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What's new in Windows 10

Summary: Learn about features and functions introduced in the original release of Windows 10.

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The Start menu returns

The new Windows Start menu combines the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. You can pin apps, access Settings, start programs and apps, open Explorer windows, and shut the computer down or put it to sleep. Right-clicking the Start menu gives you options for Control Panel, Device Manager, and other administrative tools for your computer, as well as the ability to run programs from a command prompt.

For more information on the new Start menu, refer to Microsoft's See what's on the menu.


Cortana is your new Windows digital personal assistant. With Cortana, you can ask questions, send email or text, make calendar appointments, and much more. Cortana is integrated with Bing to give you information that you need, when you need it. As Cortana learns about you, information that may be relevant to you will appear contextually in web pages (using the new Windows Internet browser). If you have a microphone, you can even talk to Cortana.

To enable Cortana, perform the following actions:

  1. Click Start SLN297930_en_US__1WinKeythen click Cortana.
  2. Select Allow to give Cortana access to your information, as detailed in the dialog boxes.
  3. Type the name that you would like Cortana to refer to you as, then select Enter.
  4. Cortana is now enabled and will respond to questions typed in the box.

To enable voice recognition in Cortana, perform the following actions:

  1. Select the Ask me anything box in the taskbar.
  2. In the upper left corner of the Cortana dialog, select the three horizontal bars, then select Settings.
  3. Under Let Cortana respond when you say "Hey Cortana." slide the switch to the On position.
  4. Cortana will now be able to respond to voice commands
Older microphone hardware may not function well with Cortana.

For more information on Cortana, refer to Microsoft's Meet Cortana.


Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has developed a new, next generation web browser that replaces Internet Explorer. Microsoft Edge has many new features that streamline your browsing experience, and it is integrated with Cortana to provide contextual information for sites that you visit.

For more information about Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, refer to Microsoft's Meet Microsoft Edge

One Desktop

Windows 10 combines the Start Screen from Windows 8.1 with the desktop of previous versions of Windows. Both desktop applications and Windows Apps will run in windowed mode on the same screen. The Start menu also includes tiles for Windows Apps.

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Last Published Date

05 Sep 2021



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