The GodMode of Windows 10 is nothing else than a special folder with a stack of shortcuts (around 260) to tools and utilities. Many of these functions are already known and are available in regular control panel. The GodMode is a hidden feature of Windows 10.
The real name of the GodMode folder is Windows Master Control Panel shortcut
To create the GodMode special folder, just create a new folder where you want and rename it in:
Actually the GodMode prefix is not mandatory, you can also rename it in:
Here a preview of the GodMode folder:
With Classic Shell, I already have a quick access to many shortcuts:
NVIDIA has published a new set of Windows certified graphics drivers that bring various optimizations for for Tom Clancy’s The Division, Hitman, Need for Speed, Ashes of the Singularity, and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
R364.47 is also the first WHQL driver with Vulkan support.
More information about R364.47 can be found HERE.
R364.47 WHQL cause crashes on some systems with multiple monitors and have been replaced by R364.51 BETA. More information available HERE.
R364.51 Desktop Downloads
R364.51 Notebook Downloads
R364.47 is an OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2 and Vulkan 1.0.4 driver and exposes 381 OpenGL extensions including two new ones:
The complete list of all OpenGL extensions exposed for a GeForce GTX 960 on Win10 64-bit
- OpenGL vendor: NVIDIA Corporation - OpenGL renderer: GeForce GTX 960/PCIe/SSE2 - OpenGL Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 364.47 - GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 4.50 NVIDIA
- GL_ARB_arrays_of_arrays (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_base_instance (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_bindless_texture (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_blend_func_extended (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_buffer_storage (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_clear_buffer_object (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_clear_texture (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_clip_control (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_color_buffer_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_compatibility (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_compressed_texture_pixel_storage (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_conservative_depth (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_compute_shader (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_compute_variable_group_size (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_copy_buffer (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_ARB_copy_image (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_cull_distance (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_debug_output (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_depth_buffer_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_depth_clamp (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_depth_texture (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ARB_derivative_control (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_direct_state_access (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_draw_buffers (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_draw_buffers_blend (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_draw_indirect (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_draw_instanced (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_ARB_enhanced_layouts (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_ES3_compatibility (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_ES3_1_compatibility (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_ES3_2_compatibility (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_explicit_uniform_location (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_fragment_coord_conventions (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_fragment_layer_viewport (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_fragment_program (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_fragment_program_shadow (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_fragment_shader (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_fragment_shader_interlock (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_framebuffer_no_attachments (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_framebuffer_object (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_framebuffer_sRGB (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_geometry_shader4 (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_get_program_binary (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_get_texture_sub_image (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_gpu_shader5 (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_gpu_shader_int64 (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_half_float_pixel (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_half_float_vertex (OpenGL 2.1)
- GL_ARB_indirect_parameters (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_instanced_arrays (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_internalformat_query (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_internalformat_query2 (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_invalidate_subdata (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_map_buffer_alignment (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_map_buffer_range (OpenGL 2.1)
- GL_ARB_multi_bind (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_multi_draw_indirect (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_multisample (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_multitexture (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_occlusion_query (OpenGL 1.5)
- GL_ARB_occlusion_query2 (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_parallel_shader_compile (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_pipeline_statistics_query (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object (OpenGL 2.1)
- GL_ARB_point_parameters (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ARB_point_sprite (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_post_depth_coverage (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_program_interface_query (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_provoking_vertex (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_query_buffer_object (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_robust_buffer_access_behavior (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_robustness (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_sample_locations (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_sample_shading (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_sampler_objects (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_seamless_cube_map (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_seamless_cubemap_per_texture (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_separate_shader_objects (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counter_ops (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_shader_atomic_counters (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_shader_ballot (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_shader_bit_encoding (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_shader_clock (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_shader_draw_parameters (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_shader_group_vote (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_shader_image_load_store (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_shader_image_size (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_shader_objects (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_shader_precision (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_shader_storage_buffer_object (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_shader_subroutine (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_shader_texture_image_samples (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_shader_texture_lod (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_shading_language_100 (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_shader_viewport_layer_array (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_shading_language_420pack (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_shading_language_include (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_shading_language_packing (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_shadow (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ARB_sparse_buffer (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_sparse_texture (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_sparse_texture2 (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_sparse_texture_clamp (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_stencil_texturing (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_sync (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_tessellation_shader (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_barrier (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_ARB_texture_buffer_object_rgb32 (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_buffer_range (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_compression (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_compression_bptc (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_texture_compression_rgtc (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_cube_map (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_cube_map_array (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_env_add (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_env_combine (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3 (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_filter_minmax (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_texture_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_gather (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ARB_texture_multisample (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_texture_query_levels (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_query_lod (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_rectangle (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_ARB_texture_rg (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_ARB_texture_rgb10_a2ui (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_stencil8 (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_texture_storage (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_texture_storage_multisample (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_swizzle (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_texture_view (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_timer_query (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_transform_feedback2 (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_transform_feedback3 (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_ARB_transform_feedback_instanced (OpenGL 4.2)
- GL_ARB_transform_feedback_overflow_query (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_ARB_transpose_matrix (OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_uniform_buffer_object (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_ARB_vertex_array_bgra (OpenGL 3.2)
- GL_ARB_vertex_array_object (OpenGL 2.1)
- GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_vertex_attrib_binding (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object (OpenGL 1.5)
- GL_ARB_vertex_program (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ARB_vertex_shader (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev (OpenGL 4.4)
- GL_ARB_vertex_type_2_10_10_10_rev (OpenGL 3.3)
- GL_ARB_viewport_array (OpenGL 4.1)
- GL_ARB_window_pos (OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_ATI_draw_buffers (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ATI_texture_float (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_ATI_texture_mirror_once (Requires OpenGL 1.2.1)
- GL_EXT_bgra (OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_bindable_uniform (OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_EXT_blend_color (OpenGL 1.4 OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_blend_func_separate (Requires OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_blend_minmax (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_blend_subtract (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array (Requires OpenGL 1.1)
- GL_EXT_draw_buffers2 (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_draw_instanced (Requires OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_EXT_draw_range_elements (Requires OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_fog_coord (Requires OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_framebuffer_object (Requires OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_geometry_shader4 (Requires OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_EXT_gpu_program_parameters (Requires OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_EXT_gpu_shader4 (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays (OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_packed_depth_stencil (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_packed_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_packed_pixels (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_rescale_normal (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_secondary_color (Requires OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_separate_specular_color (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_shadow_funcs (Requires OpenGL 1.3 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.5)
- GL_EXT_stencil_wrap (Requires OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_texture3D (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_texture_array (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_texture_buffer_object (Requires OpenGL 2.0)
- GL_EXT_texture_compression_rgtc (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc (Requires OpenGL 1.2.1)
- GL_EXT_texture_cube_map (See GL_ARB_texture_cube_map)
- GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- GL_EXT_texture_integer (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias (Requires OpenGL 1.2 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_texture_mirror_clamp (Requires OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_EXT_texture_object (Requires OpenGL 1.1)
- GL_EXT_texture_shared_exponent (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_EXT_texture_swizzle (OpenGL 2.1)
- GL_EXT_timer_query (Requires OpenGL 1.5)
- GL_EXT_vertex_array (Requires OpenGL 1.1)
- GL_KHR_context_flush_control (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_KHR_debug (OpenGL 4.3)
- GL_KHR_robustness (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_NV_bindless_texture (OpenGL 4.0)
- GL_NV_blend_square (Requires OpenGL 1.2.1 / Core Feature of OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_NV_conditional_render (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_NV_depth_buffer_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_NV_half_float (OpenGL 3.0)
- GL_NV_occlusion_query (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_NV_primitive_restart (OpenGL 3.1)
- GL_NV_texgen_reflection (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- GL_KHR_blend_equation_advanced (OpenGL 4.5)
- GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap (Requires OpenGL 1.4)
- GL_SGIS_texture_lod (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- WGL_EXT_swap_control (Requires OpenGL 1.2)
- WGL_ARB_create_context (OpenGL 3.0)
- WGL_ARB_create_context_robustness (OpenGL 4.1)
- WGL_ARB_context_flush_control (OpenGL 4.5)
- WGL_ARB_render_texture (Requires OpenGL 1.1)
- WGL_ATI_pixel_format_float (Requires OpenGL 1.3)
- WGL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB (OpenGL 2.0)
- WGL_EXT_pixel_format_packed_float (OpenGL 2.0)
Microsoft says that Windows 10 will be its final release of the iconic operating system that’s installed on over 90% of computers.
“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10,” said Jerry Nixon, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, at the Ignite tech conference.
Windows as a service
In the past, Windows users could go to a store, purchase a copy of Windows and install it on their PCs. With the release of Windows 10 this summer, Microsoft is radically changing the way users upgrade Windows.
For the first time, Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as a free upgrade to all Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users. Starting in July, for the first year of Windows 10’s availability, owners of these prior releases can upgrade through Windows Update over-the-air at no cost.
Microsoft will continue this strategy of delivering Windows as a service, delivering frequent updates to Windows 10. There are also new methods to download Windows, including downloading the updates through multiple sources to get them quicker. Users can download Windows updates through Microsoft’s servers and from local and internet-connected PCs that have already obtained the updates.
Taking a mobile-first approach
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is taking a cloud-first, mobile-first approach to its business, and this also applies to Windows. Windows will employ a strategy similar to how mobile operating systems split up the core components to deliver faster updates .
The Start menu and built-in apps are now unbundled from the main OS so users can get faster updates. Rather than waiting for a full Windows update, Microsoft is delivering smaller standalone app updates, a feature we’re seeing in the Windows Insider Preview – formerly known as the Windows 10 Technical Preview build – with the Mail and Calendar apps.
This unbundling effect has allowed smartphone manufacturers to update core apps – such as the camera, photo gallery, mail and others – without having to wait for mobile operators to push out a larger OS-wide update.
Like Windows, Microsoft employs a similar strategy with Office. With Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription service for Office already delivers the most up-to-date Office experience to users, regardless of the OS or device you’re running. Office 365 subscribers will have access to Office 2016, which brings cloud-based collaboration, when that version hits retail.
At Team Xbox, we want to make it easy to connect with your friends on any device where you play games. This week, we’re excited to start previewing two more ways to expand your social gaming network and share your gaming content with your friends on Xbox Live.
- Facebook friend finder: a top requested fan feature, we’re bringing two of your favorite social networks together—Facebook and Xbox Live—and making it easier than ever to find more people to play games and have fun with.
In the Windows 10 Xbox beta app (available in the Windows 10 Store here), look for the Facebook icon in the Suggested Friends area or Settings. Click it to link your Facebook account to your Xbox Live account and start seeing suggestions for friends on Facebook who you can add on Xbox Live. As your friends link their Facebook accounts to their Xbox Live accounts, you’ll see increasing numbers of Facebook friend suggestions, so be sure to spread the word!
- Record your voice in your Game DVR clips on your PC: Windows Insider Program and Xbox beta app participants can now plug in a headset and narrate their Windows 10 game clips with their own voice using Game bar and Game DVR hotkeys.
To turn microphone recording on or off for a gaming session, just press Win + Alt + M. Want to turn microphone recording on for all gaming sessions? Go to Game bar > Settings > Audio or Xbox beta app > Settings > Game DVR > Audio. And if you like personalizing your Game DVR hotkeys and want to customize the microphone recording hotkey, do it here: Game bar > Settings > Shortcuts or Xbox beta app > Settings > Game DVR > Keyboard shortcuts.
Share your Windows 10 Store game clips with voice over commentary to your friends on Xbox Live through the Xbox app or any social network or sharing option on your PC.
Also lighting up in the Xbox beta app today are improvements in the way that gamers can find games and redeem codes. Our goal with these changes is to enable quicker and more relevant access to content.
- The Store link in the Xbox beta app will now bring you to the Xbox Store—a launching point for browsing and searching for both Windows 10 and Xbox One games. The new interface allows you to see more products at a glance and brings you the latest crop of most popular Windows 10 and Xbox One games, sales and specials, plus your Deals with Gold and Games with Gold games.
- In the Xbox One section of the redesigned Xbox Store, gamers will enjoy a persistent search box, reducing clicks between searches. Also, when you type in the name or a description of the Xbox One content that you are searching for, the search box will suggest some top matching search results.
- Once you’ve found the content you are looking for, fans will enjoy quicker and more contextual actions. Own the content already? Click the ‘play on console’ button and kick off a game streaming session. Don’t own the content? Just click on the ‘buy’ button to purchase.
- Redeeming codes gets easier too! Just like on Xbox One, when codes are sent to you in a message, simply click ‘redeem code’ to redeem. The ‘Redeem a code’ link in the Xbox One section of Xbox Store allows you to enter-25 digit codes right in the app as well.
Check out these new social features arriving in the Windows 10 Xbox beta app today and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for more updates coming to the beta app each month.
See you on Xbox Live!
Microsoft announced at Gamescom today that the Xbox One’s Windows 10 rollout will take place in November. We’ve known that the upgrade was coming for a while, alongside DirectX 12 support, but Microsoft had previously declined to put a date on it. The new Windows 10 launch will debut alongside a new UI that apparently diverges from the Windows 8-style layouts that Microsoft has used since the Xbox One launched in 2013. Other new improvements include a new OneGuide design, a Store makeover, and support for Universal apps created with Windows 10.
If you like Cortana, you’ll also have the option to enable her on the Xbox one, and the new universal platform really could go a long way to transforming what the console is capable of. Cortana will also allow you to talk to the console if you have a Kinect, though it’s not clear how many Xbox One owners actually do. Given the way Microsoft’s sales spiked after it killed the mandatory Kinect bundle and began shipping other versions of the console, it’s likely that less than 50% of buyers actually bothered to shell out cash for a glorified paperweight. Finally, of course, there’s the new Chatpad, the Xbox 360 backward compatibility (hopefully in much better shape than it was a few months ago, when Eurogamer tested it), and full DVR support coming to the platform.
All of these features are welcome additions to the Xbox One’s core functionality, and we’ve previously praised the idea of universal applications running on the platform. Microsoft is poised to create a level of integrated functionality between the Xbox One and the PC ecosystem that Sony can’t match, with game streaming both to and from the Xbox One (though the former isn’t formally announced yet). What’s less clear is whether this will result in meaningfully improved sales for the Xbox One itself.
Right now, Sony continues to dominate this generation of game consoles, with recent data suggesting that the Japanese company has sold more PS4’s than Wii U’s and Xbox One’s combined. While the Xbox One continues to outpace the Wii U as far as sales are concerned, uptake simply hasn’t matched Sony, with some data suggesting that the PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One by as much as 2:1. I agree with my colleague, Grant, that this discrepancy isn’t adequately explained by the performance difference between the two — while the Xbox One is slower than the PS4, it’s simply not slow enough to explain a difference this massive. Instead, the gap is likely due to the Xbox One’s disastrous debut. If Microsoft had offered a substantial performance advantage over Sony and a $100 price increase to go along with it, then the Xbox One might not have floundered. Instead, the company tried to kill the aspects of the game industry that consumers wanted, saddled the platform with Kinect 2.0 (which no one asked for), and generally blew its foot off.
Microsoft, to its credit, has done a 180-degree turn from these disastrous policies and is well on its way to creating new and innovative experiences around the platform, even if features like DirectX 12 aren’t actually expected to deliver much performance improvement. The reason for that is simple: The Xbox One already has a low-overhead API, and so the gains we see from shifting to a second may be much smaller than what we’ll see on the PC later this year and into 2016. That’s not a knock on DX12 — just a realistic statement that we shouldn’t expect the API to deliver enormous improvements, particularly if the game hasn’t been optimized for DX12 from the ground up. Still, over time, we could see some significant improvements over time, as games adapt to the new DirectX variant.
The latest version of Microsoft’s main operating system is full of hidden shortcuts and behaviors.
Millions of users have upgraded to Windows 10, and now the challenge is figuring out how to use it. Microsoft’s flagship operating system combines elements of both Windows 7 and 8.1 but adds a few new places and interfaces as well. To check your network connections, for example, or to see a list of installed programs, the route may be unfamiliar. So if you’re lost in Windows 10 right now, let us draw you a map.
Navigate the new Start menu and Cortana
Windows 10’s Start menu uses elements from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. The biggest change from Windows 7 is the pane of tiles on the right-hand side. If you don’t like these, just right-click them and select Unpin From Start.
You can also “Turn live tile off.” The Twitter app, installed by default, will display a constantly updated feed that you can toggle off using “Turn live tile off.” If you want to turn off an app that is not a system app like the calendar or the Windows Store, you can uninstall it from here. If you want to use the app but you don’t want it in your Start menu, click and drag it to the desktop or taskbar.
However, you can’t create a taskbar shortcut for Cortana (Microsoft’s Siri-like search assistant). Instead, begin a search and click the circle to the left of My Stuff to access Cortana. Or just say “Hey Cortana” if you have a microphone hooked up. Soon there will be Windows 10 PCs with Intel processors that can use “Hey Cortana” to wake up from sleep mode. If you don’t want to use Cortana, it’s disabled by default, so you need take no action.
Locate programs and the Control Panel
In Windows 7, you go to Add & Remove Programs to uninstall software or to see how much space an app takes up or when you last used it. With Windows 8, Microsoft started calling this area Programs & Features, and you could search for either name to find the tool.
That’s no longer the case in Windows 10. Now you search for Apps & Features (press the Windows key and type your search query). The tool is in the System section of Windows 10’s Settings app. Right-click Apps & Features in the left-hand pane, and you get the option to create a tile with that name in Windows 10’s Start menu.
If you prefer the original Control Panel, right-click the Start menu button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select it from the context menu. In there you’ll find a host of tools that are no longer fully exposed to users, like Programs & Features and the Appearance and Personalization menus. Some of the icons are different, but the functions and the look are mostly intact. The Windows 10 tool for setting default apps is arguably easier to use, though (press the Windows key, select Settings, click the System icon in the upper-left, and click Default Apps in the left-hand menu). The tool sorts according to what the program does, instead of making you go through each detected program and check what it wants to do.
If you want to ditch the Control Panel for the Settings tool, Windows 10 has a new keyboard shortcut for the latter: Windows-I. Microsoft keeps an official list of all keyboard shortcuts available in Windows 10.
Windows 10 was built to be a touch-friendly operating system, but Microsoft isn’t slacking on keyboard and mouse support. Windows-Tab launches the Task View tool, which displays all your open windows at once and reveals the New Desktop option in the lower right-hand corner. Yep, Windows finally has a virtual desktop interface (VDI), but it’s fairly basic. Unlike OS X and Linux, you can’t use them to organize different sets of application shortcuts, folders, or files. You can’t apply wallpaper or color schemes that are unique to each VDI. In Windows 10, any of those things that you apply to your “real” desktop is mirrored across all the VDIs that you have created. Still, it’s a good start.
Once you’ve created a new desktop, you can switch between it and your “real” desktop by pressing Windows-Ctrl and the left or right arrow key. All open windows share your original taskbar, which makes them easier to keep track of, but things also may get squished. Create a little more real estate down there by right-clicking the taskbar, selecting Properties, checking the box next to “Use small icons,” clicking the Apply button and then OK to close the menu.
If you have multiple displays plugged in, virtual desktops may not be as useful. But you can move an application window from one display to another by pressing Windows-Shift-Left Arrow or -Right Arrow. This shortcut has actually been around since Windows 7. Oddly, you can’t use this shortcut combo to move a window from one Windows 10 VDI to another.
Tweaking the Action Center
There’s a new default icon in your system tray (in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop). It looks like a square-shaped conversation bubble with three horizontal lines inside it. This is the shortcut to your Action Center, which works like the notifications system in Android or iOS. Within it are four main shortcuts (or Quick Actions, the vague term that Windows 10 prefers). By default, they are Tablet Mode, Connect, Note, and All Settings. The Connect function handles your Wi-Fi and Ethernet interaction, and the Note function is a scratch pad. If you are signed into a Microsoft account, you’ll also see incoming email here.
You can change the four main Quick Actions, but not from within the Action Center. Instead, right-click the date and time in the lower right-hand corner of the screen and select “Customize notification icons.” This opens up the Notifications & Actions section of the Settings tool. Click one of the four Quick Action buttons to open a drop-down menu listing other shortcuts.
OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is Microsoft’s cloud storage competitor to Google Drive and iCloud. Its cloud-shaped icon will appear by default in your system tray, because it’s set to start automatically when you load Windows. If you don’t care about OneDrive, stop this behavior by right-clicking the cloud icon, clicking Settings and the Settings tab (the window doesn’t default to this tab), unchecking the box next to “Start OneDrive automatically when I sign into Windows,” and clicking OK to confirm your changes. To close OneDrive manually, right-click the icon, select Exit, and click one the Close OneDrive button to confirm.
Side note: OneDrive is not an ideal cloud storage service, because it doesn’t offer client-side encryption. Instead, the service keeps a copy of your encryption keys, so technically Microsoft can look at your files (unless you’ve pre-encrypted them with a third-party program or service) or hand those keys over to anyone with the legal power to seize them — all without your knowledge. Most cloud storage services, including iCloud and Google Drive, keep a copy of your encryption keys. If you want a service that lets you keep those keys to yourself, check out our roundup of cloud storage services.
If you want to change how other icons show up in the system tray, return to Notifications & Actions and click the link labeled “Select which icons appear on the taskbar.” You’ll see a list of icons that you can toggle on and off with a slider. This is just the first batch of icons; to reset the rest of them, click the back arrow in upper left-hand corner of the Settings Window and click the link labeled “Turn system icons on or off.” There’s no Apply or OK button. Instead, your changes are saved right away, automatically.
Windows 10 is an entirely new version of the veteran Windows operating system – a version that is make-or-break for Microsoft.
Even though Windows 8.1 did improve things, there’s no escaping that with Windows 8, Microsoft was hugely complacent, buoyed by the success of Windows 7. It drastically misunderstood its users with a fundamentally changed user interface which didn’t make any logical sense and was hard to learn. It failed us. It failed itself.
Thankfully 2015 Microsoft is pretty different to 2012 Microsoft. The key management of the corporation has changed. It has woken up to the fact that people can choose other operating systems. It’s keen on making stuff for OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. As you’ll hear, it’s allowing apps from other platforms to be easily ported to Windows, too.
Microsoft believes the future of Windows is as a platform for all. Like Android, the strength of Windows is in the thousands of companies that develop for it (see the section about Universal apps for more on the relationship with developers) and use it in their products.
That’s why Windows 10 is no longer just an operating system for 32 and 64-bit PCs. It will also run on the ARM platform for smaller tablets and smartphones. Windows 10 is going to run on phones – it’s the new version of Windows Phone, but it’s not that clear whether Microsoft will brand new Windows Phones as ‘Windows 10’ or not. If you know what Windows RT was, then don’t worry, because it’s nothing like that.
Universal apps will run not only on PCs, but on Windows 10 phones, Windows 10 for IoT devices and Xbox as well.
Like Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 before it, Windows 10 is part of the Windows NT family.
From the Windows 10 Preview to RTM
We’ve been part of the Windows Insider program, which has given people early access to Windows 10 through various phases of its development. The latest version, which this article is based on, is known as build 10240, made available on 15 July. It is the RTM- or Release to Manufacturing – version. RTM will also be on Windows 10 PCs.
RTM doesn’t have the usual ‘Windows 10 Insider Preview’ text on the desktop, and it has also been released to everybody in the Windows Insider program – even those who didn’t want the latest updates (the ‘slow’ ring as opposed to the ‘fast’ ring).
Even after Windows 10’s release, the Windows Insider program will continue, and Microsoft will release Windows 10 updates to members of the program first.
While it’s natural that Windows 10 will be considered as ‘finished’ by reviewers (us) and consumers in the coming weeks, Microsoft doesn’t subscribe to this point of view, and says it will carry on developing the OS with additional tweaks.
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