S E P T E M B E R 2015WINDOWS10:SUPERGUIDEEverything you need to know about the new OS
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SEPTEMBER 2015» DEPARTMENTSTABLE OFCONTENTS» FEATURE111 News7 Reviews & Ratings129 Here’s How52 Windows 10 superguide» COLUMNS140 Hassle-Free PC143 Answer Line118 Consumer Watch146 Tech Spotlight
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NOVELS ROCK ‘N’ ROLLSTAND-UP COMEDY JAZZVIDEO GAMES MOVIESCOMIC BOOKS TALK RADIOEVERY NEW ART FORM HAS ITS FIGHT FOR FREE SPEECH.OUR TIME IS NOWFIGHT FOR YOUR VIDEO GAMESV I D E O G A M E V O T E R S . O R G
REVIEWS& RATINGSCONTENTS8Windows 10: It’sfamiliar, it’s powerfuland PCWorld reviewsit all28The Edge browserhasn’t fully baked32Continuum: Windows10 on the go9Windows 10 willkeep evolving35Windows apps: Sparse,sometimes great14Hello: The new way tolog into Windows 1038(Groove) Music: let’sjazz it up a bit18Windows 10hidden depths44The Xbox app: Whereyou’ll go to relax22Meet Cortana, thedigital assistant ofthe future50Windows 10 charts abetter course25Task View/Virtualdesktops: A cool tool
REVIEWS& RATINGSWatch thevideo atgo.pcworld.com/windowsvidWindows 10: It’s familiar,it’s powerful, but the Edgebrowser falls shortMicrosoft has listened, and Windows 10 debuts with compellingnew features—Cortana, Task View, a familiar Start menu—wellworth the upgrade.BY MARK HACHMAN8
WINDOWS 10 REVIEWWindows 10 willkeep evolvingWE MAY AS well refer to Windows 10 as a date, or an hour, as much asan operating system. It’s a moment in time. A month from now, it willhave changed, evolved, improved. But right now? Microsoft hasshipped an operating system that was meticulously planned andexecuted with panache, but whose coat of fresh paint hides some9
sticks and baling wire. There’s a lot to cover, so feel free to dive in.Note that this review is not, and will never be, the review of the finalversion of Windows 10. Microsoft may have frozen its core operatingsystem in advance of the July 29launch, but the OS and its appswill be updated continually overtheir lifespan—which, in the caseof Windows 10 itself, will be 10years. We received multipleassurances, however, that whatwe reviewed was what existingWindows users received startingJuly 29 (remember, the rolloutwill be in phases), and what willbe installed on new PCs from a vendor like Lenovo or Dell. And thisreview also reflects updates that we made after testing against theJuly 29 “release” code.Let’s emphasize this—there is an incredible amount of activitygoing on right now. Microsoft is busy fixing bugs, hour by hour.Several issues which we noticed in a draft of this review wereresolved by the time the final draft was edited. We expect this willcontinue.Windows 10 is designed to welcome most Windows users. It willbe a free upgrade for users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1,assuming they switch within a year’s time. Don’t dilly-dally; it’sworth it.Several innovations sell Windows 10 by themselves. The new Startmenu blends Windows 7 and Windows 8 for maximum comfort.Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, serves up relevant information.A new set of reminders and updates slide in from the side, thenvanish. A few quietly powerful apps, like Photos, show you thepotential of Microsoft’s new “Universal” mission. Task View, asomewhat obscure feature that creates virtual desktops, couldbecome a sleeper hit beyond the power users for whom it’s intended.Let’s emphasize this,Microsoft is busy fixingbugs, hour by hour.Several issues in a draft ofthis review were resolvedby final edit. We expectthis to continue.10
REVIEWS& RATINGSIn an ideal world, Windows 10 could have baked a little longer.Quite a bit of the operating system ably demonstrates the careMicrosoft took to listen to users and make substantive improvements.The UI designers also seem to have gone out of their way to makeWindows 10 less in-your-face than Windows 8 was, though arguablyit’s swung a bit too far in the direction of blah. But then there’s theragged Edge browser. It could use a livelier palette, but its real flawsare functional. Microsoft promised Edge would be our browser for themodern web, and it’s not—at least, not yet.Which Windows 10? Home vs. ProfessionalThe first two questions you should ask yourself are this: Which versionof Windows 10 is available for my computer? And which do I need?The first question is relatively easy to answer: if you’re upgradingfrom Windows 7 Home or the basic version of Windows 8, you’llreceive a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home (officially priced at 119).If you own a Surface Pro or a business PC, chances are you’ll upgrade toWindows 10 Professional ( 199). I tested both flavors of Windows 10,using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with a version of Windows 10Professional installed on it, as well as an HP Spectre x360 with theconsumer version of Windows 10.Microsoft’s professional version of Windows 10 differs from the11
consumer version in many ways, but three really matter: BitLockerencryption, Remote Access, and the ability to run Hyper-Vvirtualization on your PC. BitLocker encrypts entire storage volumeswith your hard drive and a password, with the option to print or save arecovery key to your OneDrive folder in case you forget it or are eatenby a grue. Remote Access allows you to take control of other PCs—such as those owned by relatives seeking tech support, for example—with the appropriate permissions and passwords. Hyper-V lets youcreate virtual partitions to test out future builds of Windows 10 (orother software), without the risk of borking your system.12Windows 10Professional andWindows 10Home are verysimilar, butBitLocker driveencryption is oneof the valueadded features ofWindows 10 Pro.
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WINDOWS 10 REVIEWHello: The new way tolog in to Windows 10MICROSOFT BEGAN INSISTING on a login password with Windows 8,as an additional safeguard against losing your data. With Windows 10,Microsoft is raising the bar.During the installation process, you’ll be asked for your Microsoftusername and password, the key that unlocks your data withinMicrosoft’s ecosystem. But instead of using that password to log in everysession, Microsoft will encourage you to use a 4-digit PIN—treating yourPC, essentially, as a credit card. You’ll still have the option of using apassword, but a PIN is a much simpler option.A second option, Microsoft Hello, is both simpler and more secure. Usingbiometric security—either a fingerprint or your face—Hello will log youin, automatically. Fingerprint readers are fairly rare outside corporatemachines, but the depth cameras needed for face recognition are rarerstill, found only in new PCs.14
REVIEWS& RATINGSYou can either use a PIN,a traditional password, orWindows Hello to log into Windows 10.Still, Microsoft’s making Hello one of the features of their firstWindows 10 ads, and it’s not hard to see why. Windows Hello asksyou to put your face in its camera range for a few seconds to train it,with your glasses on and off if necessary. After that, logging in is assimple as approaching the PC with the camera active. If the cameracan see your face (with a Surface docking station, you may need tolean down a bit) you’ll be launched into Windows 10, withoutpushing a button.We’ve tested Hello fairly extensively, and are convinced that this isgoing to be one of Windows 10’s highlights, if you can find a PC withHello hardware installed. Setting up Hello and training it can be donein less than a minute, and the login process is nearly instantaneous. Idid find that after taking a shower, dressing, and sitting down at myPC, Hello failed to recognize me. It did one other time, as well. If thishappens, however, you can default to either a PIN or password andproceed normally.I tried snapping a selfie and holding it near the camera to try and15
fool it, but that didn’t work. I’m not going to say that Hello is foolproofand utterly secure, but I suspect you’re going to need some sort of amask to beat it.Keep in mind that Hello is always looking out for you. To keep yourPC from watching constantly, turn Hello off in the Settings menu.Meet the new-old Start menuWindows 10 newcomers, Microsoft has a treat for you. Click theWindows icon in the lower left corner, or tap the Windows key on thekeyboard. The new Start experience appears, combining elements ofboth Windows 7 and Windows 8. You’ll find a list of your mostfrequently used apps to the left, along with the tile-based Windows 8approach to the right. The live tiles periodically rotate, refreshingthemselves with new updates. It’s a motif that was a littleoverwhelming in Windows 8, but seems more appropriate in thiscontext.Right-clicking and pinning apps to the Start menu will be intuitivefor Windows 8 users, but it’s going to feel a little strange for longtime16The new Windows10 Start screen:For some Windows 8 users, itwill justify theupgrade all byitself.
REVIEWS& RATINGSWindows 7 devotees. You can’t manually add apps to the left-hand list;Windows 10 picks those for you, based on your most frequently usedapps. Fortunately, you can also launch apps by typing their names intothe Cortana search box at the bottom left, or scrolling all the waydown the left-hand list to the tiny All Apps link.Oddly, some apps don’t show up in the All Apps list—like Paint, thevenerable, quick-and-dirty image-editing app. I know it’s there, butWindows 10 doesn’t show it to me. (You can find it in the WindowsAccessories folder.)Microsoft will be judged on first impressions. However, not everyonewill find the new Start menu intuitive. The Get Started intro appshould probably be front and center to lead new users by the hand.Tips pop up occasionally, offering guidance, and the familiar toolbarsits at the bottom of the screen. There, you should see a row of iconsyou’ll recognize: the Cortana search bar, followed by the new TaskView, an Internet Explorer-like Edge icon, and more. But the Edge iconis the only visual hint that answers the critical question most newusers will ask: “So how do I get to the Internet?”17Still, Microsoft’searly vision for theWindows 10 Startscreen honestlylooked as good, orbetter, than thecurrent version.Note the flexibilityin adjusting theapps in the lefthand bar.
WINDOWS 10 REVIEWWindows10’s hiddendepthsDESPITE MICROSOFT’S EFFORTS tomeld the best of Windows 7 andWindows 8 into Windows 10, someaspects of the new operating systemare unfamiliar. Windows 7’s desktopgadgets are gone, for example. InWindows 8.1, you could access theSettings by swiping in from the rightto expose the Settings charm.Microsoft killed off the Charms in Windows 10, and settings can befound in multiple places.Let’s say you want to select a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to. InWindows 8, you would swipe in from the right to expose the Settingscharm. In Windows 10, you can click the little Wi-Fi or networking iconin the bottom right corner. Job done. But wait: To the right of theWi-Fi icon is the Notifications icon. Click it, and it opens up a handyWindows 10 Mobile-ish array of shortcut icons, including a button tochoose the Wi-Fi network—and a button to select a VPN. Why wasn’tthat VPN option available in the networking shortcut? I don’t know.The Wi-Fi menu also includes a link to go to the Network Settingsportion of the Settings menu, where you can specify proxies, ormonitor data usage, or VPNs. By hitting Win X, you can pull up theControl Panel with even more settings.Whew. Yes, there’s definitely a “Who’s on First?” feeling to thevarious settings menus within Windows 10. But to be fair, the best18This Windows10 Mobile-likecollection ofshortcuts isuseful—if youknow that it’shidden at thebottom of theNotificationsscreen.
from Windows 7 Home or the basic version of Windows 8, you’ll receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home (officially priced at $119). If you own a Surface Pro or a business PC, chances are you’ll upgrade to Windows 10 Professional ($199). I tested both flavors of Windows 10, using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with a version of Windows 10