In the past a new version of Windows would arrive about as often as the US elected presidents. It was exciting to see updates because of how slowly they’d roll out. However, everything changed with Windows 10, and the shift in strategy worked – there are now more than 700 million Windows 10 users as of March 2018.
System Reqs and Versions
This review pertains to the Home and Pro versions of Windows 10. For detailed Windows 10 system requirements and the various versions, check out the Microsoft website.
Since its launch, Windows 10 has become Microsoft’s sole operating system (OS), constantly evolving with new features and supported form factors. The most recent of these evolutions is the October 2018 Update, which makes the operating system better than ever.
Not only does this major update introduce Dark Mode in File Explorer and a more robust ‘Your Phone’ app, but we’re also getting some much-improved screenshot tools.
And, with that update, Windows 10 devices are already more accessible than ever, thanks to Windows 10 S Mode. Plus, if you’re looking for an even more lightweight and secure version of Windows 10, you may be in luck – there is a rumored Windows 10 Lean Mode on the way, which should be even more of a walled garden.
It’s through these updates, revisions and spin-offs that Microsoft’s OS continues to evolve over time, with features and support that extend way further than the traditional computer.
How to use Windows 10
Stuck with figuring out how to work this newfangled operating system? Check out our detailed guide for how to use Windows 10!
And now that Windows 10 on ARM is a thing, we could see more of these low power modes that have Windows 10 adapting to the hardware it runs on. We’ve also heard some rumors that suggest that Microsoft is busy working on a super-secure, ‘next-generation’ OS, that could be completely modular.
If you want to pick up Windows 10, Microsoft calls for $139 (£119, AU$199) for the Home version, while Windows 10 Pro will set you back $199 (£219, AU$339). However, you can easily find downloads of Windows 10 Home for just $99 in the US.
After first diving deeper into the major beats of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, let’s determine for you whether a copy of the OS is worth the price.
Windows 10 October 2018 Update
Now that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update has been released, we have access to several brand new Windows 10 features that add some new utilities that we’ve been asking for from years. Let’s break down the most important features.
Your Phone App
With the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, there is way more compatibility with your phone – as long as you’re an Android user. Natively within Windows 10, you can now add photos from your phone, respond to messages and so much more. Finally, Windows 10 and Android users have access to some of the cross-platform capabilities that the Apple ecosystem boasts with macOS Mojave and iOS 12.
October 2018 Update Issues
Experiencing issues with the latest version of Windows 10 you just can't figure out? Check out our guide on the top Windows 10 October 2018 Update problems and how to fix them!
Cloud Clipboard and Clipboard History
If you’re anything like us, you have to copy and paste about a million things a day. And, luckily, Microsoft is making that easier for everyone. With the October Update, you’ll have access to a Clipboard History that’ll keep track of everything you’ve copied. By hitting Win + V, you can quickly access different things you’ve copied, which can save a ton of time.
But, that’s not the only Clipboard feature in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. We’ve also got the Cloud Clipboard, which will sync your Clipboard across different devices. This means you can save time, even when you’re using multiple Windows 10 devices.
One of the biggest problem with Windows 10, or any modern desktop OS for that matter, is the sheer amount of clutter that can build up on your hard drive over time. Luckily, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update has a fix – Storage Sense.
This awesome new technology will automatically archive old, unused files in the cloud, while getting rid of local files. This is a great middle ground between archival and free disk space, as you still have access to all the files that have been uploaded to the cloud.
Windows 10 News App
One of the headline features of macOS Mojave was the iOS News app getting ported over to the desktop, and Microsoft has followed suit with a revamped Windows 10 News app. This handy little news aggregator will collect all your news in one curated location, that you can customize however you want. The bonus? It looks amazing.
Dark Mode in File Explorer
Windows 10 has had a Dark Mode for years now, but for some reason File Explorer was stuck with its all-white color scheme. Luckily, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is here to save our eyes. Dark Mode has finally been implemented for File Explorer, and it looks great – especially if you’ve had Dark Mode enabled this whole time like we have.
First reviewed: July 2015
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this review