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.
Ever since Windows 10 hit the streets, it’s grown into 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 before.
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.
These days, Windows 10 PCs and devices are more accessible than ever, thanks to alternative modes like Windows 10 S Mode. If Windows 10 S doesn’t go far enough in terms of security, you’re in luck – Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Windows 10 Lean Mode, which will lock down the OS even more.
It’s thanks to Windows 10 updates, revisions and spin-offs that this OS continues to move with the times, with features and support that go way further than what you may expect from a traditional PC.
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’re looking to upgrade to 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 should be able to find downloads of Windows 10 Home for just $99 in the US – not to mention all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals you’re likely to find for the OS.
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
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally here, and while there are definitely some October Update problems out there – which can even lead to data loss – there are still some brand new Windows 10 features that make the OS better than ever. Let’s break down the most important features and updates of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
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.
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!
Snip & Sketch
Microsoft has killed the Snipping Tool that we all know and love in the October 2018 Update, replacing it with Snip & Sketch – which is much better. Instead of having to open a program, hitting Ctrl+N and dragging a square over what you want to capture, you can just hit Win + Shift + S to immediately jump into a partial screenshot. You can use a traditional box, circle or even draw a custom shape. Your screenshot will immediately go to your clipboard, too, saving a ton of time.
It’s a huge improvement, and an example of Windows 10 adopting some of macOS’ best features.
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