The first major update for Windows 10 has arrived, but if you’re hoping for some major changes, you’re in for a bit of a disappointment.

Though the update fixes quite a few problems, the only things Microsoft have added could be described as little more than fluff. Worse, they’ve also gone and added advertisements to the Start Menu – if you can call it a start menu without a third party application like Start8 or the Free Classic Shell which provide you with a “real” start menu that most of you are used to from the Windows 7 days. Far more usable in a desktop environment in this authors humble opinion.

So what can you expect when you update?

Well, there’s a 3 GB download to get the update in the first place and at least 1 to 3 hours for the update to install itself.

Once installed, those of you that hated Windows 10’s default white title bars are in for a nice surprise. Simply go to Settings > Personalisation > Colours and ensure that the “Show colour on Start, taskbar, action centre and title bar” option is enabled. The colour you choose here will be used for your title bars. Gee thanks Microsoft!

The next thing you’ll get by default, whether you want them or not, are App Advertisement in the Start Menu. It will now show you suggestions that recommend apps you should install when you open it. Yet another “feature” <cough> that makes the Start Menu a bit of a pain for Windows 10 users. These “suggestions” urge you to install and use more apps from the Microsoft Store – that’s something that Microsoft definitely wants – but usually not what the end user wants unfortunately.

Fortunately, these ads can be disabled with a little digging. Go to Settings > Personalization > Start and then disable the “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” option.

Thanks to Microsoft for small graces.

Next and somewhat following in Apple’s footsteps, Microsoft Windows 10 now includes a “Find my Device” feature. This basically means that Windows 10 finally has built-in tracking so you can track your tablet or laptop if you lose it via GPS and location services without the need to use third party applications. You can also tall Windows 10 to periodically send your Tablet or Laptops location to Microsoft Servers, allowing you to view its last known location if you ever lose it or if it gets stolen.

IF you want to enable this feature, go to Settings > Update & Security and click the “Save my device’s location periodically” option. It’s a useful option to enable and I recommend it. See next pic to see where to adjust the setting..

This Windows 10 update also includes a few new apps that might interest some. The three big ones are Skype Video, Messaging and Phone. These three apps all use Skype’s service for video / audio calls and text chat. These apps are designed to integrate Skype with Windows 10, though if you prefer it, the normal Skype for Desktop app is still available for those who don’t want the “integrated” experience.

The Start and Context Menus

Though it’s no secret this author isn’t a fan of Windows 8.1 and Subsequent Windows 10 start menu, even I have to admit that the update improves Microsoft’s version of its Start menu. Especially useful for lovers of the Windows 8 tiles, the Start menu now supports up to 2048 “tiles and/or apps” If you have more than 512 shortcuts, the Start Menu will be able to display to installed apps again.

This is because windows 10 apps and tiles can now have jump lists and you can show more tiles on the Start menu than before. Windows 10’s odd mixture of context menu styles have also been improved and they’re more consistent – both on the Start Menu and the rest of your desktop.

Here’s a great sample pic I nicked from another website article to show you what I mean..

Stopping Windows 10 from changing your default printer!

Many of us work in a networked environment that has several printers we can print to. Even home users often have two or three printers installed for various purposes and it’s an annoyance that whenever you select a different printer to print to that isn’t your default printer, Windows 10 changes the printer you’ve just used to be the default printer from then on.

You can disable this annoying “feature” by going to Settings > Devices > Printer & Scanners and disable the “Let Windows manage my default printer” option. See the pic below..

They’re what I consider to be the main features of downloading and applying the Windows 10 Upgrade (Dubbed the “Fall Update” – Threshold 2) worthy of a mention.

So is it worth upgrading?

I’d have to say yes. There are many improvements (mostly security) that have been implemented under the hood of the Windows 10 operating system. If you’re going to use Windows 10, be sure to take advantage of all the security updates it offers as vulnerabilities are constantly being found and addressed by Microsoft. Antivirus and Anti-Malware apps can only catch so much and they can be rendered useless if your Windows 10 system isn’t up to date with security patches.

I’m still a lover of Windows 7 Professional (and Windows 8.1 at a pinch because of third party apps like Start8 and Classic Shell) and Windows 7 is still my primary operating system for my business. I do however have Windows 10 installed in an Oracle Virtual Machine and keep a close eye on it to see what changes and improvements are being made as time goes by.

I hope you got some value out of this article.

Andrew Leniart
Andrews Computer Help Zone Pty Ltd

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