|Getting to Know Windows 10|
Chances are good that you’ve heard about Windows: the boxes and windows that greet you whenever you turn on your computer. In fact, millions of people worldwide are puzzling over Windows as you read this book. Almost every new computer and laptop sold today comes with Windows preinstalled, ready to toss colorful boxes onto the screen.
This article helps you understand why Windows lives inside your computer, and I introduce Microsoft’s latest Windows version, Windows 10. I explain how Windows 10 differs from previous Windows versions and help you determine whether you should upgrade to Windows 10 from older Windows versions.
Finally, I explain what’s new in Windows 10 and how to install this free upgrade onto your Windows 7 or 8.1 computer.
What Is Windows, and Why Are You Using It?
Created and sold by a company called Microsoft, Windows isn’t like your usual software that lets you calculate income taxes or send angry e-mails to politicians. No, Windows is an operating system, meaning it controls the way you work with your computer. It’s been around for 30 years, and the latest incarnation is called Windows 10.
The newest version of Windows, Windows 10, comes preinstalled on new PCs today.
The name Windows comes from all the little windows it places on your computer screen. Each window shows information, such as a picture, a program, or a baffling technical reprimand. You can place several windows onscreen simultaneously and jump from window to window, visiting different programs. Or, you can enlarge one window to fill the entire screen.
When you turn on your computer, Windows jumps onto the screen and begins supervising any running programs. When everything goes well, you don’t really notice Windows; you simply see your programs or your work. When things don’t go well, though, Windows often leaves you scratching your head over a perplexing error message.
In addition to controlling your computer and bossing around your programs, Windows comes with a bunch of free programs and apps — mini-programs. These programs and apps let you do different things, such as write and print letters, browse the Internet, play music, and send your friends dimly lit photos of your latest meal.
And why are you using Windows? Well, you probably didn’t have much choice. Nearly every computer, laptop, or Windows tablet sold after July 29, 2015, comes with Windows 10 preinstalled. A few people escaped Windows by buying Apple computers (those nicer-looking computers that cost a lot more). But chances are good that you, your neighbors, your boss, and millions of other people around the world are using Windows.
Microsoft wants Windows 10 to run on PCs, laptops, tablets, and phones. (It looks and behaves almost identically on all of them.) That’s why Windows 10 includes many large buttons for easier poking with fingers on touchscreens. Windows 10 can also run apps, small programs usually found on smartphones and tablets, in windows on a desktop PC.
To confuse everybody, Microsoft never released a Windows 9. Microsoft skipped a version number when moving from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.
The desktop’s traditional Start menu, missing from Windows 8 and 8.1, returns in Windows 10. This customizable new Start menu also lists apps along its right side.
I explain how to customize the Start menu in the next article, till then;