Windows 7 Users Should Know These Differences in Windows 10

Much to the delight of almost anyone who bought into Windows 8, Windows 10 will be out soon, and if you felt Windows 8 didn’t look like a PC operating system, Windows 10 is definitely fixing that problem. As a result, users that are still running Windows 7 will feel much more comfortable with the new OS, though there are some major changes.

Microsoft Account Integration

When you first start to run Windows 10 you will be asked if you want to sign in with a Microsoft Account. If you sign in with a Microsoft Account a lot of settings will sync automatically between PCs. In addition to that, you will also be automatically logged in Microsoft services, like OneDrive, and some services will actually require you to have a Microsoft Account, like the new Windows Store.

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Should you choose not to use a Microsoft Account that’s ok, there is a small link which will allow you to set up a traditional, local Windows Account, which you can easily convert into a Microsoft Account later if you want to.

Redesigned Start Menu

The Start Menu has been completely redesigned from Windows 7. Windows 8’s Live Tiles make a return, but you do have the option of removing all of them if you truly hate them. Just right click and select remove and poof…no more Live Tiles. Despite the new look, the Start Menu does have all of the usual features you are familiar with. You’ll still find a list of all your installed apps and options for shutting down or restarting your computer. You can also move your mouse to any edge of the Start Menu in order to resize it.

The Windows Store’s Universal Apps

Windows 10 introduces a lot of universal apps, the successors to Windows 8’s Metro apps or Store apps. These new universal apps actually run in windows on the desktop, which might make you interested in using them. You will have to open the Store app in order to get more universal apps and there’s no way to sideload these apps by downloading them from the internet, though you are free to avoid them entirely and install traditional Windows desktop applications from the internet.

Settings App or Control Panel?

Windows 10 introduces the Settings app in the Start menu. This is evolved from the PC Settings app on Windows 8 and is designed to be a more user-friendly way to configure your computer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain every setting. The old Windows Control Panel is still included and some older settings may only be available in the Control Panel. Newer settings may only be available in the Settings app. You can right-click the Start button or press Windows Key + X to quickly navigate to the Control Panel, one of the more useful features held over from Windows 8. Windows 8’s Refresh and Reset options are also back, allowing you to quickly get your computer back to a like-new state without having to actually reinstall Windows. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to uninstall automatic Windows updates on Windows 10 Home, though Professional offers different options.

The Taskbar’s Cortana and Task View

The Taskbar is seeing some changes with Windows 10. While there’s still no Start button there is a “Search the web and Windows” field that launches Cortana and a Task View button that gives you an overview of all of your open windows and virtual desktop features. Both features are enabled by default, but you can disable them if you wish.

So Long Internet Explorer and Hello Edge

Internet Explorer is no longer the default internet browser for Windows….thank God. IE is still available for business who may still need to access its older rendering engine, but the modern Edge browser is what everyone will most likely be using. Edge is supposed to be more standards-compliant and perform better but no longer supports ActiveX controls meaning all the old IE toolbars and browser plug-ins will no longer work. Basically, if you’re currently using Internet Explorer you will now be using Edge.

Improvements to Desktop and Security

Windows 8 upgraded the Task Manager, making it easier to see what’s using your system resources and manage startup programs without third-party software. In addition to that, Windows Explorer was renamed File Explorer and now comes with a ribbon. Improvements include an improved file-copying-and-moving dialog window and the ability for Windows to mount ISO disc image files without third-party software.

Security improvements from Windows 8 to 10 include Windows Defender by default. Windows Defender is just Microsoft Security Essentials with a different name, meaning that all Windows systems have a baseline level of antivirus protection. SmartScreen is a reputation system that attempts to block harmful or unknown file downloads from harming your computer.

What Does This Mean for Windows 7 Users?

Windows 10 approves on a lot of things, and what I’ve mentioned here is only the tip of the iceberg. Other changes include a notification center and a redesigned power, network and sound icons in the system tray along with Game DVR functionality for recording and streaming PC games. A lot of low-level tweaks have also been made that allows Windows to use less disk space, boot faster and be better protected against malware and viruses.

Windows 10 is a heck of a lot easier to get into than Windows 8 was, especially for hardcore users of Windows 7. The design is based on a familiar interface and is complete with the start menu and desktop windows. A Tablet Mode for Windows 10 is also included, though it needs to be enabled manually (if you use it on a tablet it’s automatically enabled).

If you were hesitant about jumping on the Windows 8 bandwagon from Windows 7 (and let’s be honest nobody blames you for that) then you should be able to fall into Windows 10 pretty comfortably. Sure there are a few Windows 8 features that will be completely new to you, but overall jumping into Windows 10 from Windows 7 should be a very easy transition.

Content originally published here

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  1. One of the best things is redesigning the Start Menu as we’ve developed a habit of using it in the conventional way. Cortana and Hello Edge are the ones to look for, how their performance and user experience turns out to be will be crucial for Microsoft and all of us.

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