Four years since Windows 10 was born but the one you are using right now is probably not the same. Operating system has went through several iterations and releases before it has become what it is today.
There have been number of features and optimizations introduced in the time being.
We list our top 10 favorite improvements in Windows 10.
1. Control over Windows Update
Users often complained about Microsoft forcing updates on their Windows 10 computers. It was one of the major cause of a problem among the users.
However, with each update, Microsoft made things better by providing more control over the updates. They introduced active hours which made sure that updates won’t interrupt your work.
Another notable change came along with May 2019 update, which offered option to delay these major updates. Microsoft will provide support for each major release for 18 months. So, there is no need to install big updates immediately.
2. Files On-Demand from Cloud
Cloud storage programs like Google Drive or Dropbox sync selected files and make them available offline. These synced files are st0red locally on hard drive for offline access. You do not see any other directories except the selected ones.
However, Files On-Demand is a revolutionary feature which maps whole cloud drive and lets you see them in File explorer. They appear as normal files but they are not there locally, but in cloud. Once you try to access any one them, that single file will be downloaded on demand.
This feature is currently available for OneDrive but if you some another service, you can use Cloud Mounter for same functionality.
3. Emoji Panel
It might not be one of the productive feature out there and many of you might not use on regular basis. However, having an emoji panel available makes it easy to insert emoji anywhere.
Not only emojis, but there is support of Kaomoji and it also provides easy to insert special characters.
To access, you just have to press WIN + . (period) or WIN + ; (semicolon) key.
4. GPU in Task Manager
Graphics intensive tasks like Gaming and video production relies on GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) heavily. Windows 10 integrated GPU information inside Task manager making it more awesome.
Inside the Performance tab, you can see total GPU usage and other information about GPU’s memory usage.
What more? If you have multiple GPUs installed on a system, it is possible to assign a GPU to specific application. It can be all done through standard option in Windows settings.
5. Clipboard History
Clipboard History is an overlooked feature but actually a great productivity hack. On enabling, Windows will remember the history of text, images and other media copied to clipboard.
While pasting, you get a choice to select from multiple clipboard items. It was otherwise limited only the last item copied.
Feature is disabled by default but you can set it up by press WIN + V key.
6. Dark Mode
Dark mode was highly demanded feature even before the Windows 10 release. It was kind of a rage that there were unofficial Black editions of Windows OS.
In anniversary update, Microsoft officially introduced Dark mode for apps. It was recently extended to File explorer and other setting windows.
In contrast, there was even a Light theme introduction for people who don’t want to be on dark side.
7. Windows Sandbox for Testing
Sandbox provides a way to test untrusted software or open a suspicious file in an isolated environment. It is like a virtual machine without the hassle of setting up.
Just open the app and sandbox is ready and everything is deleted as soon as you close.
There is no need to assign separate CPU or Hard Disk resources but the Sandbox uses the existing resources. There is absolutely no configuration required and the feature is built in Windows.
8. Improved File Search
Search feature was never so reliable in Windows. It looked up for the query on Bing for internet results and fetched the local files really slow.
However, in the May 2019 update, Enhanced indexing was introduced which made the file searching better.
9. Speed Improvements (Spectre Fix)
Spectre is a critical vulnerability in modern microprocessors which made news in 2018. It allows program to steal data which is currently processed on the computer . Microsoft fixed this vulnerability soon but it resulted in slow down of some computers.
In May 2019 Update, Microsoft has worked upon it to eliminate any performance issues. To understand how they did it, you can read detailed document on mitigating Spectre with Retpoline.
10. Better Android Integration
A seamless integration between mobile phone and laptop is much needed. YourPhone App provides better integration with Android phones. It makes possible to text from your PC, copy photos wirelessly, and even mirror your Android notifications to your Windows desktop.
Initially, it was Cortana Digital assistant app which was limited to display notifications. YourPhone app has bridged the gap by providing an array of essential features.
Even though the number hasn’t changed and we still call it Windows TEN, it is altogether a different operating system. If only major upgrades are considered, May Update might be numbered as Windows 10.7 today.
There have been some hiccups like feature updates making computing experience worse. However, the overall Windows 10 operating system is in much better shape today.