The Biggest Changes in Windows 10 - dummies

The Biggest Changes in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Part of Windows 10 For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Microsoft changed Windows completely with Windows 8, alienating many longtime Windows owners. Windows 8.1 tried to make amends, and with Windows 10, Microsoft finally brought back the familiar desktop and the Start button. Although Microsoft refers to Windows 10 as the “last version” of Windows, that’s not really true. Microsoft updates Windows 10 twice a year, and this book is up-to-date with the changes Microsoft added in the Spring of 2018. In particular, this update brings these changes:

  • Service. Microsoft continues to treat Windows 10 as a service rather than a product. And, just like any other service, Windows 10 changes constantly. Microsoft updates some of Windows 10’s apps on a daily or weekly basis, adding new features, removing unpopular ones, and fixing problems.
  • Timeline. Just as your browser remembers websites that you’ve visited, Windows 10 now remembers windows you’ve opened. Its new Timeline feature shows your past work as a series of thumbnails of previously opened documents and programs, all sorted chronologically. To return to work quickly, scroll down to a date in the past; you’ll find a waiting list of programs and documents opened on that day, ready to be reopened.
  • Nearby Sharing. With e-mail and online storage areas, it’s easier than ever to share files with distant friends and coworkers. Windows 10 expands that sharing circle to include people sitting in the same room. Turn on Nearby Sharing, and Windows 10 can send files to nearby friends using Bluetooth, a technology formerly used mostly by wireless mice, keyboards, and speakers.
  • Privacy. Technology companies love collecting your personal information, but they hate returning what they’ve gathered. In a welcome change, the Settings app’s Privacy section now includes a Diagnostic & Feedback section. There, the app gives you more control over the data Microsoft has grabbed, and it even lets you delete portions.
  • Edge. Never the most popular web browser, Microsoft Edge continues to add new features. The most welcome may be a “mute” icon atop each tab. When a website begins playing a loud advertisement, a quick click on the tab’s speaker icon cuts the sound.
  • Homegroup. Once an easy way to share files across a home network, Homegroup disappears in Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft prefers that people store their files on the Internet through its Cloud service, OneDrive. There, people can email links to others for them to download the information.
  • Bug fixes. Windows 10 runs more smoothly across a wider variety of computers and tablets. The update fixes many of the most irksome bugs, and it tries to make it easier than ever for you to find information on your computer and put it to work.