Microsoft Windows 10

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Windows 10
Windows 10 Logo.svg
developer Microsoft
License (s) Microsoft EULA ( Proprietary Software )
First publ. July 29, 2015
Current  version 10.0.19041.450 from August 11, 2020
(21 days ago)
Kernel Windows NT 10.0
ancestry Windows NT
Architecture (s) x86 , x64 , ARM

Microsoft Windows 10 is an operating system by the US company Microsoft that was released on July 29, 2015. It is the successor to Windows 8.1 and was introduced for the first time on September 30, 2014 in parallel to Microsoft Windows Server 2016 , the successor to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2.

Since October 1, 2014, “Technical Preview”, later called “ Insider Preview ”, have been published in advance of Windows 10. The operating system was offered to users of the predecessors Windows 7 and Windows 8 free of charge until July 29, 2016 if it was not previously a volume license .

The counterpart of the operating system for some mobile devices such as smartphones is known as Windows 10 Mobile .

The market share of Windows 10 with the Windows operating systems was in April 2020 at 73 percent.

New release model

Microsoft sees Windows 10 as the last Windows version following the classic versioning pattern . In the future one does not want to publish any more new versions; Instead, they see "Windows as a service": users of Windows 10 should not only receive bug fixes, but also new functions that were not included at the time of the original installation.


Windows 10 can run on a desktop computer and notebook as well as on a tablet computer , smartphone , convertible , embedded system , Raspberry Pi 2, 3 & 4, Xbox One and the HoloLens and thus represents a uniform software platform for different device classes the graphical user interface adapts to its properties depending on the type of device.

With convertibles, Windows 10 can use the new " Continuum " function to automatically detect whether a keyboard is connected or not and adjust the user interface accordingly.

New start menu

While the start menu was removed in Windows 8 and a so-called start page was offered instead, a revised version of the start menu was returned to Windows 10: It offers the familiar overview of all installed apps, buttons, among other things, for shutting down the system and the option to Attach program links, similar to the start page introduced with Windows 8, in the form of tiles. In this way, the function of the start screen is integrated into the start menu. Since the size of the start menu is adjustable and can also be used to fill the screen, it replaces the start screen.

Virtual desktops

In Windows 10 there are virtual desktops with which several desktops can be used for different areas. Different windows can be placed on each virtual desktop . With the help of the "Task View", which can be reached via a button on the taskbar or the keyboard shortcut Windowstaste+ ↹ , the desktops can be managed and application windows can be exchanged between them. In addition, you can switch between the desktops with the shortcuts Strg+ Windowstaste+ / and one can be removed with Strg+ Windowstaste+ F4.

Personal Assistant "Cortana"

As with Windows Phone 8.1, the Personal Assistant Cortana is also being used in Windows 10. The search function known from Windows 8.1 is supplemented by Cortana. This can be controlled either via keyboard input or voice input.

Microsoft Edge web browser

Windows 10 includes a new web browser that is supposed to be faster, more efficient and more customizable. Microsoft presented three new features in advance: Web pages can be provided with notes and the document created like a screenshot can be saved and made available to friends or colleagues; a " reading mode " hides elements that interfere with the flow of reading, and a bookmark service similar to Instapaper is integrated into the browser.

Edge used the revised EdgeHTML “engine” instead of the Trident HTML renderer used in Internet Explorer until it switched to the Chromium “engine” . Since January 15, 2020, the new Edge browser with a new "engine" has been updated via Windows.

Windows holographic

Windows Holographic is a platform for augmented reality applications . The corresponding data glasses were introduced under the name HoloLens .

Security functions

Windows 10 supports Standard 2.0 of the FIDO Alliance for authentication on the Internet. For this purpose, both the U2F standard for universal two-factor authentication and the UAF standard for universal authentication without a password have been implemented. In this context, the option of biometric authentication of users under the term "Microsoft Hello" was introduced.


The Windows 10 Media Player can (with a paid add-in from the Microsoft Store) play video data with High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and open files in the Matroska container format .

DirectX 12 is integrated in Windows 10 , which is supposed to improve performance through low-level programming. DirectX 12 also offers support for manufacturer-independent multi-GPU setups.


For Windows 10 there are no longer different versions of the Windows Store (previously there was one for Windows Phone and another for Windows 8 and its successor systems), but a uniform store for all versions of Windows 10. Apps from the Windows Store, which in the past could only be used full-screen, can now be executed in windows and thus extensively changed in their display size. A number of apps are delivered directly with the operating system, including Microsoft Edge as well as a limited version of Microsoft OneNote. OneDrive plays a central role in the synchronization between different Microsoft devices. All games that the user has installed on their devices should also be displayed in the new Xbox app and they can be played across platforms. The presentation demonstrated a multiplayer game started on the Xbox One that was joined by a second person playing on a PC.

Applications for Windows 10 are based on the Universal Windows Platform (also: UWP), with which they can be developed for different devices with the same code base.

Data transfer

With the standard settings suggested by Windows 10 during the express installation, Windows 10 transfers a large number of data to Microsoft. For the voice assistant Cortana, Microsoft uses z. B. the communication history and the content of messages. In addition, the following information is used, among others: location information and history of the device, contacts, voice input, search history, calendar information. This information is stored on a Microsoft server on the Internet . The transferred data also includes a cross-app advertising ID with which it is possible to clearly identify a user when using different apps and to show him personalized advertising as soon as he visits pages on the Internet. In addition, unspecified information on writing behavior and information on location determination (e.g. via WLANs in the area) are transmitted. Windows 10 also grants many apps access to the webcam and microphone by default.

Windows spotlight

Various images provided by the Bing search engine appear on the lock screen. The user can rate these images. In addition, the user can decide whether he would like to see similar images in the future or not.


Windows 10 is available in different editions, divided according to target group and purpose.

Desktop and notebook

  • Windows 10 Home for home users in private households
  • Windows 10 Pro for home and business
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations for home users and companies with demanding requirements for compute-intensive workloads and with server-like hardware
  • Windows 10 Enterprise , with additional functions for companies. For example, since version 1607 there have been 13 group policy settings, particularly those relating to the lock screen and store ("cloud content") that are only available in Windows 10 Enterprise and Education. The user purchases a two-year subscription called Software Assurance with the purchase . If he does not extend this, he is obliged to switch to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 provide additional functions for companies via a subscription model and require Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (formerly LTSB ), also entitles you to use the Long-Term Servicing Channel or Branch , which enables 10 years of support without functional upgrades. This edition lacks the Windows Store, Edge and Cortana and all apps except Settings , Search and Contact Support . The desktop apps known as accessories in earlier Windows versions are still included . Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC was previously released in versions 1507, 1607 and 1809 . If a function upgrade to a new LTSC version, which is now only released 2 to 3 years, is to be carried out, this must be purchased, unlike the other editions. The LTSC edition is intended for use in business-critical areas (rule of thumb: computer without Office).
  • Windows 10 Education as a special version of the Enterprise Edition for educational institutions
  • Windows 10 Pro Education for educational institutions that may be preinstalled on PCs. Comparable to the Pro version. Available since the Anniversary Update .
  • Windows 10 S as a reduced version, on which only applications from the Microsoft Store can be installed. A change to the Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro version is possible free of charge in one irreversible step. A fee originally intended by Microsoft for this change has not been introduced. Windows 10 S is designed to compete with Google Chrome OS , especially in the education sector and for inexpensive hardware.

All editions are available as 32-bit and 64-bit versions as well as versions without "media-relevant technologies" (N or KN versions).

Small mobile devices

Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Windows 10 IoT Core , free IoT version for the Raspberry Pi 2/3, MinnowBoard Max and DragonBoard 410c
  • Windows 10 IoT Core Pro , commercial IoT version ("OEM-exclusive SKU") for the Raspberry Pi 2/3, MinnowBoard Max and DragonBoard 410c
  • Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB


  • Windows 10 Team is a device-specific version of Windows 10 for the Surface Hub .


With Windows 10, Microsoft is abolishing Windows Phone and Windows RT and using the uniform name "Windows 10" on all platforms. Windows 10 is offered as an update on current Windows Phone smartphones. For devices with Windows RT, however, there is no option to switch to Windows 10.

The Windows Technical Preview has been available for download as 32- and 64-bit versions since the beginning of October 2014, initially in English ( USA ), English ( UK ), Chinese and Portuguese ( BR ) (around 4 GB). The automatic update function could not be deactivated for the preview versions, and Microsoft reserved the right to collect usage data in the preview version.

In November 2014, Microsoft internally increased the version number of the kernel from 6.4 to 10.0 and announced that it would be included in the next release.

Since the end of January 2015 (Build 9926), in addition to the German version, over 20 other languages ​​have been available as ISO images for downloading after registering as part of the Windows Insider Program or on corresponding channels such as MSDN or TechNet . The German-language preview version was provided as a downloadable package, both as a 32-bit (≈ 3 GB) and a 64-bit version (≈ 4 GB).

Since the end of April 2015 (Build 10074) the pre-release versions have been called Windows Insider Preview .

The finished version was distributed as of July 29, 2015 (Build 10240), although it is identical to the Insider Preview Build with the same build number that was distributed on July 15 . The five million or so participants in the Windows Insider Program were using the finished version even before it was released (“release day”). Windows users who upgrade , i. H. a change to a newer operating system version, Windows 10 received in several steps in the following days and weeks.

System requirements

Windows 10 basically has similar hardware requirements as the previous versions Windows 7 or Windows 8 (.1) . In contrast to Windows 8, no minimum screen resolution of 1024 × 768 pixels is required to start apps .

Minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10
component x86 architecture
32-bit version
(up to version 1909 for new devices) *
64-bit version
processor 1- GHz - processor or - SoC ( IA-32 ) with
PAE , NX and SSE2
additional 64-bit mode and support of the commands
CMPXCHG16b , PrefetchW and LAHF / SAHF.
random access memory 1 GB (up to version 1511 or with update) 2 GB
2 GB (from version 1607 for new devices)
graphic card DirectX 9+ with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display Resolution of 800 × 600 pixels
required free
16 GB (up to version 1809) 20 GB (up to version 1809)
32 GB (from version 1903)
*Up to version 1909 for original equipment manufacturers ( English original equipment manufacturer , shortly OEM ). The 32-bit update to version 2004 is just as regularly available to users as the manual 32-bit installation.

However, there are some limitations, especially with older computers. For example, energy-saving, but also low-performance computers from around 2012/2013, mostly tablets that use an Atom processor from the Clover Trail platform from Intel (Atom Z26xx series), are no longer supported since version 1703 "Creators Update". In these cases, however, Microsoft guarantees that it will support version 1607 "Anniversary Update" until January 2023, just as the corresponding devices would have had with the pre-installed Windows 8.1.

Windows 10 versions


For all Windows 10 editions except the LTSB / (C) editions, new versions (feature updates) are published twice a year via the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) as part of the Modern Lifecycle - mostly in March and September. Feature updates will each receive 18 months of support, with Enterprise and Education Editions receiving an additional 12 months of support for the September feature update. Obtaining support requires that all previous security updates have been installed. The LTSB / (C) editions receive five years of regular support and a further five years of extended support as part of the Fixed Lifecycle . For the latest LTSB / (C) edition, regular support ends on January 9, 2024, extended support on January 9, 2029.

Microsoft continuously publishes system updates (“Updates”) to fix errors and add functions. In addition, there are regular cumulative packages that update the Windows platform with all individual updates that have appeared after the releases and add functions from the "Insider Builds".

Since build 10586 from November 12, 2015, a four-digit number consisting of the last two digits of the year and the two-digit month has been used as the version number. Build 10586 is Windows 10 1511, which stands for 2015, month 11, i.e. November.


version Build Name (code name) Publication date End of support
Home / Pro Enterprise / Education LTSC
1507 10240 Release to Manufacturing (RTM)
(Threshold 1)
July 29, 2015 Older version; no longer supported: May 9, 2017 Older version; still supported: October 14, 2025
1511 10586 November Update
(Threshold 2)
November 10, 2015 Older version; no longer supported: October 10, 2017 -
1607 14393 Anniversary Update
(Redstone 1)
2nd August 2016 Older version; no longer supported: April 10, 2018 Older version; no longer supported: April 9, 2019 Older version; still supported: October 13, 2026
Older version; still supported:January 2023 for Intel Atom Z2000
1703 15063 Creators Update
(Redstone 2)
5th April 2017 Older version; no longer supported: October 9, 2018 Older version; no longer supported: October 8, 2019 -
1709 16299 Fall Creators Update
(Redstone 3)
17th October 2017 Older version; no longer supported: April 9, 2019 Older version; still supported: October 13, 2020
1803 17134 April 2018 Update
(Redstone 4)
April 30, 2018 Older version; no longer supported: November 12, 2019 Older version; still supported: May 11, 2021
1809 17763 October 2018 Update
(Redstone 5)
October 2, 2018 Older version; still supported: November 10, 2020 Older version; still supported: May 11, 2021 Current version: January 9, 2029
1903 18362 May 2019 Update
May 21, 2019 Older version; still supported: December 8, 2020 -
1909 18363 November 2019 update
November 12, 2019 Older version; still supported: May 11, 2021 Older version; still supported: May 10, 2022 -
2004 19041 April 2020 update
May 27, 2020 Current version: December 14, 2021 -
Older version; no longer supported
Older version; still supported
Current version
Current preliminary version
Future version

Version 1507 (RTM)

The first RTM version of Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. According to authors of the trade press, Windows was still unfinished with this build.

In order to activate Windows 10 for free, you had to upgrade from an already activated Windows 7 or 8 / 8.1. Support for the RTM version ended on May 9, 2017.

Version 1511 (November Update)

The November update brought detailed improvements, such as the unified look of many context menus. For the first time, Windows 10 could be activated directly with a Windows 7 or 8 / 8.1 product key for a new installation within the period specified by Microsoft.

Version 1607 (Anniversary Update)

The " Anniversary Update" for Windows 10 includes the following new features:

  • Improved input pen support with Windows Ink .
  • Revised start menu.
  • Cortana understands more commands, is more deeply integrated into the system and also works on the locked screen .
  • Edge browser supports extensions and tab pinning .
  • Windows Defender can start in “offline” mode even before the operating system is loaded.
  • Some group policy objects lose their effect in Windows 10 Pro.
  • The Windows Subsystem for Linux , a compatibility layer for running Linux - program files . This can be activated as an experimental function from this version.
  • In the 32-bit version, the system requirements for new devices have increased from 1 to 2 GB of RAM.

The build numbers of the desktop and mobile version have now been adjusted, which means that there was a bigger jump in the build number.

For Intel Atom Z2000-based computers - these are Atom CPUs of the Cloverview series, which were mainly used in netbooks and tablets - Microsoft has extended support until January 2023, analogous to the support period of Windows 8.1, because it is for later Windows versions (from 1703, Creators Update ) no longer have compatible graphics drivers from Intel.

Version 1703 (Creators Update)

The "Creators Update" was released on April 6, 2017 for manual installation. Distribution via Windows Update started on April 11, 2017. The update contains numerous detailed improvements, in particular the following changes and new features:

  • The data protection options are explained in more detail and more transparently.
  • Paint 3D makes it possible to make simple three-dimensional drawings.
  • The night mode changes the color temperature of the screen output depending on the time of day.
  • A game mode is intended to improve the performance in computer games by releasing resources.
  • Improved display of older applications when scaling the screen.

Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update)

The update, released on October 17, 2017, includes the following new features:

  • OneDrive "Files on demand" function: Files stored in the cloud are only downloaded when needed.
  • Supervised folder access: Only programs that have been given the appropriate permission are allowed to write to personal folders.
  • Microsoft Edge can display tables of contents of PDF files and fill out form data.

Version 1803 (April 2018 update)

The update contains the following new features:

  • Improved person bar
  • New timeline function
  • Improvements in the update process
  • Support of the HEIF image format without additional programs
  • Fluent Design in Settings and some pre-installed apps

Due to COVID-19, the end of support for the editions (IoT) Enterprise and Education has been postponed by six months from November 10, 2020 to May 11, 2021 in order to give affected user groups more time for an upgrade.

Version 1809 (October 2018 Update)

The update, released on October 2, 2018, contains the following new features:

  • System and storage optimization (Storage Sense)
  • Windows Defender System Guard for all Windows 10 editions (improved behavior detection)
  • Extension of Cortana support for Windows and device installation
  • New game bar with FPS display, processor and RAM usage
  • New functions for the Edge browser
  • The clipboard can contain multiple items and can be synchronized between multiple devices

The delivery of the update was initially stopped due to errors, Microsoft warned against the installation due to data loss for some users. A corrected version 1809 has been available since November 13, 2018. Since then, Microsoft has specified the day of the re-release as the release day and counts the service deadlines from there.

Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)

This update improves stability and includes the following new features:

  • Acrylic effect in the login screen.
  • New bright theme for the start menu, the taskbar, apps, Explorer and a new standard background.
  • Windows Sandbox (virtualized Windows 10 for testing programs)
  • Updates can now be temporarily paused on every Windows 10 edition.
  • Further preinstalled apps can now be uninstalled in the start menu.
  • Cortana has been disconnected from search and the search view has been redesigned. Cortana and Search were also separated in the settings.
  • The emoji panel has been updated.
  • In the "Cut and Sketch" app, you can now cut out individual windows.
  • When version 1903 is shipped, the type of installation changes to prevent installation crashes.

Version 1909 (November 2019 update)

In addition to improvements in terms of performance, reliability and energy efficiency, the update contains the following new features:

  • Appointments can be entered directly using the calendar function on the taskbar.
  • When pointing with the mouse, the navigation area of ​​the start menu is automatically displayed.
  • By default, apps and programs are sorted in descending order by date in the settings instead of by name.
  • Voice assistants can be run from the lock screen.
  • The search field in Explorer is supported by Windows search, so that OneDrive content is included.

When updating from version 1903 , the usual upgrade mechanism does not apply. In this case, the new functions will be distributed as regular updates.

Version 2004 (April 2020 update)

According to the previous cycle, this version should actually have been called 2003. However, according to Microsoft, it was named in 2004 to avoid confusion with Windows Server 2003 . Microsoft no longer allows OEMs to pre- install the 32-bit version on new devices.

  • Redesigned settings app
  • Memory function for applications: The “Restart apps” function can be activated in the login options, which re-opens the previously opened applications after shutdown or restart. This means that there is no further waiting time after logging in, as the applications are already loaded in the login screen.
  • Virtual desktops can now be renamed.
  • Support for Wi-Fi 6 and WPA3 .


Windows 10 follows Windows 8.1 and was initially referred to as Windows 9 in many articles and by Microsoft managers. According to Microsoft's head of marketing, Tony Prophet, the name Windows 9 was skipped to make it clear that the change “is not a step-by-step step compared to Windows 8.1, but a fundamental step”. However, there has also been a lot of speculation about skipping version 9, including a technical reason: Older Windows programs might search for the string "Windows 9" to check compatibility with the currently running Windows operating system and would incorrectly label it Identify Windows 9x . Another reason that is speculated about is based on marketing considerations: Accordingly, the number 10 should express equivalence with the Apple operating system OS X , where the "X" also stands for the number 10.

The names of the new browser Edge and the voice assistant Cortana as well as the working title of Windows 10 "Threshold" can be traced back to the Halo game series . The code name "Redstone" for the second major version of Windows 10 goes back to the game Minecraft .

Controversy and criticism


Cartoon Windows 10 logo on the occasion of the Big Brother Award 2018 category technology to Microsoft Germany for the telemetry data transmission with Windows 10 that can hardly be deactivated
CC-BY-SA / Logo: Microsoft Corporation; Assembly : digital courage

The transfer of data to Microsoft that was more extensive than in the previous operating systems caused severe criticism . The company is based on Apple , Facebook and Google in terms of data collection . In view of this, consumer advocates warn against a comprehensive investigation of the user - the consumer advice center writes that this “transforms the PC into a kind of private listening system”. Windows 10 transmits user data such as name, age, gender, location, purchased digital goods and sometimes also accessed websites or search terms to Microsoft, which then evaluates them. The collection of user data can be partially restricted, but not completely deactivated. The transmission of diagnostic and usage data cannot be switched off completely.

The Consumer Agency NRW According to the data protection rules are inadequate and would not adequately inform the user of the use of the data collected. However, the Bavarian data protection authority takes the opposite view. She told ComputerBase that the data protection regulations were relatively extensive and clearly understandable. It is also welcomed that the user is given many options to protect privacy. For example, it is possible to adjust the settings for individual apps separately.

The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision has subjected the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system (Build 14393) and the latest version at the time of the investigation after the Creators Update (Build 15063) to a thorough check. As a result, companies can and are allowed to use the enterprise version of the operating system without hesitation in compliance with data protection regulations if some settings in the group policies are changed beforehand. However, other European supervisory authorities showed no understanding for the Bavarian assessment. According to the Dutch data protection authority Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens (AP), Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system violates European data protection law. "Because of Microsoft's approach, users have no control over their data," said the agency and Wilbert Tomesen , the deputy data protection officer in the Netherlands, says: "It turns out that Microsoft's operating system tracks every step you take on your computer . That leads to an intrusive profile of yourself. "

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has, as part of its task as a national cyber security authority in terms of digital consumer protection for citizens, companies, authorities and government agencies, an extensive study on system structure, logging, hardening and security functions in Windows 10 , in short: SiSyPHuS Win10 created. In the first sub-goal, the BSI dealt with the investigation of the telemetry data that Windows 10 transmits to Microsoft during standard use. In the first result of the investigation, the BSI announced that the operating system was transferring extensive usage and system information to Microsoft. This flow of data can be stopped technologically with great effort, but in normal user practice it is largely unrealistic, even for experienced users.

In April 2018 Microsoft Germany received a German Big Brother Award in the technology category for the telemetry (transmission of diagnostic data) in "Windows 10", which can hardly be deactivated according to laudator Frank Rosengart ( CCC ) .

Change from standard programs

The browser manufacturer Mozilla criticized the way Windows handles standard programs: Regardless of which browser the user selected before upgrading to Windows 10, Windows automatically sets the Edge browser as the new standard. Because of changes to the user interface, the user has to make more than twice as many clicks as compared to Windows 8 to set a different standard program in Windows 10. If the user confirms in an app that he would like to use it as the standard application, Windows 10 does not set it as the standard, but only opens a settings window in which the previously selected standard application is still set; the user must then manually set the desired standard application. This increased complexity stands in the way of freedom of choice, according to Mozilla's CEO Chris Beard .

Controversy about the changed update procedure

Up to and including Windows 8.1 it was possible to exclude individual Windows updates from the installation (or to do without updates entirely). With Windows 10 Home designed for private users, the user can only specify the time of the restart after an update process, but not whether or not an update package should be installed at all. Windows 10 Pro users can postpone the installation but cannot prevent it. This is intended on the one hand to minimize security risks, but also to increase the compatibility of third-party applications and to simplify the maintenance of software.

Microsoft has been criticized for this change, as updates can interfere with the proper functioning of the computer. Although individual updates can be hidden with the help of a workaround provided by Microsoft and thus prevented from being installed, in many cases this is only possible after the one-time installation and subsequent deinstallation of the relevant update. In August 2015, for example, a faulty update was released that, under certain circumstances, led to an endless installation loop , the installation of which could not be prevented.

But the associated loss of control is also criticized, as the installation of function updates cannot be prevented as long as there is an internet connection. Future updates could affect usability, for example, without the user being given the choice of accepting this change or not. The cryptologist Rüdiger Weis even drew parallels to a botnet when he was forced to install the updates , since, as with the same, “strangers can execute code on my system without authorization”.

Controversy arose again in November 2015 after the update to version 1511 automatically uninstalled certain application programs and device drivers for compatibility reasons and reset some user settings to the default values ​​without this being prevented. The fact that the user was not informed of the changes to the system also caused criticism. Certain data protection settings were also initially affected and were reset to the default value when the update was installed - however, according to Microsoft, this was an error that has now been corrected.

The update to version 1703 alleviated some of the problems described above. The previously made settings are displayed during the update and can be changed. They are retained without change. The deferral of updates can now be configured more easily and finely in the Pro and Enterprise editions. Microsoft received praise for this change as it would allow experienced users to improve the maintainability of their PC. However, it was criticized that users of the Home Edition continue to be “ treated like beta testers ” because they still cannot influence or postpone these updates.

Intrusive upgrade prompts

Microsoft was repeatedly accused of having published intrusive advertising programs for the switch to Windows 10 as an update of the existing Windows 7 and 8.1 systems , which, due to inaccurate descriptions, were sometimes installed unintentionally on the computer. In addition, the installed advertising programs downloaded the installation files for Windows 10 without being asked (often referred to as “forced download” in the press), which led to a warning from consumer advocates who classified this as “unreasonable nuisance”.

From the beginning of 2016 Windows 10 was classified as a "recommended update" for the previous systems, which means that Windows 10 was marked for automatic installation on some systems without being asked. In May 2016 there was a controversy about this because Microsoft interpreted the clicking away of a previously appearing notice window with the "Close" button as implicit approval. As a result, Windows 10 was automatically installed a short time later without the user's explicit consent. In order to prevent the automatic installation, a link within the notification window had to be clicked that was easy to overlook. Microsoft has been accused of aggressively trying to force Windows 10 to succeed. A user from California , who claims to have installed Windows 10 without her consent, sued Microsoft for this. The corporation paid her $ 10,000 in lost income in an out-of-court settlement. The trade press interpreted this as an indirect admission by Microsoft that it had gone too far to see the "Close" button as approval.

Unsolicited installation of programs

After the Anniversary Update on August 2, 2016, Windows 10 independently installed apps and games such as: B. the game "Candy Crush Soda Saga" or the Netflix app. All installed apps are free, but are financed through in-app purchases. When the user uninstalled the apps, they were removed, but shortly afterwards they were downloaded and reinstalled, which can only be prevented by intervening in the registry. Without this change to the registry entry (which is usually not carried out by an average user) , the hard drive space was permanently occupied by unwanted apps and was therefore no longer available.


Web links

Commons : Microsoft Windows 10  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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