What is Windows 10?
Windows 10 is a personal computer operating system developed and released by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.
It was officially unveiled in September 2014 following a brief demo at Build 2014.
Windows 10 release date
The first version of the operating system entered a public beta testing process in October 2014, leading up to its consumer release on July 29, 2015.
Minimum requirements for Windows 10
For modern computers, Windows 10 pose no real issues in regard to requirements. The operating system works fine on various machines, such as laptops, desktops, tablets and so on.
- RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster processor or SoC
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Hardware Limitations for Windows 10
Windows 10 Home supports up to 128GB of RAM on x64 versions. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise support up to 512 GB on the x64 platform.
The 32-bit versions of Windows 10 support up to 4 GB of RAM.
Windows 10 supports 2 physical CPUs. The number of logical processors depends on the processor architecture. 32-bit versions of Windows 10 support a maximum of 32 cores, and 64-bit versions support 256 cores.
Windows 10 editions
The first two from the list below are the main editions used by the public:
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Home
- Windows 10 Mobile
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Enterprise Mobile
- Windows 10 Education
Additionally, all versions include both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. However, starting with Windows 10 version 2004, the OS was no longer supported for the 32-bit version.
Windows 10 new features
Windows 10 has introduced the universal apps developed on the UWP.
These apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families without the need to be re-written for each device — including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub , and Mixed Reality.
The first release of Windows 10 also introduces the following new features:
- A virtual desktop system
- A window and desktop management feature called Task View
- New Start Menu with more space for Windows Apps
- The Microsoft Edge web browser
- Support for fingerprint and face recognition login
- New security features for enterprise environments
- DirectX 12 and WDDM 2.0 to improve the operating system’s graphics capabilities for games
- Microsoft introduced Cortana
How do you upgrade to Windows 10?
The Windows 10 free upgrade through the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, ended on July 29, 2016.
Note: The accessibility upgrade offer expired on December 31, 2017.
Upgrade to Windows 10 is now available through purchase the license either on a device or as a full version of the software.
A new concept of updates for Windows 10
There were many rumors around after Windows 8 came up and everyone believed in the obvious assumption that Windows 9 will come after Windows 8.
The tech giant had its own reasoning for leaping to Windows 10, including the fact that this is such a big upgrade to deserve more than one number.
In another sense, Windows 10 is the unofficial heir of Windows 7, having more similarities with the latter than to Windows 8. Microsoft decided to return to that interface, considered more intuitive to many users.
However, there were some Windows 7 features removed in Windows 10.
Also, with Windows 10, Microsoft modified the way in which Windows is updated. Instead of bigger and fewer updates, the tech giant opted for a more continuous flow of new features and fixes to keep the operating system up to date.
From the Anniversary Update, Microsoft started to release a new version once every month in Spring and Fall.
The initial release was named Windows 10 version 1507, and from that Microsoft released seven updates:
- November Update (version 1511)
- Anniversary Update (version 1607)
- Creators Update (version 1703)
- Fall Creators Update (version 1709)
- April 2018 Update (version 1803)
- October 2018 Update (version 1809)
- May 2019 Update (version 1903)
- May 2020 Update ( version 2004)
The version number stands for the year and month of the release (approximately). For Example, Windows version 1607 was released in July 2016.
Patch Tuesday updates, and what they mean for Windows 10
Besides the major feature updates, Microsoft continuously updates Windows 10 with a series of monthly updates called the Patch Tuesday updates.
These get their namesake from the fact that they are always released on the second Tuesday of every month. Of course, they shouldn’t be taken lightly because of their namesake, since they bring important fixes, new features, and much-needed security improvements to the Windows 10 OS.
As a rule of thumb, these updates can be installed just like any other typical updates, and they can be also be uninstalled as well.
As an example, you can get Patch Tuesday updates through the following methods:
- Most common methods used by home users
- Via the Windows Update menu
- One-by-one via the Windows Update Catalog
- Most common methods used by companies for multiple PCs:
- Using the Windows Server Update Service (WSUS)
- En-masse via Group Policies
For more information on how to get these monthly updates, you should check out this guide that our experts have written.
Of course, keeping your OS is extremely important, and certain steps need to be taken in order to ensure a perfect update process, especially in larger companies over multiple PC networks.
Failing to update as soon as possible will leave you exposed to hackers and vulnerabilities, especially in the following days, such as Exploit Wednesday and Uninstall Thursday.
Since these updates are released monthly, they have added up to quite an amount. For those of you interested in a detailed history of Windows 10’s update history, check out this in-depth article.
Few tips on how to use your Windows 10 PC efficiently
Windows 10 incorporated several programs that help your computer run smoothly. However, there are third-party software that can provide a better Windows experience.
The first and most important aspect is security. We recommend the best antivirus solutions for Windows 10.
Also, check out these 7 of the best PC repair and optimizer software to keep your computer clean and efficient.
Privacy is also extremely important, therefore, we recommend 10+ best VPN software clients for Windows 10.