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Windows 10 Overview

Windows 10 is the next, and final, version of Microsoft's flagship operating system.  According to Microsoft, it has been designed to work on multiple platforms including PCs, tablets and phones.  While similar to Windows 8.1, it has been re-designed to address common customer concerns with the user interface.  While retaining the ability to use it with touch screens, more emphasis has been placed on the ability to use Windows 10 with a keyboard and mouse.  Microsoft is also making a huge effort to boost Windows 10's adoption rates through its Insider testing program and its free upgrade offer.



While primarily retaining a flatter and more minimalistic Windows 8 style look and feel on the desktop, the start menu has returned.  This new start menu is an amalgamation of the previous Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 start screen.  It offers both a section for the older standard programs list as well as a customizable section for app tiles to make things easy for fingers on a touch screen.  For those who preferred the Windows 8 start screen over a menu, Microsoft has provided a setting that will allow a person to switch back if desired.

 Windows 10 Start Menu


With the switch to Windows 10, there have been a number of new features and enhancements from Windows 8.1 along with a couple of lost features.

The good (things added or improved):

  • Apps are now designed to work in the desktop
  • Charms bar removed - all options are available in the settings through the start menu
  • Virtual desktops for better management of your screens (this is not the same as a virtual machine) - Available through task view.
  • Cortana, Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now, will be built in to assist with searches
  • Continuum - a mode that will automatically detect whether you have a PC or tablet and apply the appropriate interface.  (This can be manually changed in the settings if you prefer)
  • 4-way Screen Snap - instead of dragging screens to the edge to show two side by side, you can now drag screens to show 4 per monitor.
  • No need to ever upgrade to another version of Windows - Windows 10 is the final and perpetual version of windows

The bad (features removed or depreciated):

  • Windows Media Center no longer available
  • DVD playback is no longer built-in and requires you to purchase separate software
  • Windows 7 type gadgets removed


Frequently Asked Questions

Windows 10 is the last version?  Is Windows going away?

Windows 10 will the the last version number for Windows.  However, Microsoft is not shutting down Windows, it is changing how it operates.  Rather than releasing new major Windows versions over time, they are planning to operate it more as a continuous service.  The idea being that once you've installed Windows 10, all updates and upgrades (even those we'd consider version upgrades today) will be done silently in the background on your computer without you having to purchase or install a new copy of Windows.

When will NDSU start installing Windows 10 on new computers?

ACCS is currently installing Windows 10 on new computer purchases that meet the requirements on our Hardware Baseline Page.   New non-baseline computers can also have our Windows 10 image installed with the understanding that there is always a small chance that our image may not fully work on their computer.

Can I upgrade my current work computer to Windows 10?

Please see our Windows 10 support guidelines to see if your computer qualifies to have it installed.

Is Windows 7 going away?

According to Microsoft, Windows 7 support will end in January 2020.  At that time, ACCS will also be ending support for Windows 7.  Until that time, we are committed to fully supporting computers currently running Windows 7 . 



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