Windows 10 is the most recent version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. There have been many different versions of Windows over the years, including Windows 8 (released in 2012), Windows 7 (2009), Windows Vista(2006), and Windows XP (2001). While older versions of Windows mainly ran on desktop and laptop computers, Windows 10 is also designed to run equally well on tablets.

An operating system manages all of the hardware and software on a computer. Without it, the computer would be useless. To learn more about how operating systems work, check out Understanding Operating Systems and Getting to Know the OS in our Computer Basics tutorial.

How is Windows 10 different from other versions?

Many users complained that Windows 8, the previous version of Windows, was confusing and difficult to use. As a result, Windows 10 looks and feels similar to older versions. Still, it includes a lot of new features and improvements.

Start menu

Whereas Windows 8 uses the Start screen to launch applications, Windows 10 has reintroduced a more traditionalStart menu. It’s also been expanded to make it easier to find important apps.

the Start menu in Windows 10

 Microsoft Edge

This new browser is designed to give Windows users a better experience on the Web. It’s faster, more secure, and includes a lot of new features. Microsoft Edge is meant to replace Internet Explorer as your default web browser, but you’ll still be able to use IE (or another browser) if you prefer.

Microsoft Edge

Cortana

Similar to Siri and Google Now, you can talk to this virtual assistant with your computer’s microphone. Cortana can answer questions like What’s the weather like today?, perform simple tasks like remind you to take out the trash, and much more.

Using Cortana on Windows 10

Multiple desktops and Task view

Instead of keeping everything open on the same desktop, you can move some of your windows to a virtual desktop to get them out of the way. And the new Task view feature makes it easy to manage all of your open windows.

using the Task View feature on Windows 10

Action Center

The new Action Center is pretty different from previous versions of Windows. For example, it’s been expanded to let you access frequently used settings, such as Wi-Fi connectivity and tablet mode. It’s also where you’ll see importantnotifications, so if your computer receives an update you’ll get a notification about it here.

The Action Center in Windows 10

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