Windows 10 is the newest member of the Microsoft Windows operating system line.
Windows 10 introduces an updated Start Menu, new login methods, a notification center, support for virtual desktops, the Edge browser and a host of other usability updates.
Cortana, Microsoft’s mobile personal assistant, is now part of Windows 10, even on desktop computers.
Note: Windows 10 was first code-named Threshold and was assumed to then be named Windows 9 but Microsoft decided to skip that number altogether. See What Happened to Windows 9? for more on that.
Windows 10 Release Date
The final version of Windows 10 was released to the public on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 was first released as a preview on October 1, 2014.
Windows 10 was a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 owners but only through July 29, 2016. See Where Can I Download Windows 10? for more on this.
Windows 10 succeeds Windows 8 and is currently the most recent version of Windows available
Windows 10 Editions
Two versions of Windows 10 are available:
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Home
Flash drive versions of Windows 10 Pro & Home are also available at Amazon if you’re interested.
Several additional editions of Windows 10 are also available but not directly to consumers. Some of these include Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise Mobile, andWindows 10 Education.
Additionally, unless otherwise marked, all versions of Windows 10 that you purchase include both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.
Windows 10 Minimum System Requirements
The minimum hardware required to run Windows 10 is similar to what was required for the last few versions of Windows:
- CPU: 1 GHz with NX, PAE, and SSE2 support (CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF support for 64-bit versions)
- RAM: 1 GB (2 GB for 64-bit versions)
- Hard Drive: 16 GB free space (20 GB free for 64-bit versions)
- Graphics: A GPU that supports at least DirectX 9 with a WDDM driver
If you’re upgrading from Windows 8 or Windows 7, make sure you’ve applied all the updates available for that version of Windows before starting the upgrade.
More on Windows 10
My site, PC Support, focuses mainly on maintenance, troubleshooting, and the general support of computers and operating systems – like Windows 10.
However, About.com does have a Windows site that focuses more on general Windows use, including Windows 10, so you’ll find a lot of great information there.