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Windows 10 is a major release of Microsoft ‘s Windows NT operating system. It is the direct successor to Windows 8. It was released to manufacturing on July 15, , and later to retail on July 29, Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10, which are available to Windows Insiders.
Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches , over their ten-year lifespan of extended support. Windows 10 received generally positive reviews upon its original release. Critics praised Microsoft’s decision to provide the desktop-oriented interface in line with previous versions of Windows, contrasting the tablet-oriented approach of Windows 8, although Windows 10’s touch-oriented user interface mode was criticized for containing regressions upon the touch-oriented interface of its predecessor.
Critics also praised the improvements to Windows 10’s bundled software over Windows 8. However, media outlets have been critical of the changes to operating system behaviors, including mandatory update installation, privacy concerns over data collection performed by the OS for Microsoft and its partners, and adware -like tactics used to promote the operating system on its release.
Microsoft initially aimed to have Windows 10 installed on over one billion devices within three years of its release;  that goal was ultimately reached almost five years after release on March 16, On June 24, , Microsoft announced Windows 10’s successor, Windows 11 , which was released on October 5, In December , technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was working on an update to Windows 8 codenamed “Threshold”, after a planet in its Halo franchise.
She also stated that one of the goals for Threshold was to create a unified application platform and development toolkit for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One which all use a similar kernel based on Windows NT. The new Start menu takes after Windows 7 ‘s design by using only a portion of the screen and including a Windows 7-style application listing in the first column. The second column displays Windows 8-style app tiles.
Myerson said that these changes would occur in a future update, but did not elaborate. Windows Phone 8. Screenshots of a Windows build purported to be Threshold were leaked in July , showing the previously presented Start menu and windowed Windows Store apps,  followed by a further screenshot of a build identifying itself as “Windows Technical Preview”, numbered , in September , showing a new virtual desktop system, a notification center, and a new File Explorer icon.
On September 30, , Microsoft officially announced that Threshold would be unveiled during a media event as Windows Myerson said that Windows 10 would be Microsoft’s “most comprehensive platform ever”, providing a single, unified platform for desktop and laptop computers, tablets , smartphones, and all-in-one devices.
In regards to Microsoft naming the new operating system Windows 10 instead of Windows 9, Terry Myerson said that “based on the product that’s coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9. We’re trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox.
Further details surrounding Windows 10’s consumer-oriented features were presented during another media event held on January 21, , entitled “Windows The Next Chapter”. Additional developer-oriented details surrounding the ” Universal Windows Platform ” concept were revealed and discussed during Microsoft’s Build developers’ conference. Among them were the unveiling of “Islandwood”, which provides a middleware toolchain for compiling Objective-C -based software particularly iOS to run as universal apps on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.
A port of Candy Crush Saga made using the toolkit, which shared much of its code with the iOS version, was demonstrated, alongside the announcement that the King -developed game would be bundled with Windows 10 at launch. At the Ignite conference , Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon stated that Windows 10 would be the “last version of Windows”, a statement that Microsoft confirmed was “reflective” of its view of the operating system being a “service” with new versions and updates to be released over time.
On June 1, , Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be released on July 29, The commercials focused on the tagline “A more human way to do”, emphasizing new features and technologies supported by Windows 10 that sought to provide a more “personal” experience to users. Windows 10 makes its user experience and functionality more consistent between different classes of device and addresses most of the shortcomings in the user interface that were introduced in Windows 8.
Windows 10 supports universal apps , an expansion of the Metro-style first introduced in Windows 8. Windows 10 also introduced the Microsoft Edge web browser , a virtual desktop system, a window and desktop management feature called Task View , support for fingerprint and face recognition login, new security features for enterprise environments, and DirectX Windows apps share code across platforms, have responsive designs that adapt to the needs of the device and available inputs, can synchronize data between Windows 10 devices including notifications, credentials, and allowing cross-platform multiplayer for games , and are distributed through the Microsoft Store rebranded from Windows Store since September The ARM version of Windows 10 allows running applications for x86 processors through bit software emulation.
On Windows 10, Microsoft Store serves as a unified storefront for apps, video content, and eBooks. Desktop software distributed through Windows Store is packaged using the App-V system to allow sandboxing. A new iteration of the Start menu is used on the Windows 10 desktop, with a list of places and other options on the left side, and tiles representing applications on the right. The menu can be resized, and expanded into a full-screen display, which is the default option in Tablet mode.
When a window is snapped to one side of the screen, Task View appears and the user is prompted to choose a second window to fill the unused side of the screen called “Snap Assist”. Charms have been removed; their functionality in universal apps is accessed from an App commands menu on their title bar. It is accessed by clicking an icon in the notification area, or dragging from the right of the screen.
Notifications can be synced between multiple devices. Windows 10 is designed to adapt its user interface based on the type of device being used and available input methods. It offers two separate user interface modes: a user interface optimized for mouse and keyboard, and a “Tablet mode” designed for touchscreens. Users can toggle between these two modes at any time, and Windows can prompt or automatically switch when certain events occur, such as disabling Tablet mode on a tablet if a keyboard or mouse is plugged in, or when a 2-in-1 PC is switched to its laptop state.
In Tablet mode, programs default to a maximized view, and the taskbar contains a back button and hides buttons for opened or pinned programs by default; Task View is used instead to switch between programs. The full screen Start menu is used in this mode, similarly to Windows 8, but scrolls vertically instead of horizontally.
Windows 10 incorporates multi-factor authentication technology based upon standards developed by the FIDO Alliance. Devices with supported cameras requiring infrared illumination, such as Intel RealSense allow users to log in with iris or face recognition , similarly to Kinect. Devices with supported readers allow users to log in through fingerprint recognition.
Support was also added for palm-vein scanning through a partnership with Fujitsu in February In , researchers demonstrated that Windows Hello could be bypassed on fully-updated Windows 10 version with a color printout of a person’s picture taken with an IR camera. However, a PIN is not a simpler password. While passwords are transmitted to domain controllers , PINs are not.
They are tied to one device, and if compromised, only one device is affected. As such, the authentication token transmitted to the server is harder to crack. In addition, whereas weak passwords may be broken via rainbow tables , TPM causes the much-simpler Windows PINs to be resilient to brute-force attacks. When Windows 10 was first introduced, multi-factor authentication was provided by two components: Windows Hello and Passport not to be confused with the Passport platform of Later, Passport was merged into Windows Hello.
Device Guard is designed to protect against zero-day exploits , and runs inside a hypervisor so that its operation remains separated from the operating system itself.
Other features such as word wrap and transparency were also added. These functions can be disabled to revert to the legacy console if needed. The Anniversary Update added Windows Subsystem for Linux WSL , which allows the installation of a user space environment from a supported Linux distribution that runs natively on Windows.
The subsystem translates Linux system calls to those of the Windows NT kernel only claims full system call compatibility as of WSL 2, included in a later Windows update. The environment can execute the Bash shell and bit command-line programs WSL 2 also supports bit Linux programs and graphics, assuming supporting software installed,  and GPUs support for other uses . Windows applications cannot be executed from the Linux environment, and vice versa.
To reduce the storage footprint of the operating system, Windows 10 automatically compresses system files. The system can reduce the storage footprint of Windows by approximately 1. The level of compression used is dependent on a performance assessment performed during installations or by OEMs , which tests how much compression can be used without harming operating system performance.
Furthermore, the Refresh and Reset functions use runtime system files instead, making a separate recovery partition redundant, allowing patches and updates to remain installed following the operation, and further reducing the amount of space required for Windows 10 by up to 12 GB. Windows 10 introduces Microsoft Edge , a new default web browser.
It initially featured a new standards -compliant rendering engine derived from Trident , and also includes annotation tools and integration with other Microsoft platforms present within Windows Every Windows 10 version from 20H2, which was released on October 20, , will come with the new version of the browser preinstalled. Windows 10 incorporates a universal search box located alongside the Start and Task View buttons, which can be hidden or condensed into a single button.
Many of its features are a direct carryover from Windows Phone, including integration with Bing , setting reminders, a Notebook feature for managing personal information, as well as searching for files, playing music, launching applications and setting reminders or sending emails.
Microsoft Family Safety is replaced by Microsoft Family, a parental controls system that applies across Windows platforms and Microsoft online services. Users can create a designated family, and monitor and restrict the actions of users designated as children, such as access to websites, enforcing age ratings on Microsoft Store purchases, and other restrictions. The service can also send weekly e-mail reports to parents detailing a child’s computer usage.
Credentials are stored in an encrypted form on Microsoft servers and sent to the devices of the selected contacts. Passwords are not viewable by the guest user, and the guest user is not allowed to access other computers or devices on the network. Wi-Fi Sense is not usable on Universal calling and messaging apps for Windows 10 are built in as of the November update: Messaging, Skype Video, and Phone.
These offer built-in alternatives to the Skype download and sync with Windows 10 Mobile. Windows 10 provides greater integration with the Xbox ecosystem. Xbox SmartGlass is succeeded by the Xbox Console Companion formerly the Xbox app , which allows users to browse their game library including both PC and Xbox console games , and Game DVR is also available using a keyboard shortcut , allowing users to save the last 30 seconds of gameplay as a video that can be shared to Xbox Live, OneDrive, or elsewhere.
Windows 10 adds native game recording and screenshot capture ability using the newly introduced Game Bar. Users can also have the OS continuously record gameplay in the background, which then allows the user to save the last few moments of gameplay to the storage device.
Windows 10 adds three new default typefaces compared to Windows 8, but removes dozens of others. The removed typefaces are available in supplemental packs and may be added manually over a non-metered internet connection.
Windows 10 is available in five main editions for personal computing devices; the Home and Pro editions of which are sold at retail in most countries, and as pre-loaded software on new computers. Home is aimed at home users, while Pro is aimed at power users and small businesses. Each edition of Windows 10 includes all of the capabilities and features of the edition below it, and add additional features oriented towards their market segments; for example, Pro adds additional networking and security features such as BitLocker , Device Guard, Windows Update for Business, and the ability to join a domain.
Enterprise and Education, the other editions, contain additional features aimed towards business environments, and are only available through volume licensing. As part of Microsoft’s unification strategies, Windows products that are based on Windows 10’s common platform but meant for specialized platforms are marketed as editions of the operating system, rather than as separate product lines.
An updated version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system for smartphones, and also tablets, was branded as Windows 10 Mobile. On May 2, , Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S referred to in leaks as Windows 10 Cloud , a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 which was designed primarily for devices in the education market competing, in particular, with Chrome OS netbooks , such as the Surface Laptop that Microsoft also unveiled at this time.
The OS restricts software installation to applications obtained from Microsoft Store; the device may be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a fee to enable unrestricted software installation.
As a time-limited promotion, Microsoft stated that this upgrade would be free on the Surface Laptop until March 31, A public beta program for Windows 10 known as the Windows Insider Program began with the first publicly available preview release on October 1, Insider preview builds are aimed towards enthusiasts and enterprise users for the testing and evaluation of updates and new features. On July 29, , Microsoft officially announced that Windows 10 would be released for retail purchase as a free upgrade from earlier versions of Windows.
In comparison to previous Windows releases, which had a longer turnover between the release to manufacturing RTM and general release to allow for testing by vendors and in some cases, the development of “upgrade kits” to prepare systems for installation of the new version , an HP executive explained that because it knew Microsoft targeted the operating system for a release, the company was able to optimize its then-current and upcoming products for Windows 10 in advance of its release, negating the need for such a milestone.
The general availability build of Windows 10, numbered , was first released to Windows Insider channels for pre-launch testing on July 15, , prior to its formal release. Windows 10 is distributed digitally through the “Media Creation Tool”, which is functionally identical to the Windows 8 online installer, and can also be used to generate an ISO image or USB install media. Changing between architectures e. Windows 10 was available in countries and languages upon its launch, and as part of efforts to “re-engage” with users in China, Microsoft also announced that it would partner with Qihoo and Tencent to help promote and distribute Windows 10 in China, and that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would provide assistance at its service centers and retail outlets for helping users upgrade to Windows Windows RT devices cannot be upgraded to Windows During its first year of availability,  upgrade licenses for Windows 10 could be obtained at no charge for devices with a genuine license for an eligible edition of Windows 7 or 8.
This offer did not apply to Enterprise editions, as customers under an active Software Assurance SA contract with upgrade rights are entitled to obtain Windows 10 Enterprise under their existing terms. All users running non-genuine copies of Windows, and those without an existing Windows 7 or 8 license, were ineligible for this promotion; although upgrades from a non-genuine version were possible, they result in a non-genuine copy of On the general availability build of Windows 10 the original release , to activate and generate the “digital entitlement” for Windows 10, the operating system must have first been installed as an in-place upgrade.
During the free upgrade, a genuineticket. Once installed, the operating system can be reinstalled on that particular system via normal means without a product key, and the system’s license will automatically be detected via online activation – in essence, the Microsoft Product Activation Server will remember the system’s motherboard and give it the green light for product re-activation.
Since the release of the Fall Creators Update version , Microsoft decided to release multi-edition installation media, to alleviate installation and product activation issues users experienced because of accidentally installing the wrong edition of Windows The Windows Insider Preview version of Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the generally released version as part of the version progression and continues to be updated to new beta builds, as it had throughout the testing process.
Microsoft explicitly stated that Windows Insider was not a valid upgrade path for those running a version of Windows that is ineligible for the upgrade offer; although, if it was not installed with a license carried over from an in-place upgrade to 10 Insider Preview from Windows 7 or 8, the Insider Preview does remain activated as long as the user does not exit the Windows Insider program.
The offer was promoted and delivered via the “Get Windows 10” application also known as GWX , which was automatically installed via Windows Update ahead of Windows 10’s release, and activated on systems deemed eligible for the upgrade offer. Via a notification area icon, users could access an application that advertised Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, check device compatibility, and “reserve” an automatic download of the operating system upon its release.
Microsoft said that those who reserved Windows 10 would be able to install it through GWX in a phased rollout process. The operating system could alternatively be downloaded at any time using a separate “Media Creation Tool” setup program, that allows for the creation of DVD or USB installation media. In May , Microsoft announced that the free upgrade offer would be extended to users of assistive technologies ; however, Microsoft did not implement any means of certifying eligibility for this offer, which some outlets thereby promoted as being a loophole to fraudulently obtain a free Windows 10 upgrade.
Microsoft said that the loophole is not intended to be used in this manner. However, another loophole was found that allowed Windows 7 and 8.
No word from Microsoft was given whether it will be closed  and some outlets have continued to promote it as a free method of upgrading from the now-unsupported Windows 7.
During upgrades, Windows 10 licenses are not tied directly to a product key. Instead, the license status of the system’s current installation of Windows is migrated, and a “Digital license” known as “Digital entitlement” in version or earlier is generated during the activation process, which is bound to the hardware information collected during the process.
If Windows 10 is reinstalled cleanly and there have not been any significant hardware changes since installation such as a motherboard change , the online activation process will automatically recognize the system’s digital entitlement if no product key is entered during installations.
However, unique product keys are still distributed within retail copies of Windows As with previous non-volume-licensed variants of Windows, significant hardware changes will invalidate the digital entitlement, and require Windows to be re-activated. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Update does not allow the selective installation of updates, and all updates including patches, feature updates, and driver software are downloaded and installed automatically.
Users can only choose whether their system will reboot automatically to install updates when the system is inactive, or be notified to schedule a reboot. Version allows wired Ethernet networks to be designated as metered, but Windows may still download certain updates while connected to a metered network.
In version , by installing the August security update and later versions, driver and non-security updates pushed via Windows Update that are considered optional are no longer automatically downloaded and installed in their devices. Updates can cause compatibility or other problems; a Microsoft troubleshooter program allows bad updates to be uninstalled.
Under the Windows end-user license agreement , users consent to the automatic installation of all updates, features and drivers provided by the service, and implicitly consent “without any additional notice” to the possibility of features being modified or removed. Windows Update can also use a peer-to-peer system for distributing updates; by default, users’ bandwidth is used to distribute previously downloaded updates to other users, in combination with Microsoft servers.
Users can instead choose to only use peer-to-peer updates within their local area network. The original release of Windows 10 receives mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support, but this is subject to conditions.
Microsoft stated that these devices would no longer receive feature updates, but would still receive security updates through January The following table collects current status of the aforementioned updating and support of different branches of Windows Windows 10 is often described by Microsoft as being a “service”, as it receives regular “feature updates” that contain new features and other updates and fixes.
For example, version was released in September the ninth month of This was changed with the 20H2 release where “MM” represents the half of the year in which the update was released, for example H1 for the first half and H2 for the second half. The pace at which feature updates are received by devices is dependent on which release channel is used.
Each build of Windows 10 is supported for 18 months after its original release. Once a stable build is certified by Microsoft and its partners as being suitable for broad deployment, the build is then released on the “Semi-Annual Channel” formerly “Current Branch for Business”, or “CBB” , which is supported by the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows The Windows Insider branches receive unstable builds as they are released; it is divided into two channels, “Dev” which receives new builds immediately after their release , and “Beta” whose releases are slightly delayed from their “Dev” release.
For this reason, it excludes Cortana, Microsoft Store, and all bundled Universal Windows Platform apps including but not limited to Microsoft Edge, hence these builds ship only with Internet Explorer as browser. In July , Microsoft announced changes in the terminology for Windows branches as part of its effort to unify the update cadence with that of Office ProPlus and Windows Server In February , Microsoft announced changes again in delivering updates in beginning of release of version : a single SAC will be released and SAC-T will be retired, and users are no longer able to switch to different channels.
Instead, these updates can be deferred from 30 to 90 days, or depending how the device was configured to deferred the updates. Feature updates prior to version are distributed solely as an in-place upgrade installation, requiring the download of a complete operating system package approximately 3. Unlike previous builds, version is designed primarily as an update rollup version of , focusing primarily on minor feature additions and enhancements.
For upgrades to from , a new delivery method is used where its changes were delivered as part of the monthly cumulative update, but are left in a dormant state until the update “enablement” patch is installed. The full upgrade process is still used for those using builds prior to In May , Microsoft unveiled Fluent Design System previously codenamed “Project Neon” , a revamp of Microsoft Design Language 2 that will include guidelines for the designs and interactions used within software designed for all Windows 10 devices and platforms.
The new design language will include the more prominent use of motion, depth, and translucency effects. Microsoft stated that the implementation of this design language would be performed over time, and it had already started to implement elements of it in Creators Update and Fall Creators Update.
On December 7, , Microsoft announced that, as part of a partnership with Qualcomm, it planned to introduce support for running Win32 software on ARM architecture with a bit x86 processor emulator, in Terry Myerson stated that this move would enable the production of Qualcomm Snapdragon -based Windows devices with cellular connectivity and improved power efficiency over Intel-compatible devices, and still capable of running the majority of existing Windows software unlike the previous Windows RT , which was restricted to Windows Store apps.
Microsoft is initially targeting this project towards laptops. In August , Microsoft began testing changes to its handling of the user interface on convertible devices—downplaying the existing “Tablet Mode” option in favor of presenting the normal desktop with optimizations for touch when a keyboard is not present, such as increasing the space between taskbar buttons and displaying the virtual keyboard when text fields are selected.
In April , the ability to run Linux applications using a graphical user interface , such as Audacity , directly in Windows, was introduced as a preview. The basic hardware requirements to install Windows 10 were initially the same as those for Windows 8. As of the May update, the minimum disk space requirement has been increased to 32 GB. In addition, on new installations, Windows permanently reserves up to 7 GB of disk space in order to ensure proper installation of future feature updates.
The bit variants require a CPU that supports certain instructions. Some pre-built devices may be described as “certified” by Microsoft. Unlike Windows 8, OEMs are no longer required to make Secure Boot settings user-configurable, meaning that devices may optionally be locked to run only Microsoft-signed operating systems. Windows 10 version and later do not support Intel Clover Trail system-on-chips, per Microsoft’s stated policy of only providing updates for devices during their OEM support period.
Starting with Windows 10 version , Microsoft will require new OEM devices to use bit processors, and will therefore cease the distribution of x86 bit variants of Windows 10 via OEM channels. The bit variants of Windows 10 will remain available via non-OEM channels, and Microsoft will continue to “[provide] feature and security updates on these devices”. The maximum amount of RAM that Windows 10 can support varies depending on the product edition and the processor architecture.
Windows 10 supports up to two physical processors. Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system’s bundled software, such as the Edge web browser, as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.
The Edge browser was praised for its performance, although it was not in a feature-complete state at launch. While considering them a “great idea in principle”, concerns were shown for Microsoft’s focus on the universal app ecosystem:. It’s by no means certain that developers are going to flock to Windows 10 from iOS and Android simply because they can convert their apps easily.
It may well become a no-brainer for them, but at the moment a conscious decision is still required. Engadget was similarly positive, noting that the upgrade process was painless and that Windows 10’s user interface had balanced aspects of Windows 8 with those of previous versions with a more mature aesthetic. Cortana’s always-on voice detection was considered to be its “true strength”, also citing its query capabilities and personalization features, but noting that it was not as pre-emptive as Google Now.
Windows 10’s stock applications were praised for being improved over their Windows 8 counterparts, and for supporting windowed modes. The Xbox app was also praised for its Xbox One streaming functionality, although recommending its use over a wired network because of inconsistent quality over Wi-Fi. In conclusion, it was argued that “Windows 10 delivers the most refined desktop experience ever from Microsoft, and yet it’s so much more than that.
It’s also a decent tablet OS, and it’s ready for a world filled with hybrid devices. And, barring another baffling screwup, it looks like a significant step forward for mobile.
Heck, it makes the Xbox One a more useful machine. Ars Technica panned the new Tablet mode interface for removing the charms and app switching, making the Start button harder to use by requiring users to reach for the button on the bottom-left rather than at the center of the screen when swiping with a thumb, and for making application switching less instantaneous through the use of Task View. Microsoft Edge was praised for being “tremendously promising”, and “a much better browser than Internet Explorer ever was”, but criticized it for its lack of functionality on-launch.
In conclusion, contrasting Windows 8 as being a “reliable” platform albeit consisting of unfinished concepts, Windows 10 was considered “the best Windows yet”, and was praised for having a better overall concept in its ability to be “comfortable and effective” across a wide array of form factors, but that it was buggier than previous versions of Windows were on-launch.
Critics have noted that Windows 10 heavily emphasizes freemium services, and contains various advertising facilities. Some outlets have considered these to be a hidden “cost” of the free upgrade offer. Up to August , Windows 10 usage was increasing, with it then plateauing ,  while eventually in , it became more popular than Windows 7   though Windows 7 was still more used in some countries in Asia and Africa in As of March [update] , the operating system is running on over a billion devices, reaching the goal set by Microsoft two years after the initial deadline.
Twenty-four hours after it was released, Microsoft announced that over 14 million devices were running Windows According to StatCounter, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8. For one week in late November , Windows 10 overtook first rank from Windows 7 in the United States, before losing it again. In mid-January , Windows 10 had a slightly higher global market share than Windows 7,  with it noticeably more popular on weekends,  while popularity varies widely by region, e.
Windows 10 was then still behind in Africa  and far ahead in some other regions e. Windows 10 Home is permanently set to download all updates automatically, including cumulative updates, security patches, and drivers, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not. Concerns were raised that because of these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations—although build upgrades will also be subject to public beta testing via Windows Insider program.
An example of such a situation occurred prior to the general release of the operating system, when an Nvidia graphics card driver that was automatically pushed to Windows 10 users via Windows Update caused issues that prevented the use of certain functions, or prevented their system from booting at all. Criticism was also directed towards Microsoft’s decision to no longer provide specific details on the contents of cumulative updates for Windows Some users reported that during the installation of the November upgrade, some applications particularly utility programs such as CPU-Z and Speccy were automatically uninstalled during the upgrade process, and some default programs were reset to Microsoft-specified defaults such as Photos app, and Microsoft Edge for PDF viewing , both without warning.
Further issues were discovered upon the launch of the Anniversary Update “Redstone” , including a bug that caused some devices to freeze but addressed by cumulative update KB, released on August 31, ,   and that fundamental changes to how Windows handles webcams had caused many to stop working.
A Gartner analyst felt that Windows 10 Pro was becoming increasingly inappropriate for use in enterprise environments because of support policy changes by Microsoft, including consumer-oriented upgrade lifecycle length, and only offering extended support for individual builds to Enterprise and Education editions of Windows Critics have acknowledged that Microsoft’s update and testing practices had been affecting the overall quality of Windows In particular, it was pointed out that Microsoft’s internal testing departments had been prominently affected by a major round of layoffs undertaken by the company in Microsoft relies primarily on user testing and bug reports via the Windows Insider program which may not always be of sufficient quality to identify a bug , as well as correspondence with OEMs and other stakeholders.
In the wake of the known folder redirection data loss bug in the version , it was pointed out that bug reports describing the issue had been present on the Feedback Hub app for several months prior to the public release. Following the incident, Microsoft updated Feedback Hub so that users may specify the severity of a particular bug report.
When announcing the resumption of ‘s rollout, Microsoft stated that it planned to be more transparent in its handling of update quality in the future, through a series of blog posts that will detail its testing process and the planned development of a “dashboard” that will indicate the rollout progress of future updates. Microsoft was criticized for the tactics that it used to promote its free upgrade campaign for Windows 10, including adware -like behaviors,  using deceptive user interfaces to coax users into installing the operating system,     downloading installation files without user consent,   and making it difficult for users to suppress the advertising and notifications if they did not wish to upgrade to In September , it was reported that Microsoft was triggering automatic downloads of Windows 10 installation files on all compatible Windows 7 or 8.
Microsoft officially confirmed the change, claiming it was “an industry practice that reduces the time for installation and ensures device readiness. Other critics argued that Microsoft should not have triggered any downloading of Windows 10 installation files without user consent. In October , Windows 10 began to appear as an “Optional” update on the Windows Update interface, but pre-selected for installation on some systems.
A Microsoft spokesperson said that this was a mistake, and that the download would no longer be pre-selected by default. In March , some users also alleged that their Windows 7 and 8. It was concluded that these users may have unknowingly clicked the “Accept” prompt without full knowledge that this would begin the upgrade.
On January 21, , Microsoft was sued in small claims court by a user whose computer had attempted to upgrade to Windows 10 without her consent shortly after the release of the operating system.
The upgrade failed, and her computer was left in a broken state thereafter, which disrupted the ability to run her travel agency. However, in May , Microsoft dropped the appeal and chose to pay the damages.
Shortly after the suit was reported on by the Seattle Times , Microsoft confirmed it was updating the GWX software once again to add more explicit options for opting out of a free Windows 10 upgrade;    the final notification was a full-screen pop-up window notifying users of the impending end of the free upgrade offer, and contained “Remind me later”, “Do not notify me again” and “Notify me three more times” as options.
In March , Microsoft announced that it would display notifications informing users on Windows 7 devices of the upcoming end of extended support for the platform, and direct users to a website urging them to upgrade to Windows 10 or purchase new hardware.
This dialog will be similar to the previous Windows 10 upgrade prompts, but will not explicitly mention Windows Privacy advocates and other critics have expressed concern regarding Windows 10’s privacy policies and its collection and use of customer data.
Users can opt out from most of this data collection,   but telemetry data for error reporting and usage is also sent to Microsoft, and this cannot be disabled on non-Enterprise editions of Windows Rock Paper Shotgun writer Alec Meer argued that Microsoft’s intent for this data collection lacked transparency, stating that “there is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.
The Russian government had passed a federal law requiring all online services to store the data of Russian users on servers within the country by September or be blocked. But Microsoft is held to a different standard than other companies”. The Microsoft Services agreement reads that the company’s online services may automatically “download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.
In September , Microsoft hid the option to create a local account during a fresh installation if a PC is connected to the internet. This move was criticized by users who did not want to use an online Microsoft account. In late-July , Windows Defender began to classify modifications of the hosts file that block Microsoft telemetry servers as being a severe security risk.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 14 June This article is about the operating system for personal computers. For the related now discontinued operating system for mobile devices, see Windows 10 Mobile. Not to be confused with Windows 1.
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June Windows PC market share of Windows statistics Windows Business and economics portal. Retrieved August 31, Microsoft Support. Windows Insider Blog. June 2, June 14, Retrieved June 13, NET Core 3.
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Business Insider. January 21, Retrieved January 24, PC Magazine. Ziff Davis Media. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I’m a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Wikitechy Editor. Add Comment. You may also like. About the author. View All Posts. Click here to post a comment.