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Windows Apps
Although Windows 10 is an OS update, it is much more than that as well. Windows 10 has been app-ified with many core features broken down into the smartphone app model. This model is a wise choice for a few reasons:
You no longer need an OS update to fix broken native apps or add new features

Due to the prevalence of smartphones and their app stores, bringing that model to the desktop PC brings immediate familiarity to new users

In fairness, Microsoft had already started down this path with Windows 8 and 8.1. However, in Windows 10 Microsoft's first-party apps are even more prevalent and form a greater core of the Windows 10 experience.

Out of the box, new users upgrading to Windows 10 can expect the following apps:
  • Calendar (formerly Outlook Calendar)
  • Groove Music
  • Mail (formerly Outlook Mail)
  • Maps
  • Microsoft Phone Companion
  • Movies & TV
  • MSN Money
  • MSN News
  • MSN Sports
  • MSN Weather
  • OneDrive
  • Photos
  • Store
  • Skype
  • Windows Alarms & Clock
  • Windows Calculator
  • Windows Voice Recorder
  • Xbox

Most of the apps like Voice Recorder, Alarms & Clock, and Maps are all relatively self-explanatory. This observation, however, does not diminish their aesthetic achievements. Alarms is shockingly minimal, which considering how important they can be may not be a bad thing. Voice Recorder, also barebones, is a simple go-to app to record audio with the ability to share, trim, delete or rename the file.

Maps is a gorgeous topographical tool that brings up your current location, can search for addresses or establishments and give directions for the car, walking or transit. It even features street side photos to visualize your destination. You can also share the information easily with your contacts including full directions with maps, which is ideal for email. The app is mostly geared for those who are mobile since it is a universal app for Windows Phone too. However, if you have a Surface 3 with LTE, you can readily use the tablet as a giant GPS tool, especially since you can download maps for offline usage saving data.

Speaking of, Maps is powered by Bing and Cortana so that saved locations and data is synced between devices.

Users can download the maps and can access offline

Additionally, users have access to Office 365 with a traditional PC installation or utilize the new Touch Office apps including Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile and OneNote.

There is also a new music app called Groove, which replaces Xbox Music from previous versions of Windows. Functionally, they are the same but Groove does bring Windows 10 influences and a very clean, minimalist approach to curating our music catalog.

I have always like Microsoft's first-party apps, even if they are constantly undergoing reinvention. In this case, all the MSN apps have been rewritten to be Universal Windows Apps allowing them to run on Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 for PCs and laptops. The design of these apps also ditches the pivot (swiping left or right) for main navigation and they have introduced the more universally familiar 'hamburger' navigation menu (the three bars near the top).

MSN News, Weather, Sports and Money are likely to be used by many users right out the gate. MSN News simply aggregate information from other news sources, much like how Bing News works now. Users can add topics through Interests for various subjects and users can also track customized topics. For instance, Cortana and MSN News both follow news on Start Wars: Episode 7 and UFC for me, bringing me all the latest news from around the web on those topics. The interests in MSN News mirrors Cortana adding a nod of consistency between the services. Indeed, MSN News is a subset of Cortana, and they are all tied together by Bing.

One Drive

With Windows 10, OneDrive now is tightly integrated into the operating system, showing up as just another folder inside File Explorer. You can even treat it as a shareable drive. OneDrive may be listed as an app in Windows 10, but it’s really just another folder for you to store your personal stuff on cloud.

OneDrive for Business

With OneDrive for Business, you always have the latest feature updates. As part of Office 365 or SharePoint Server 2013, OneDrive for Business lets you update and share your files from anywhere and work on Office documents with others at the same time.

Store: Securely store all your files and share them with coworkers. Each user gets 1 TB of storage. 

Sync: Sync files across devices and access them anywhere, even when you’re offline.

Note: OneDrive for Business is different from OneDrive, which is intended for personal storage separate from your workplace.

How is OneDrive for Business different from OneDrive?
Microsoft offers another storage service called OneDrive. You may already be using OneDrive to store documents and other content in the cloud. This service is different from OneDrive for Business:

  • OneDrive is free online personal storage that you get with either a Microsoft account or Use OneDrive to save documents, photos, and other files in the cloud, share them with friends, and even collaborate on content. You’re free to decide how you want to use it.

  • OneDrive for Business is online storage intended for business purposes. Your OneDrive for Business is managed by your organization and lets you share and collaborate on work documents with co-workers. Site collection administrators in your organization control what you can do in the library.

Third party apps make windows 10 OS more productive

Windows 10 Phone Companion

Additionally, with universal logins through a Microsoft Account even those on iOS and Android can sync their interests between devices. This feature is part of the beauty of Windows 10 that it is still very device agnostic. Those using Android or iOS feel right at home. Indeed, when you plug in your smartphone to Windows 10, a neat Phone Companion app pops up to greet you. That app itself does not do too much, but it serves as a frontend for Microsoft's services.

If you are using an iPhone or Android, it tells you which Microsoft apps you can use on your phone to match your Windows 10 desktop. These apps include OneDrive, Skype, Office, Groove Music, Cortana and more.

News App

Note Microsoft Windows 10 comes with yet another caveat. If you are running any pirated games or counterfeit software on your Windows 10 machine, then according to the latest addition to the End User Licence Agreement terms of conditions Microsoft has the power to remotely uninstall such software.


App Stores are nothing new but Microsoft has finally done the right thing and merged all of their services into one Store for Windows 10. This unification includes stores for Apps, Games, Music, and Movies & TV all under one virtual roof. Now, users can buy a song, a TV show, and the latest Windows games all from the same app.

Besides unifying the separate stores, the app itself is completely redesigned with a more top-down approach as opposed to the previous left to the right style.
Whether you like the new store design will be a personal preference. However, with the larger, more professional app images, better information flow and the surfacing of related content, the store certainly feels and looks better from my perspective.

Like any store, clicking on an app or game delivers information about that software, screenshots, ratings and reviews, general information, and similar apps that people also like. Since apps and games are becoming universal with Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, singular store listings are becoming commonplace with users having the ability to choose between Phone or PC for images.

Under Moves & TV, users can watch trailers, rent movies, or buy titles in standard or high definition. There are also built-in reviews powered by Rotten Tomatoes with cast and crew information. Prices are competitive although you may occasionally find something cheaper on Amazon.

Overall, the new Store is a huge step in the right direction but there is still plenty of room for improvement. For instance, apps and games do not reveal which version number they are on nor when they were last updated with a date stamp. I also still find the divide between Groove Music the app and the Music store a bit confusing as well, as noted above.

Windows Defender

You don't need to install any Anti-Virus program, because you already have one which is Windows Defender. It protects you against Virus, Worm, Trojan, Spyware, Adware and other malicious programs.

For extended protection of your PC you can opt for McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, Panda, AVG, Avast etc.

For Anti-virus and Anti-malware applications, during upgrade Windows will check to see if your Anti-virus or Anti-malware subscription is current. Windows will uninstall your application while preserving your settings. After upgrade is complete, Windows will install the latest version available with the settings that were set prior to upgrade. If your subscription is not current, upgrade will enable Windows defender.

If your PC is connected to internet all the time, its recommneded to have external Anti Virus to replace Windows Defender. I have tested multiple Anti Virus Suites and I found Avast Internet Security 2015 as a robust Internet security suite, with maximum virus and anti-spyware security solution for your Windows desktop along with antispam and firewall protection from latest internet threats.

Search Bar

Windows 10 also adds a search button to the taskbar, moving the other major functionality of the Windows 8 Start page to the desktop environment. In Windows 10, “searching” for recent apps or documents is often quicker. 
Microsoft officials say that Search and File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders, making finding files you’ve worked on faster and easier. 

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