10 things to know about Windows 10
Work smarter, play harder and find answers with Windows 10’s top 10 things to know.
Windows 10 is Microsoft's latest operating system for PCs, laptops, tablets and phones.
There are now more than 350 million devices running Windows 10, with over 135 billion hours spent using it.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brought some great new features, while more are coming in 2017 with the recently unveiled Windows 10 Creators Edition update.
Isn’t it time you joined the party? Here are 10 things it’s worth knowing about Windows 10…
1. It’s the same across all of your devices
So much of our web browsing, emailing and social networking is done on tablets and phones. So Windows 10 is designed to suit different screen sizes – whether that's a desktop PC or a 6-inch Smartphone.
Download a Universal App and you'll have it on all your Windows devices, with apps designed to fit different screen sizes.
Your calendar follows you across your devices too. See what your next appointment is whether you're on your laptop, tablet or phone.
Simply install the Outlook app and any changes you make to your calendar on one device will show up on them all.
2. You can use your fingertips or the keyboard
Windows 10 is designed to work as well on a tablet or Smartphone as it is on a laptop. Write essays and emails with the keyboard on your laptop, scroll down Facebook and shop online with taps and swipes on your phone or tablet.
This has led to a new generation of Windows 10 laptops with touchscreens. Some of these function like regular laptops – others have screens that can be detached and used as a separate tablet. These are called 2 in 1 laptops.
3. Switch from keyboard to touchscreen automatically
2 in 1 laptops running Windows 10 can automatically switch from tablet to laptop with the Continuum feature.
Disconnect your keyboard and it switches to tablet mode with full-screen apps and touch control. Connect it again to go back to keyboard and mouse control.
4. The Start menu is back– with smarter Live Tiles
The Start menu is the little rectangular box that sat at the bottom-left corner of your screen from Windows 95 to Windows 7.
But when Windows 8 launched with a radical new touchscreen design, the Start menu was gone. Well now it’s back – but in Windows 10 it gets even better.
As well as launching programs and finding files, it also updates you with the latest from your calendar and social media feeds. This is thanks to Live Tiles – apps that display ever-changing information on them without you having to click.
5. It can turn your Smartphone into a PC
We use our Smartphones for everything from WhatsApp and work emails to Netflix and online shopping. Now you can transform your phone into a PC with Windows 10.
Simply plug your Windows 10 phone into a monitor and attach a keyboard and mouse and you can work on the big screen in apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
The really clever bit? Continue using your phone for normal phoney stuff like messaging and calls at the same time.
6. Write notes directly onto webpages
Write notes directly onto webpages with a stylus pen with the new Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10. Use it to:
- Annotate an essay you’re reviewing with notes
- Or mark out a key passage with the clever highlighter tool
- Scribble your thoughts on an article before sharing with a friend
- Share a pic of a dream holiday with ‘how about we do this?’ scrawled on
Don’t have a touchscreen laptop, phone or tablet? You can also type notes in the same way.
Did you know? Longer online articles are much easier to read with Edge. It strips out all adverts, pictures and other bits on the page and lays out the article like a book in reading mode.
7. You can ask it questions with your voice
Voice control is a big thing in tech at the moment – making it easier to interact with your gadgets. Windows 10 has pioneered this with the Cortana digital assistant.
Simply say, ‘Hey, Cortana’ followed by your question – anything from ‘is there a coffee shop near me?’ to ‘will it rain at the weekend?’
Use it to make new diary appointments and check what’s next on your schedule.
Cortana gets even smarter in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, remembering regular info like a frequent flyer number.
8. You can play Xbox One on your PC
The Xbox One was designed to work with Windows 10 and vice versa.
If you have an Xbox One you can stream games from the console to your Windows 10 laptop or tablet. Pick up a game on your PC where you left off on your Xbox One, with game-saves and add-ons carrying over.
Windows 10 devices also have a dedicated Xbox App – stay in touch with your gaming pals and share clips of your best moves from your laptop or tablet.
9. Connecting with people has never been easier
Sharing photos and documents becomes easier than ever with the MyPeople feature coming in the Windows 10 Creators Edition.
Icons of your most important contacts can live on the toolbar where you can share files with them instantly. Simply drag and drop a file on the icon and you’ve shared the document.
And when your favourite contacts send you a message or email, a notification pops up above their icon so you can respond quickly. You can move between email and chat within this space without the need to open several apps. It’s that easy.
MyPeople is coming soon – learn more about it
10. MS Paint goes seriously futuristic in 3D
Paint 3D is a revolutionary update to the classic MS Paint coming in the Windows 10 Creators Edition. It lets you build virtual models simply by pasting images or scanning objects in 3D with your smartphone.
And if you have a touchscreen, you can use the Surface Pen to draw directly onto the screen. There’s also a library of 3D shapes and images you can use and edit to create anything you want.