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All posts tagged Privacy

Windows 10 Has Landed With A Huge Bang…

… As of 1 day after its 29th July launch a whopping 14 MILLION downloads had been clocked.

That’s correct, several days ago: 14 MILLION. That resounding silence, it’s nobody saying the PC era is dead anymore.

What Do You Need To Know About Windows 10?

  1. Yes, you can upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 as long as you have a legit license and your existing OS is up-to-date.
  2. The Get Windows 10 App in your System Tray should do all the heavy lifting for you (but yes, I recommend a backup of all your vital data, photos what-have-you, just in case).
    1. This will run Windows 10 as a downloadable update and will offer to preserve all your apps and files: recommended.
    2. Some people have had problems with the update failing. Of all the people I know who have done the upgrade, this only happened to a handful and each case was resolved. Most important note down the error code and if your web search doesn’t provide the answer, then get in touch.
    3. Some people have not received the update yet. This is a phased roll-out and the people who were Windows Insiders got the first crack at it.
  3. The actual upgrade was relatively fast, involving a few restarts on the way, some post-install preparation and the final step was a resync of OneDrive.

Setup aside, let’s get to the meaty stuff: –

  • Login is still by default using your Microsoft account, giving you access to all those brilliant Microsoft services.
    • If you have hardware that supports the feature then you can login using Windows Hello: biometric authentication based on fingerprint or facial recognition.
  • Welcome back the Windows Start Menu: you asked for it back and Microsoft obliged.
    • The Metro, sorry New Windows UI Desktop is gone and the Windows Apps and Live Tiles are inside the Start Menu which is fully customizable.
    • TIP: Once in the Start Menu to find an app just type its name to filter the apps.
    • For those used to the right-click options in the Windows 8.1 Start Menu, those are still available.
    • Old features like the Control Panel are being replaced by Settings in the Start Menu (right click Start Menu to get to the old Control Panel).
  • As promised Cortana is an integral part of Windows 10, in the taskbar, adjacent to the Start Menu.
    • Cortana is not available for all regions but if you want the AI Personal Assistant then simply change your region to US or UK and in settings enable Cortana (in addition you can enable “Hey Cortana” so simply talking to your PC without clicking gets a response).
    • Cortana integrates with search, applications and information in your email, calendar and more. It’s worth asking Cortana for “Cortana Windows 10 commands”.
  • Edge is the new browser for Windows 10 that is changing the rules of the game:
    • Edge is rocket fast. I informally benchmarked all the web apps I use, the blog and several notoriously slow loading sites and Edge blew me away.
    • Yes, you can still use Internet Explorer if you need to. The site you are looking at in Edge, go to the right, top toolbar and hit the button. From the dropdown menu select “Open in Internet Explorer”.
    • Edge allows you to markup webpages and save to your One Note.
    • Logically Edge has strong sharing integration allowing the user to hit Share and choose from all social apps installed.
  • Privacy: there has been a lot of hysteria about Microsoft creating a privacy nightmare with Windows 10:
    • I’m calling BS on 99% of the FUD being spread about this. The usual trolls are doing their best to create panic in the streets. Ignore it.
    • The specific focus has mainly been on a feature called WiFi Sense; allegedly this is set by default to share you WiFi password with your friends, contacts, Skype and Facebook friends. WRONG. WiFi Sense has been on Windows Phone 8.1 for a while and actually allows these contacts and friends to access your WiFi but they do not get your password.
    • If you want to change the WiFi Sense settings then go to Start Menu > Settings > WiFi > Advanced Options > Now choose which settings you want.
    • Settings > Privacy and make sure you review your privacy settings. Again. Questions? Just get in touch if you need help.
  • Jump Lists: these have been around awhile. Jump Lists allow you to see the things you have done in the past per app and access the same files easily.
    • In Windows 10 Jump Lists are per app in both Start Menu sidebar and the task bar. Also, Windows File Explorer opens by default to display Quick Access which in the main pane has a Jump List of its own.
    • Task Bar Jump Lists are NOT drag and drop between apps. This is a change from Windows 8.x and I hope this is a feature that will return.
    • Deleting Jump Lists: if you don’t want to see this level of history in File Explorer then right-click Quick Access > select Options and hit the Clear button. The other Jump Lists can be cleared from Settings > Personalization > Start > and toggle the Show recently opened items setting to off then back to on. Jump List history > gone.

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The Warptest POV

Clearly there are more major features worthy of discussing but this was a summary of the big ones that people have consulted with Warptest about since the launch.

Overall sentiment from users I have spoken to, is that they are impressed with Windows 10 and understand the degree of improvement(s) made in the OS.

Is everything done? No, for example the Phone Companion App does in fact connect to Windows Phone, Android and iOS but, the app appears to a first generation version with more work needed to make this the killer app it should be. Telling a user to use your phone sync app then having them click to open File Explorer is not a ready for Prime Time UX. I’m looking forward to seeing iteration 2 here.

Overall I’m incredibly impressed with Windows 10, the UI and UX have undergone major evolution from Windows 8.1. I’m one of those people who liked Windows 8.1 and I’ll miss the Charms bar.

The true measure of Windows 10 success is definitely the adoption rates and download numbers but also, the lack of any meaningful attacks on Windows 10 indicate that other than FUD, it’s damn hard to find what to attack so far.

Whilst I have already addressed the question, “Should I upgrade to Windows 10?” the nutshell answer is…

At the end of the day, if you aren’t risk adverse, have made a backup of your data and are ready to experience what’s shaping up to be Microsoft’s greatest OS then go ahead and hit that button.