Otherwise you can activate Windows 10 during the setup with a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 license code.
Microsoft is forcing the registration with an online Microsoft account but you can still use a local user account. Many features will be limited or not useable without online activation, for example Cortana, OneDrive, OneNote and the AppStore. The operating system transmits many telemetry data to Microsoft. The transfer of data can be configured in privacy settings in control panel but not deactivated completely.
The minimum requirements for the computer are moderat. A processor with 1 GHz, 1 GByte (32-bit) and 2 GByte (64-bit) main memory are sufficient. The free disk space on the hard disk should be at least 16 GByte (32-Bit) and 20 GByte (64-Bit). The graphic card should support DirectX 9 with WDDM 1.0 drivers at a resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixel. The driver model is the same and drivers for the most common hardware are included.
The operating system has been designed for various different computers. Windows 10 is suitable for server, desktop computer, notebooks, tablets and Windows-Phones. The development of Apps has been simplified for use on computers and mobile devices. Microsoft offers Windows versions for different fields of application:
- Windows 10 Home
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Education
- Windows 10 Mobile
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
- Windows 10 IoT Core
- Windows Server 2016
- Windows 10 for XBOX One
Windows 10 updates are delivered continuously on availability. A fixed weekly patch day become dispensable therefore. The point of time for updates can be configured in different rings but not disabled completely. The available rings to configure the update behaviour depends on the Windows version.
- Ring 1, "Fast": Receive pre-releases of new functions
- Ring 2, "Slow": Receive pre-releases of new functions delayed
- Ring 3, "Standard": Receive new functions at final release
- Ring 4 and Ring 5: Receive new functions delayed (Pro-, Enterprise- und Education Version)
- Ring 6, "Long Term Servicing Branch": Receive only security updates automatically, new functions after release by the administrator (Windows 10 Enterprise only)
Standard Features of Windows 10
Secure Boot with UEFI-Firmware version 2.3.1 and higher
Windows Hello for biometric user authentification
DirectX 12 support
Support for multiple monitors
Support of Headup-Displays like Hololens
Revised power management
Startmenu classic or fullscreen
Cortana allows the search by voice commands and keyboard input
File version history and system restore
Optimized for touch screens
Faster boot process and wake up from sleep mode
Virtualization technology Hyper-V
Support for up to 4 virtual desktops
Revised Action Center
Windows Explorer allows direkt mounting of ISO and VHD files as virtual drive
Classic and new control panel
Burn files directly to CD and DVD
Compress and decompress ZIP files
Integration of OneDrive as central online storage
Edge Internet Browser
Windows Defender integrated
New PowerShell 5.0
Revised parental control (Microsoft Family)
Windows Media Player 12.0
Revised App Store
Skype-App, Video-App, Karten-App, Kalender-App, Mail-App
Contacts-App, Messaging-App, Info-Manager OneNote
Windows Hello is able to identify the user by biometric characteristics. This can be done with the face, iris and fingerprint. The authentification data is stored on the local computer only according to microsoft. Requirement for Windows Hello is special hardware, for example a camera with infrared light for the face and iris identification.
The new browser Edge with the new HTML rendering-engine is the successor of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 11 is still included for compatibility but the further development has been discontinued.
Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, spoke on the Microsoft Ignite 2016 event, 26th September 2016 about the success of Windows 10. 18 months after the launch, the operating system is used on over 400 million active devices each month.
Date - Version
2014 Sept. 8 - Windows 9 Developer Preview, Build 98342015 Jan. 23 - Windows 10 Technical Preview available, Build 99262015 July 29 - Windows 10 Final Release, Version 10.0.102402015 Nov. - Windows 10 Update, Version 10.0.10565