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Windows 10: The 5 best new features

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:03PM EST
Windows 10 Features
Image: Dell

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Windows. 10. Is. Here.

For a while there, it felt as though this day might never come. The world, trapped for an eternity in the nightmare that was Windows 8. But just as Microsoft was the cause of all that ailed us in Windows 8, so too will it be the cure. With Windows 10, Microsoft formally admits that its awful vision of a single interface for tablets and desktop computers alike was just that: Awful.

There is no question that the single most important reason to upgrade your computer to Windows 10 from Windows 8 is to bury the previous-generation operating system forever and never look back. That’s not the only reason, though.

Windows 10’s best feature might simply be that it’s not Windows 8, but in this article we’ll discuss five more fantastic features of Windows 10 that will make you want to upgrade right away.

MORE COVERAGE: Windows 10: The first 5 things you need to do immediately after you install it

Start Menu

Ask (1,497,832 times), and it shall be given you.

Users hated — and I mean, absolutely HATED — Microsoft’s decision to kill the Start Menu in Windows 8. After well over a decade of relying on that little Start button to give us access to a wide range of software and settings, it had now vanished into thin air.

Microsoft brought the Start button back in Windows 8.1, but it did so in the most heartless imaginable way: Clicking it would take users directly to the tile-based Start screen they loathed so much.

In Windows 10, that entire Start screen has been shrunken down and merged with traditional Start elements to create an all new Start Menu when the OS is used in desktop mode. It’s instantly recognizable, and you’ll love having it back.

Edge Browser

OK seriously, Internet Explorer is terrible. You know it, I know it, and Microsoft finally knows it.

Windows 10 marks the start of a transition away from Internet Explorer toward a brand new browser called Microsoft Edge. It’s faster, it’s sleeker, and most importantly, it’s not Internet Explorer.

Many companies are still reliant on IE, so Microsoft isn’t going to anger them by just tossing its old browser to the curb. Eventually, however, it will go the way of the dinosaur and leave Edge in its wake.


Apple’s introduction of Siri caused all of its major rivals to create their own copycat products, and Cortana emerged among them. Every company copies every other company in consumer tech though, and Cortana is actually quite useful.

Of course, confining Cortana to the Windows Phone platform meant that about 19 people on the planet got to enjoy it. Now, billions will eventually have access to Microsoft’s voice-controlled virtual assistant.

Continuum Mode

Microsoft still insists that one operating system is the way to go for desktop computers and tablets alike, but in Windows 10, it actually decided to optimize the interface depending on which type of machine you’re on. And best of all, the company made it wonderfully simple to switch between the two different interfaces on hybrid devices like the Microsoft Surface line of tablets.

Here’s a great quick video that shows how Continuum Mode works:


Last, but most certainly not least, Windows 10 is completely free for users running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, as long as they’re not enterprise users. This is Microsoft’s way of saying, “we’re sorry Windows 8 was such an unrelenting travesty,” and it’s certainly appreciated.

Now that you know the five best new features in Windows 10, find out how to skip the queue and upgrade to Windows 10 right now.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.