Back in June 2011, when Microsoft showed off the Start screen of its upcoming Windows 8 at a conference, no one at Microsoft probably thought the main attraction of the operating system would force users to stay away from the operating system.
Soon after the release of Windows 8, tens of third-party programs were released to help users bring back Windows 7-style Start menu to Windows 8. There were also tools to completely disable the newly introduced Metro or modern interface. The absence of the familiar Start menu was a deal-breaker for most users.
A year later, Windows 8.1 Update was released with a number of new features and improvements, but it failed to change the perception.
Now that Windows 10 is ready and is available as a free upgrade to existing PC users running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, many of you might want to know how different Windows 10 is from its predecessor Windows 8.
Difference between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
Although Windows 10 is the successor of Windows 8, it’s actually what Windows 8 should have been. Like the new Start menu, Windows 10 includes the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The new Start menu vs the old Start screen
The all-new Start menu in Windows 10 feels designed for a PC as well as touch devices, unlike the full-screen Start of Windows 8/8.1. Although the Start menu in Windows 10 looks very different from the one in Windows 7, it actually behaves the same way.
On the left side of the Start menu, most used and recently installed apps appear. Beneath them, Settings app, Power, and File Explorer icons appear.
Tiles on the right side of the Start menu can be moved around, resized, and removed. In fact, you can make the default size of the Start menu much smaller by removing all tiles from the right side of the Start.
Resizable apps vs full-screen apps
In Windows 8, as you know, modern apps or apps installed from the Store always open in full screen and can’t be resized like traditional desktop programs. In Windows 10, all apps, including apps installed from Windows Store, can be resized, and they behave just like desktop applications.
Cortana (digital personal assistant)
Cortana is one of the main attractions of Windows 10. With Cortana, you can search the web, take notes, send emails, set alarms, search for files, and more. Note that Cortana is currently available in select regions only.
Microsoft Edge vs Internet Explorer
The new web browser is the default web browser in Windows 10. The Edge browser has been developed from scratch and ships with some brilliant features, including the ability to take notes right on webpages.
Although it doesn’t support extensions right now, it will support extensions in the coming months.
Settings app vs PC Settings
The PC Settings app in Windows 8 was not easy-to-navigate. Microsoft has renamed PC Settings as Settings in Windows 10 and overhauled the same to include more settings and options.
The Settings app in Windows 10 acts as the classic Control Panel (Control Panel is still present) and is definitely better than the PC Settings.
No confusing Charms Bar
The Charms Bar has been put to rest with Windows 10. In Windows 10, to access app settings, you need to click the small menu icon (located on the left of the title bar).
Last but not least, according to Microsoft, Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever. The newly introduced Windows Hello allows you to log in using your face or fingerprint on devices that support Windows Hello. Like Windows 8/8.1, Windows Defender ships with Windows 10 to take care of viruses, malware, and other threats.
And finally, if you are still apprehensive about the upgrade, we recommend you read our 7 reasons to upgrade to Windows 10 article.