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This chapter is from the book

Windows 10 for Windows 8/8.1 Users

If you were forced to use Windows 8/8.1, you have my sympathy. The good news is, Windows 10 is a lot better. A whole lot better.

What exactly is new in Windows 10? A lot! Here’s a short list of changes you’ll find:

  • The Start button is back, as is the Start menu. Click the Start button and you see a new and (really) improved version of the Start menu, with all your installed programs listed.
  • Programs pinned to the Start menu now appear as resizable tiles, some of which display live information without having to be opened.
  • Windows boots directly to the desktop. No more full-screen Start screen. (Actually, the Start screen no longer exists in Windows 10; instead, if you run Windows on a tablet, you see a full-screen version of the Start menu.)
  • Although you can operate Windows 10 with touch gestures, you don’t have to. Everything you need to do you can do with your mouse and keyboard.
  • The full-screen Modern apps from Windows 8 have been rewritten to appear in resizable windows on the traditional desktop.
  • A new Action Center pane is accessible from the taskbar, which displays important system messages and offers quick access to important system tools.
  • There’s a new virtual personal assistant, named Cortana, which you can use to search the web or find important information. You can use Cortana with the keyboard or via voice commands.
  • A new web browser, called Edge, is faster and more streamlined than the old Internet Explorer.
  • The Charms bar from Windows 8 is no more; all configuration options are available from the new Settings tool (or the traditional Control Panel, which is still around).

There are even more new features, including some changes to the interface design, but that gives you a feel of what’s new and different. If you still run Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you need to upgrade to Windows 10.

The good news about upgrading from Windows 8/8.1 is that it’s easy and it’s free—for the first year of release, anyway. If you have a Windows 8/8.1 PC, open the Windows Store app to download and install Windows 10. You should experience no compatibility issues with hardware or software you ran with Windows 8/8.1.

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