Computers How to upgrade to Windows 8. Here’s how to get it. By July 15, Windows XP has officially been put out to pasturewhile Windows Vista users are no longer receiving mainstream support free patches and fixes.
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Both laptops booted to the login screen in eight seconds, under both Windows 8. One feature that may potentially shave a few seconds off real-world boot times is Windows 10’s facial recognition tool, which allows a user to be logged in the minute they sit in front of their PC. This feature, however, requires a special Intel RealSense 3D camera — and will not work with an ordinary webcam.
Along with fingerprint readers, these cameras are now relatively common in high-end notebooks, which gives Windows 10 a slight edge. Winner Windows 10, by a whisker, but only if you count the small potential time saving of facial recognition. Windows 10 vs Windows 8. Although the error was partially corrected by Windows 8. Windows 10 puts that right, albeit with an imperfect hybrid of the Windows 7 Start menu and Windows 8 Start screen.
On desktops and laptops, the Start menu emerges from the bottom-left corner of the screen, with most-used programs listed down the left-hand side, along with a link to an A-Z listing of all installed apps, while the right-hand side shows the Live Tiles of the Windows 8 era.
On tablets, it works very similarly to the way it did under Windows 8. Other notable new additions are the Cortana search bar in the bottom left of the Taskbar. You can click the My Stuff button in search results to perform more advanced searches of your own files, which certainly makes it easier to hunt down specific files than with Windows 8.
However, we still find it easier to instigate advanced searches from within Files Explorer called Windows Explorer in 8. Aside from a stark new set of icons, Explorer now has a Quick Access view which shows your most frequently opened folders at the top of the window, with a list of recently accessed files just below, making it easier to quickly pick up where you left off on files that are nested deep in folders.
You can still pin your favourite folders to the left-hand pane of Files Explorer, but this does create some duplication with the frequent folders pane just next to it, whilst the Libraries first introduced in Windows 7 are now almost hidden from view.
The new Explorer is a modest improvement on Windows 8. One significant new interface element for businesses is virtual desktops.
You might, for example, have one desktop dedicated to communications with, say, Outlook, Slack and Skype running and another for work on a particular project Excel and a web browser. An outright victory for desktop and laptop users. Stability Even though it was the biggest overhaul of the OS since Windows 95, Windows 8 was remarkably stable and bug-free from the get-go.
Indeed, we had it running on everyday work systems six months before launch. Windows 10 has been, to put it charitably, a tad wobblier. Microsoft is regularly issuing updates for the software, but these updates often cause problems. It seems like every few months there are new reports of accidental file deletions, glitches, crashes and other assorted errors. General stability is certainly better than it was, but the fact that these errors persist is frustrating.
So far, we haven’t seen any bugs that we’d consider enough to warrant downgrading to an earlier version of Windows, but it has to be said that reliability isn’t Windows 10’s strong suit – and it doesn’t look like it ever will be. On the other hand, Windows 10 Enterprise users can cut out a lot of this headache – which we’ll talk about more in a minute – meaning it’s not quite so much of an issue. Winner Windows 8.
Businesses can opt to skip many of the issues introduced by Windows 10’s rolling updates, but the fact that they have to in the first place is hardly encouraging. Enterprise features Windows 8. All of those features remain in Windows 10, and there are others that could have a hugely significant impact on business rollouts. On our ThinkPad loaded with business-oriented desktop apps Office , Slack, Creative Suite amongst others , we performed an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 Pro in less than 40 minutes, with all documents, applications and settings perfectly retained.
Microsoft is also making it much easier for IT managers to bring off-the-shelf hardware into businesses, with new runtime configuration tools that can implement VPN settings, e-mail profiles, app installations and security policies without wiping the hardware and starting afresh. Microsoft has also been commendably wary of forcing businesses to install the same rolling updates to Windows 10 that are now mandatory for consumers, who can no longer opt out of Windows Updates.
Enterprise users can opt for a Long Term Servicing Branch of the OS — another idea pinched from Linux — which allows them to install a stable version of Windows 10 on mission-critical machines, which will only receive essential security updates and not the new features that will be periodically rolled out to regular Windows 10 users.
Winner Windows With Windows 10, Microsoft is turning the screw even tighter with Secure Boot, giving PC manufacturers the option to prevent users disabling the feature.
That might upset consumers who want to dual-boot OSes, but the vast majority of business machines will only ever boot into the OS the device is shipped with, and this prevents almost any chance of malicious rootkits or other low-level malware infecting the boot process.
The addition of face and iris recognition to the list of user authentication options already within Windows 8 potentially adds extra convenience for both users and IT departments alike unlike passwords or smartcards, nobody forgets their face. However, both require specialised hardware, and neither is common enough to be a universal standard yet. Winner Windows 10 edges ahead of its predecessor, but the new authentication options still haven’t fully caught on.
Mobility Windows 8. Detach a device such as the Surface from its keyboard, and Windows 10 prompts you to enter Tablet Mode, where the Start menu spans the full screen, the Taskbar disappears, apps run in full screen instead of windows, and you effectively get no access to the desktop.
Reattach the keyboard, and the Start menu shrinks back into its corner, the Taskbar springs back, and apps can be run in whatever size of window you choose, even touchscreen-focussed apps from the Windows Store.
However, you can easily activate and deactivate Tablet Mode manually via the new Action Center. Windows 10 also introduces a Battery Saver mode, dimming the screen and cutting down on needless notifications to preserve battery life.
Winner An emphatic victory for Windows 10, which finally makes sense of hybrid devices, and adds limited battery saving benefits. Windows 8 and 8. If businesses rightly shied away from Windows 8, we can see few reasons to shun its successor. The Start menu is less jarring and intimidating than its Start screen predecessor, the migration path is smoother and there are numerous security and productivity benefits. Despite the kinks, we would wholeheartedly recommend upgrading both existing equipment and pre-installing Windows 10 on new machines.
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