In what may be the only Windows 10 update we see in 2019, Microsoft has given us a raft of exciting new features and handy little tweaks.
Let’s have a look at those cool new features…
1. Redesigned Start menu
Once again, Microsoft has taken steps to declutter the Start menu. It no longer fills up most of the screen, and you’ll see fewer tiles and shortcuts. You can also get rid of some of the pre-installed apps to create even more space.
You’ll also notice the overall experience feels much quicker and more reliable. That’s because Microsoft has migrated the process to its own dedicated programme, StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This helps it run smoother and also means, if it crashes, it’s easier to restart.
2. Introducing Windows Sandbox
If you’re a developer dealing with sensitive data or applications, or if you’re just looking to play around and experiment with your PC, you’ll love this new feature.
Sandbox creates a safe environment on your desktop where you can run applications and executables in isolation. No data is stored, so once the Sandbox is closed, everything is deleted permanently.
Say you’ve downloaded a dodgy file from the internet and you want to test it before installing it on your PC. Or you’re scared a piece of code could backfire and affect your host computer. Simply open a Sandbox and test it out first. If you don’t like it, just close the Sandbox and never speak of it again!
3. Cortana and the search box have broken up
The rumours are true. Cortana will no longer be integrated with the search box in the taskbar.
Yes, the most controversial relationship since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has, inevitably, come to an end. Which is good news for anyone who was fed up of Cortana getting in the way of simple searches.
But there’s some good news for Cortana. It’s been working on itself since the split and is now smarter than ever. Thanks to a new, conversational AI, Cortana now incorporates more sophisticated answers and can recall previous conversations to help guide its decisions.
4. Microsoft Edge now incorporates the Chrome engine
Poor old Internet Explorer. Even rebranding it as Microsoft Edge wasn’t enough to help it gain a foothold on the browser market, with Google Chrome still the firm favourite.
Well, they say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s why Microsoft has officially done away with its own EdgeHTML engine and opted instead to implement the Chrome engine.
This means Microsoft Edge now supports Chrome extensions and will be better able to display webpages built for Chrome. But it will still feature an “Internet Explorer mode”, useful for displaying older webpages.
5. A de-Light-ful new theme
Just in time for summer, the Light theme has been updated to make it easier to use and nicer to look at. There’s also a striking, bright new desktop wallpaper for you.
Better still, you can now mix ‘n’ match parts of the Light and Dark themes to style your desktop exactly the way you like it.
Go to Settings > Personalisation > Colours to check it out.
6. Other little bits ‘n’ pieces…
Other smaller updates may not have a huge effect right away but will surely come in handy for Windows 10 users down the line.
Firstly, Windows 10 now reserves 7GB of space on the hard drive for future updates. This is to ensure you’ll never be caught on the back foot by a future update and have to scramble to find space for patches.
Speaking of updates, here’s a novel idea: you can now pause them on Windows 10. You can even pause it for days at a time if you need to.
And last but not least, the Blue Screen of Death has been given an overhaul. Microsoft has made its error messages more helpful (in other words, you can actually understand them now), and even offers users an FAQ to help them fix the problem themselves.
The update (officially called Version 1903) is absolutely free to all Windows 10 users, so if you own a Windows 10 PC, or you’re thinking of getting one, you can have all these features without paying a single penny.
Interested in all these features and many more? Check out the great offers we have on Windows 10 PCs and Windows 10 laptops
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