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Today is August 1st, 2016 beginning the first month without the Free Windows 10 upgrade. The free offer ended just over two days ago. According to one Microsoft MVP, “To have qualified for the free offer, all upgrades must have completed and reached the “Welcome” screen by 11:59 PM UTC-10 (Hawaii) on July 29.” Let’s have a moment of silence for the end of an era. Microsoft has declared that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows ever. So what’s next?

Today is August 1st, 2016 beginning the first month without the Free Windows 10 upgrade.  The free offer ended just over two days ago. According to one Microsoft MVP, “To have qualified for the free offer, all upgrades must have completed and reached the “Welcome” screen by 11:59 PM UTC-10 (Hawaii) on July 29.”  Let’s have a moment of silence for the end of an era.  Microsoft has declared that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows ever. So what’s next?
 
Well it seems that the current plan is to have one version of Windows to rule them all. (Lord of the Windows?) One Windows that will simply be upgraded for free for life.  For life?  That is a major shift.  Let’s see, since the first release of Microsoft Windows Version 1.0 in 1985, we have had an ever evolving variety of Microsoft’s desktop operating system.  Here’s a brief look at three of the previous versions of Microsoft Windows and just some of the features they added to our computing experience over the years.  These are small additions in comparison to what we have now, but they were big back then. 
 
WINDOWS 95
 
Plug-and-Play - Allows hardware devices to be automatically installed with the proper software.

32-Bit - 32-Bit operating system allows the computer to run faster and more efficiently.

Registry - Combines the power of multiple configuration files into two files.

Memory - Windows 95 features improved memory handling processes.

Right mouse click - Allows for user access and text manipulation via both buttons.

CD Player - Enhanced CD Player with improved usability and AutoPlay feature.
 

WINDOWS 98
 
Protection - Windows 98 includes additional protection for important files on your computer such as backing up your Registry automatically.

Improved support - Improved support for new devices such as AGP, DirectX, DVD, USB, MMX, 

Internet Explorer 4.0 - Included Internet Explorer 4.0

Customizable Taskbar - Windows adds many nice new features to the taskbar not available in previous versions.

Active Desktop - Includes Active Desktop that allows for users to customize their desktop with the look of the Internet.
 
WINDOWS 2000
 
Support for FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS.
Increased uptime of the system and significantly fewer OS reboot scenarios.
 
Protects memory of individual apps and processes to avoid a single app bringing the system down.
 
Encrypted File Systems protects sensitive data.
 
Secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) supports tunneling in to private LAN over public Internet.
 
Supports Universal Serial Bus (USB) and IEEE 1394 for greater bandwidth devices

WINDOWS 7
 
Speed – Windows 7 is now faster and more responsive compared to previous versions.

Compatibility – Almost all applications that worked on the previous version should run on Windows 7

Aero-shake – This features allows you to minimize multiple windows by shaking the grabbing and shaking the title bar of the windows you want to keep.

Stacking – Drag a window to the sides of your screen and it fills have the screen.  Move to the top to fill the whole screen.

Touch – This feature is available with touch enabled computers and allowed touch screen interactions.
 
WINDOWS 8
 
Live Tiles – Windows 8 apps can provide you with information without having to opening them. Microsoft apps like Mail, Calendar, Photos and News,  allow for viewing new e-mail, upcoming events, thumbnail images and the latest headlines

Lock Screen – You can select up to seven apps that will constantly run in the background and send notifications to the lock screen. The Weather and Calendar apps can be set to show information on the Lock Screen at all times.

System-Wide Search – Windows 8 now allows you to search for files, apps, and specific settings directly from the Start Screen, just by typing. For example, if you wanted to search for “birthday cakes” The Windows 8 search will be able to look through any apps or files related to birthday cakes.

Refresh & Reset – The refresh option is very useful when you find your PC running slow or unresponsive. With this feature, you can refresh the PC without changing any of your files, Windows Store apps, or personalization settings.

The “reset” feature comes in handy when you want to give your personal computer to a new owner. This is a sure way to make sure that everything is cleaned off the computer.
 

There are many more changes, upgrades, enhancements, improvements, additions, etc., etc., and etc., that have been done to the MS Windows infrastructure that are too numerous to list here.  The point is, Windows is a constantly evolving entity.  It will continue to be developed and updated as long as it is needed.  With Windows 10 being the final version, it remains to be seen how Microsoft will brand and present the future of Windows 10.

Note: See my article entitled Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately for more news on Windows 10.





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