The future at Microsoft is Windows 11. But our recent past was all Windows 10 – and if you can believe it, that story began six years ago today.

On July 15, 2015, Windows 10 in production (known as RTM) was released for pre-installation on new laptops and tablets. This was followed by a public retail release on July 29th. In those six years, Windows 10 made its way to 1.3 billion devices and the world’s leading desktop operating system – but it wasn’t easy.

Many lessons were learned in the illustrious history of Windows that shaped the direction of Windows 10 and even Windows 11 today. Happy sixth birthday, Windows 10. Here’s a little recap of your journey.

Windows 10 past

Windows 10 was born at a time when Microsoft was facing many of the consequences of the release of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 was still very popular around 2015, and a lot of people didn’t like the full-screen Start menu in Windows 8.1. Changes like the Charms Bar, Live Tiles, and other touch-first design elements that came with the new “Metro UI” alienated people who had become accustomed to a desktop-like interface.

Windows 10 was the operating system that promised to change that. It brought back the one-line Start menu that was seen in Windows 7, but also the live tiles and customization options of Windows 8. Even the aero effects of Windows 7 were back, helping make the operating system a bit more modern at the time than what Apple looks like OSX 10.10.

Microsoft also introduced a digital assistant, Cortana, to take on Siri (although Cortana was short-lived.) And the controversial tablet features have been hidden in the “Tablet Mode” section, which only appeared when you removed your keyboard or flipped your 2-in-1. Other new features include Windows Hello sign-in on a PC (using your face only) and the new Microsoft Edge browser.

More importantly, Microsoft improved the lousy Windows 8.1 App Store by introducing Universal Windows Platform apps – apps that run on Windows 10 phones, Xbox, Surface, and even HoloLens headsets with a single code. Windows 10 Mobile is a story all of its own, but it has received major updates compared to Windows Phone 8, with the code base for the mobile operating system being based on the desktop Windows 10.

For Microsoft, Windows 10 was a bold new venture and a chance to reconnect with Windows users familiar with desktop experiences. So the operating system was a free update. Anyone with a valid Windows 7 or 8 license can get Windows 10 for free.

The controversial update tactics and “Receive Windows 10 Ads” Other than that, it was a bold new move for Microsoft, which usually charged full price for installing its desktop operating systems on existing hardware.

Aiming to have Windows 10 on 1 billion devices within three years of its release, Microsoft was a bold undertaking, but it was going to get messy nonetheless.

The evolution from Windows 10 to Windows 11

Windows 10 start menu open on the desktop.

As more people upgraded to Windows 10, Microsoft started selling Windows 10 as a service. This meant that (as a Microsoft employee put it) Windows 10 the “last Windows version. ”It would receive annual“ Featured ”updates without paying for them. Make a purchase and get Windows 10 once, and you’ll be fine for any future updates as long as Windows is supported. That’s what Apple did MacOS Mavericks in 2013.

These updates meant that Windows 10 was moving forward based on feedback from Windows users. Microsoft published annual “Featured” updates for Windows 10 until 2016 Windows 10 November Update and Windows 10 anniversary update introduced new features and major overhauls for ink, Windows Hello, games, Cortana, and more.

After 2016, Microsoft changed the way Windows 10 updates work. It has now got updates twice a year (spring and fall) that we still have today. Publications contain the Creators Update, Fall Creators Update. As of 2018, updates have been named after the published month – see the October 2020 and May 2021 updates as examples.

The rush of updates meant that Windows 10 would keep evolving. Microsoft has constantly improved Windows with new features. even she Privacy concerns addressed, allowing users to stay in control with new setting switches. Other new features include Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Fluent Design’s visual overhaul, Xbox Game Bar, Dolby Atmos, a People app, improved file sharing, and more.

Later versions even introduced cross-platform functionality like the Your Phone app to sync Android phones with Windows PCs. And more recently, the new Chromium-powered Edge browser and a revised visual update for the start menu.

But the big updates stopped coming in the end. After problems with the Windows 10 October 2018 update caused the user’s files to be deleted, Microsoft returned to the drawing board in 2019 with Windows updates – to get us where we are today. Since then, Windows 10’s twice-a-year updates have focused on adding minor features and fixing bugs.

Microsoft slowed down the pace of development from Windows to the point where it fell short of massive visual redesigns introduced in MacOS Big Sur and Chrome OS. With Panos Pany. there was even an upheaval internally at Microsoft Take things in hand in a new team called Windows + Devices. The Windows Insider Program was also changed, with “rings” being discontinued in favor of “branches”. All of that got things to where we are today.

The future of Windows

On the way to the future, Windows 10 still supported from Microsoft until the year 2025. It has been confirmed several times and is even listed on the current support page.

But don’t forget that Windows 10 was originally intended to evolve into a variant of Windows 10X. The Pandemic has postponed these plans shift and that became Windows 11 instead.

As far as we know, Windows 10 will now live alongside Windows 11. Rumor has it that Windows 10 will continue to receive updates twice a year. The next update should be Windows 10 21H2, as in three separate support documents for. mentioned Windows Hello, Windows IT professionals, and Windows autopilot.

But Windows 11 is the future. Windows 11 brings many changes that fans have long wanted in Windows 10. A comprehensive visual redesign, new start menu, Android apps in the Microsoft Store are just some of the changes. It’s a free update for select Windows 10 devices, thanks to six years of Windows 10.

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