Anyone that’s followed Windows 10 closely already knows that Microsoft isn’t releasing new versions of Windows like it used to. Rather than giving its operating system an overhaul every few years, Windows 10 was launched as a platform, where smaller, tangible semi-annual free updates have become the custom.
Windows 10 news
This new approach is working out well. Windows 10 hasn’t just taken Windows 7’s mantle as the most popular operating system: it’s exceeded 800 million users, and it’s getting closer to that one billion mark with every passing day. This is in large part to the constant updates, the most recent of which being the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.
However, Windows 10 is way more than the sum of its updates these days. Right now, the operating system is mutating into a many different spin-offs, each of which specifically target a different type of hardware. For example, Windows 10 S Mode locks down the OS, only allowing Microsoft Store apps to be installed. It’s restrictive, to be sure, but it’s also the best option for low-end hardware and inexperienced users. Another example is Windows 10 Lite, which may be Microsoft’s early attempt to compete with the best Chromebooks and the ChromeOS.
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.
All of these spin-offs and updates have helped to make Windows 10 the most modern operating system out there – ushering features and support that go way beyond the traditional PC.
If this sounds like it’s up your alley, and you want to pick up a Windows 10 license for yourself, you can get the Home Edition for $139 (£119, AU$199) and Windows 10 Pro for $199 (£219, AU$330). You can also find downloads of Windows 10 Home Edition for just $99 in the US, if you look hard enough.
After diving into all the major beats of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, we’ll help you decide if Windows 10 is worth your time, money and hard drive space.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update
The Windows 10 May 2019 Update just landed. With it are a few awesome new features and improvements – as well as minor yet completely welcome additions – that make your desktop environment even more secure, not to mention more efficient for an even more seamless user experience.
Bear in mind that there are also a couple of features that Microsoft is doing away with and a handful of features that Microsoft may completely remove from a future update. But, what’s worth noting here are the best new features of this latest update.
We get it, and Microsoft gets it too. There’s always that uncertainty of running a new .exe file from the web, especially if it’s not from a well-known software company. Users who are very particular about their security would typically utilize a virtual machine so that they don’t damage their computer if the file is in fact infected or corrupt. The millions of users who have absolutely no idea how to set up this virtual machine, however, would probably just risk it.
Well, they won’t have to any longer. With the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, everyone can simply utilize this nifty Windows Sandbox feature, which basically creates a temporary disposable desktop environment in which you can run that .exe file and test the app you’re installing. Doing so isolates it – and any potential harm it might cause.
With this update, Windows Sandbox is only available in Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise.
May 2019 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 May 2019 Update problems and how to fix them!
Removing built-in apps
Along with Windows Sandbox, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update is also adding more to the list of built-in apps you can remove, freeing up space in your storage – or at least letting you squeezing out every ounce of extra space you can get, if you don’t want to shell out for a bigger hard drive or solid state drive.
The apps added to the roster include Mail and Calendar, Movies & TV, Groove Music, Calculator, Paint 3D and 3D Viewer.
Decoupling Cortana and search
Microsoft Search still has a long way to go, but thanks to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, at least you won’t have suffer Cortana when your doing a search in the Windows 10 taskbar, if you’re not a big fan of the feature. This lets you perform text searches for your most commonly used apps, files and documents and most recent activities separately from voice queries, giving you the option to choose the approach you’re most comfortable with and stick with it.
New kaomoji face characters
Emoji fans will be pleased to know that the Windows 10 May 2019 Update also comes with a handful of adorable kaomoji face characters, accessible via the emoji shortcut, so that Windows 10 users won’t have to create them manually when sending cute messages to their family, friends and colleagues.
Windows 10 users no longer have to endure lengthy updates, especially if their attention is required elsewhere, not to mention choose when and what they want to update. Microsoft is giving control back to its users, as far as updates are concerned. With the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, users can now pause updates, choose when to install the new update and even opt out of it, if they want to.
In addition, Microsoft is now allocating about 7GB of storage space specifically for Windows Updates. This way, Windows 10 users will no longer have to scramble to free up space just to get the most recent updates.
Less cluttered Start Menu
One of the most frustrating about the Windows 10 in general is the amount of clutter it has, so it’s a great thing that Microsoft is starting to clean up its act, at least when it comes to its Start Menu. With the update, all the bloatware are grouped in one section, essentially cutting the number of pinned apps you’ll see in the Start Menu.
The bad news is that this new menu design will only be available to new user accounts and newly set up Windows 10 computers.
In addition to these six big changes, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update boasts minor ones that users might also appreciate including a new brightness slider, improved Windows Mixed Reality VR support, and a password-less Microsoft Account and Windows 10 login.
First reviewed: July 2015
Images Credit: Microsoft
Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this review