Microsoft has begun rolling out the first major update for Windows 10, previously codenamed Threshold 2. The update includes an accumulation of changes already tested through Insider builds and is being delivered automatically via Windows Updates.
The update includes a bevy of feature improvements and bug fixes but nothing that is immediately apparent. As reported here back in September (Windows 10 Latest Insider Build: What’s New & What Might be Coming), the Start Menu now supports up to 2048 tiles, increased from 512, and four rows of tiles can now be included rather than the old three rows.
Personalization options under Control Panel has seen the re-introduction of additional Theme settings, the way it used to be in Windows 7 and 8. And two new items have been added into the Privacy options – Call history and Email – allowing users to control which apps can access and send emails, and/or access call history.
Support for Cortana has been extended to include 4 more countries – Japan, Canada, India, and Australia – albeit with less versatility than the US version. If you’re new to Cortana, you’ll need to first turn the feature on:
- Simply click the Search icon in the Taskbar and then follow the prompts:
Other changes include:
- Activation: Users can now enter a Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key to activate Windows 10 directly, without needing to upgrade an existing system
- Cortana: Can now recognize phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses to set reminders, as well as keeping track of event and movie bookings. **Some features apply to US only.
- Microsoft Edge: Improved performance and security, as well as new Tab Preview and a Sync features.
- Default apps: Now added Skype Video, Messaging, Phone and Sway.
The roll out will be staggered, meaning that some will receive it before others. Mine came through yesterday and I’m happy to report all went smoothly with no issues. However, if you’re still toying with the idea of upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, I’d suggest waiting a little longer yet, until this major update has passed the test of time.
- View Microsoft’s official announcement here: First Major Update for Windows 10 Available Today