The first major Windows 10 update has arrived, and a plethora of tweaks and a handful of new features comes with it. Microsoft says this update brings performance and compatibility improvements, as well as some new business-oriented features. The company also claims that Win10's boot time and performance in common tasks should be improved nearly 30% versus Windows 7 on the same machine.
According to HowToGeek, the Windows activation confusion has been finally cleared up: users can activate Windows 10 with any Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key, even when performing a clean install. Colored title bars have finally returned (yay!), along with optional installation of apps onto removable devices, which should be a boon for devices with limited internal storage. Last but not least, Windows now includes a "find my device" functionality, should you ever misplace your laptop.
The Edge browser gets a couple new additions. The new tab preview functionality makes its first public appearance, and both Favorites and Reading Lists should synchronize across multiple devices. Cortana can now recognize information like phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses to help set reminders in the Cortana Notebook app, and the assistant's integration with third-party services is now available in Japan, Australian, Canada, and India.
The company says "thousands of partners" have updated their device drivers for better Windows 10 compatibility, and it's confident it can now "recommend Windows 10 deployment to whole organizations." To help with that goal, MS added two free business-oriented services. Windows Update for Business lets IT managers control the delivery of updates to systems under their wing, while Windows Store for Businesses lets companies build their own custom-managed app stores. Mobile Device Management (MDM) support also makes an appearance, which should help system administrators cope better with bring-your-own-device scenarios.
The Windows 10 fall update is rolling out as we speak to computers, Xbox One consoles, and "select mobile phones." Microsoft says the operating system is running on over 110 million devices worldwide, and the new update should help that number climb higher still.