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Windows 10 Upgrade: Here’s What You Need to Know (Time Sensitive!)

If you use Windows 10 as the operating system on your office’s computer(s), then you may have heard talk recently of upcoming updates that are anticipated to be released sometime in late May or early June. Whether you have already downloaded a Beta version of this update, or you are anticipating its release, you may naturally have questions about what this update means for you, and you may even be wondering why this update is taking place, and how it could ultimately affect you and your business. To help ensure that you are ready for the latest update to the Windows operating system when it arrives, here is an overview of everything you need to know about the Windows 10 update.

Why is This Upgrade Taking Place?

When Windows 10 was released in July of 2015, the operating system marketed a shift in how Microsoft handled the process of developing their operating systems. Prior to Windows 10, Windows’ operating systems only received occasional updates that primarily served to provide software updates and security improvements. These updates rarely came with new features and upgrades, as users had to wait until they could purchase the newest version of Windows for the latest features, and these releases usually only came out every 3-4 years.

In contrast, the development of Windows 10 has been a continuous process with Microsoft attempting to provide significant feature updates to Windows 10 users for free approximately every six months. These updates bring both security and software updates as well as user-facing changes meant to enhance the user experience. This process of continually tweaking the user experience seems to more closely mimic how updates on Apple and Android operating systems function compared to Microsoft’s traditional formula.

As a Window’s 10 user, you may be concerned about how these changes will affect you and your company. Here’s a look at the primary changes that will affect users when the latest Windows 10 update rolls out this summer.

Windows Will Now Take Up More Space

The first thing you will need to be prepared for, and the main thing that has caused criticism amongst early users of the latest version of Windows 10 (Version 1903 or 19H1), is that Microsoft is increasing the amount of space the operating system takes up on your primary hard drive. While previous updates required that users have 16 GB of free space available on their hard drive in order to install the 32-bit version of Windows 10, the latest update will require that there be at least 32 GB of free space available on your hard drive for the 32-bit version, and 20 GB for the 64-bit version, which means that you may need to make some space on your computer if you want to get the latest updates. However, this has already drawn criticism as many people are calling these space requirements unrealistic, especially for people with older computers or smaller/cheaper notebooks with minimal disk space. Further fueling the flames is that the new update will also use 7 GB of “reserve storage” that will be allocated to ensure future updates and patches are installed smoothly.

This Update Affects Your Privacy Settings

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about the latest Windows 10 update is the way it could affect your privacy settings. Previous updates to Windows 10 have caused all the operating system’s privacy settings to reset (effectively turning them off), which then allows Microsoft to collect a lot of personal information and data about the way you use your computer. Once the latest update is installed, be sure to check your privacy settings to make sure that you are not sharing sensitive information. This is particularly important to do on any computers you use for work in order to protect your business.

A Streamlined Start Menu

Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the latest version of Windows 10 is that it changes the amount of preinstalled apps and live tiles the operating system comes installed with (which will be more noticeable for people installing windows 10 for the first time), and most importantly, it will now be possible to remove stock Windows 10 apps that you don’t want or no longer use. This will help to make the start menu look less cluttered (which has been a complaint of many Windows 10 users), and it can help you to free up more space on your computer.

Another major change to the start menu that the latest update will bring is that Cortana and Search will now be separated in the Windows 10 taskbar. In previous versions of Windows 10, Cortana and the system search bar were integrated with each other. Separating the two search experiences will reduce a lot of headaches for users as the search box in the taskbar will be used solely for searching for files and documents on your computer, and the circular Cortana icon will trigger Microsoft’s handy digital assistant.

More Control Over Update Timing

The latest round of updates to Windows 10 seems to suggest that Microsoft is listening to user complaints, as it is finally addressing a major problem with the operating system by giving users more control over when Windows updates are installed. Prior to the latest update, Windows 10 updates would install automatically with little warning given to users. This often resulted in critical documents, files, and presentations being lost, which frustrated countless users.

Now, a series of changes to how upgrades are performed will give users more control over when updates take place. A new icon will appear on your taskbar warning you when an update that requires a reboot is imminent, and you will even have the option to pause updates until a time that is more convenient for you, allowing you to plan the update around your schedule.

With the latest update to Windows 10, it seems as though Microsoft is working hard to provide as user-friendly of an experience as possible. While updates can create a bit of a learning curve for users, preparing for the changes to come can help to make this transition as easy as possible. Contact us to learn more about the latest Windows 10 update and how it could affect your business.