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In Windows 10 , this update is superseded by update for the November release of Media Feature Pack. This Media Feature Pack applies to Windows 10 version If you have a different version of Windows, please go to KB to find the appropriate Media Feature Pack for your version of Windows. You must install other software from Microsoft or a third-party for this communication functionality and to play or create audio CDs, media files, and video DVDs, to stream music, and to take and store pictures.

New features such as Cortana and PDF viewing in the new Edge browser rely on Windows Media files that are not present in these editions. Some websites and software, such as Windows Store apps or Microsoft Office, use Windows Media-related files that are not incorporated into these editions of Windows. The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center: Download the update package now.

The excluded technologies include, but are not limited to, the following features:. Windows Media Player user experience: Enables Windows Media Player features such as the ability to play media files and audio CDs, manage media in a library, create a playlist, provide metadata including album art for media, create an audio CD, transfer music to a portable music player, and play streaming content from a website.

Windows Media Player ActiveX control: Exposes methods and properties to manipulate multimedia playback from a webpage or an app. However, they exclude multimedia features as required by the law. When the underlying multimedia specifications and playback features are removed, a few other applications will fail to work properly.

For example, many other Windows applications, from PC games to Microsoft Office, which rely on the built-in Windows video playback features will not work properly.

These applications will be affected and they may even crash. In addition, the multimedia features in the Windows Store apps may not also work. Microsoft has a free Media Feature Pack that restores these applications. An updated version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system for smartphones, and also tablets, was branded as Windows 10 Mobile. On May 2, , Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S referred to in leaks as Windows 10 Cloud , a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 which was designed primarily for devices in the education market competing, in particular, with Chrome OS netbooks , such as the Surface Laptop that Microsoft also unveiled at this time.

The OS restricts software installation to applications obtained from Microsoft Store; the device may be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a fee to enable unrestricted software installation. As a time-limited promotion, Microsoft stated that this upgrade would be free on the Surface Laptop until March 31, A public beta program for Windows 10 known as the Windows Insider Program began with the first publicly available preview release on October 1, Insider preview builds are aimed towards enthusiasts and enterprise users for the testing and evaluation of updates and new features.

On July 29, , Microsoft officially announced that Windows 10 would be released for retail purchase as a free upgrade from earlier versions of Windows. In comparison to previous Windows releases, which had a longer turnover between the release to manufacturing RTM and general release to allow for testing by vendors and in some cases, the development of « upgrade kits » to prepare systems for installation of the new version , an HP executive explained that because it knew Microsoft targeted the operating system for a release, the company was able to optimize its then-current and upcoming products for Windows 10 in advance of its release, negating the need for such a milestone.

The general availability build of Windows 10, numbered , was first released to Windows Insider channels for pre-launch testing on July 15, , prior to its formal release. Windows 10 is distributed digitally through the « Media Creation Tool », which is functionally identical to the Windows 8 online installer, and can also be used to generate an ISO image or USB install media.

Changing between architectures e. Windows 10 was available in countries and languages upon its launch, and as part of efforts to « re-engage » with users in China, Microsoft also announced that it would partner with Qihoo and Tencent to help promote and distribute Windows 10 in China, and that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would provide assistance at its service centers and retail outlets for helping users upgrade to Windows Windows RT devices cannot be upgraded to Windows During its first year of availability, [] upgrade licenses for Windows 10 could be obtained at no charge for devices with a genuine license for an eligible edition of Windows 7 or 8.

This offer did not apply to Enterprise editions, as customers under an active Software Assurance SA contract with upgrade rights are entitled to obtain Windows 10 Enterprise under their existing terms. All users running non-genuine copies of Windows, and those without an existing Windows 7 or 8 license, were ineligible for this promotion; although upgrades from a non-genuine version were possible, they result in a non-genuine copy of On the general availability build of Windows 10 the original release , to activate and generate the « digital entitlement » for Windows 10, the operating system must have first been installed as an in-place upgrade.

During the free upgrade, a genuineticket. Once installed, the operating system can be reinstalled on that particular system via normal means without a product key, and the system’s license will automatically be detected via online activation – in essence, the Microsoft Product Activation Server will remember the system’s motherboard and give it the green light for product re-activation.

Since the release of the Fall Creators Update version , Microsoft decided to release multi-edition installation media, to alleviate installation and product activation issues users experienced because of accidentally installing the wrong edition of Windows The Windows Insider Preview version of Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the generally released version as part of the version progression and continues to be updated to new beta builds, as it had throughout the testing process.

Microsoft explicitly stated that Windows Insider was not a valid upgrade path for those running a version of Windows that is ineligible for the upgrade offer; although, if it was not installed with a license carried over from an in-place upgrade to 10 Insider Preview from Windows 7 or 8, the Insider Preview does remain activated as long as the user does not exit the Windows Insider program. The offer was promoted and delivered via the « Get Windows 10 » application also known as GWX , which was automatically installed via Windows Update ahead of Windows 10’s release, and activated on systems deemed eligible for the upgrade offer.

Via a notification area icon, users could access an application that advertised Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, check device compatibility, and « reserve » an automatic download of the operating system upon its release.

Microsoft said that those who reserved Windows 10 would be able to install it through GWX in a phased rollout process. The operating system could alternatively be downloaded at any time using a separate « Media Creation Tool » setup program, that allows for the creation of DVD or USB installation media.

In May , Microsoft announced that the free upgrade offer would be extended to users of assistive technologies ; however, Microsoft did not implement any means of certifying eligibility for this offer, which some outlets thereby promoted as being a loophole to fraudulently obtain a free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft said that the loophole is not intended to be used in this manner.

However, another loophole was found that allowed Windows 7 and 8. No word from Microsoft was given whether it will be closed [] and some outlets have continued to promote it as a free method of upgrading from the now-unsupported Windows 7. During upgrades, Windows 10 licenses are not tied directly to a product key. Instead, the license status of the system’s current installation of Windows is migrated, and a « Digital license » known as « Digital entitlement » in version or earlier is generated during the activation process, which is bound to the hardware information collected during the process.

If Windows 10 is reinstalled cleanly and there have not been any significant hardware changes since installation such as a motherboard change , the online activation process will automatically recognize the system’s digital entitlement if no product key is entered during installations. However, unique product keys are still distributed within retail copies of Windows As with previous non-volume-licensed variants of Windows, significant hardware changes will invalidate the digital entitlement, and require Windows to be re-activated.

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Update does not allow the selective installation of updates, and all updates including patches, feature updates, and driver software are downloaded and installed automatically. Users can only choose whether their system will reboot automatically to install updates when the system is inactive, or be notified to schedule a reboot.

Version allows wired Ethernet networks to be designated as metered, but Windows may still download certain updates while connected to a metered network. In version , by installing the August security update and later versions, driver and non-security updates pushed via Windows Update that are considered optional are no longer automatically downloaded and installed in their devices.

Updates can cause compatibility or other problems; a Microsoft troubleshooter program allows bad updates to be uninstalled. Under the Windows end-user license agreement , users consent to the automatic installation of all updates, features and drivers provided by the service, and implicitly consent « without any additional notice » to the possibility of features being modified or removed.

Windows Update can also use a peer-to-peer system for distributing updates; by default, users’ bandwidth is used to distribute previously downloaded updates to other users, in combination with Microsoft servers. Users can instead choose to only use peer-to-peer updates within their local area network. The original release of Windows 10 receives mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support, but this is subject to conditions.

Microsoft stated that these devices would no longer receive feature updates, but would still receive security updates through January The following table collects current status of the aforementioned updating and support of different branches of Windows Windows 10 is often described by Microsoft as being a « service », as it receives regular « feature updates » that contain new features and other updates and fixes.

For example, version was released in September the ninth month of This was changed with the 20H2 release where « MM » represents the half of the year in which the update was released, for example H1 for the first half and H2 for the second half. The pace at which feature updates are received by devices is dependent on which release channel is used. Each build of Windows 10 is supported for 18 months after its original release. Once a stable build is certified by Microsoft and its partners as being suitable for broad deployment, the build is then released on the « Semi-Annual Channel » formerly « Current Branch for Business », or « CBB » , which is supported by the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows The Windows Insider branches receive unstable builds as they are released; it is divided into two channels, « Dev » which receives new builds immediately after their release , and « Beta » whose releases are slightly delayed from their « Dev » release.

For this reason, it excludes Cortana, Microsoft Store, and all bundled Universal Windows Platform apps including but not limited to Microsoft Edge, hence these builds ship only with Internet Explorer as browser. In July , Microsoft announced changes in the terminology for Windows branches as part of its effort to unify the update cadence with that of Office ProPlus and Windows Server In February , Microsoft announced changes again in delivering updates in beginning of release of version : a single SAC will be released and SAC-T will be retired, and users are no longer able to switch to different channels.

Instead, these updates can be deferred from 30 to 90 days, or depending how the device was configured to deferred the updates. Feature updates prior to version are distributed solely as an in-place upgrade installation, requiring the download of a complete operating system package approximately 3. Unlike previous builds, version is designed primarily as an update rollup version of , focusing primarily on minor feature additions and enhancements.

For upgrades to from , a new delivery method is used where its changes were delivered as part of the monthly cumulative update, but are left in a dormant state until the update « enablement » patch is installed.

The full upgrade process is still used for those using builds prior to In May , Microsoft unveiled Fluent Design System previously codenamed « Project Neon » , a revamp of Microsoft Design Language 2 that will include guidelines for the designs and interactions used within software designed for all Windows 10 devices and platforms. The new design language will include the more prominent use of motion, depth, and translucency effects. Microsoft stated that the implementation of this design language would be performed over time, and it had already started to implement elements of it in Creators Update and Fall Creators Update.

On December 7, , Microsoft announced that, as part of a partnership with Qualcomm, it planned to introduce support for running Win32 software on ARM architecture with a bit x86 processor emulator, in Terry Myerson stated that this move would enable the production of Qualcomm Snapdragon -based Windows devices with cellular connectivity and improved power efficiency over Intel-compatible devices, and still capable of running the majority of existing Windows software unlike the previous Windows RT , which was restricted to Windows Store apps.

Microsoft is initially targeting this project towards laptops. In August , Microsoft began testing changes to its handling of the user interface on convertible devices—downplaying the existing « Tablet Mode » option in favor of presenting the normal desktop with optimizations for touch when a keyboard is not present, such as increasing the space between taskbar buttons and displaying the virtual keyboard when text fields are selected.

In April , the ability to run Linux applications using a graphical user interface , such as Audacity , directly in Windows, was introduced as a preview. The basic hardware requirements to install Windows 10 were initially the same as those for Windows 8.

As of the May update, the minimum disk space requirement has been increased to 32 GB. In addition, on new installations, Windows permanently reserves up to 7 GB of disk space in order to ensure proper installation of future feature updates. The bit variants require a CPU that supports certain instructions. Some pre-built devices may be described as « certified » by Microsoft. Unlike Windows 8, OEMs are no longer required to make Secure Boot settings user-configurable, meaning that devices may optionally be locked to run only Microsoft-signed operating systems.

Windows 10 version and later do not support Intel Clover Trail system-on-chips, per Microsoft’s stated policy of only providing updates for devices during their OEM support period. Starting with Windows 10 version , Microsoft will require new OEM devices to use bit processors, and will therefore cease the distribution of x86 bit variants of Windows 10 via OEM channels.

The bit variants of Windows 10 will remain available via non-OEM channels, and Microsoft will continue to « [provide] feature and security updates on these devices ». The maximum amount of RAM that Windows 10 can support varies depending on the product edition and the processor architecture. Windows 10 supports up to two physical processors. Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system’s bundled software, such as the Edge web browser, as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.

The Edge browser was praised for its performance, although it was not in a feature-complete state at launch. While considering them a « great idea in principle », concerns were shown for Microsoft’s focus on the universal app ecosystem:. It’s by no means certain that developers are going to flock to Windows 10 from iOS and Android simply because they can convert their apps easily. It may well become a no-brainer for them, but at the moment a conscious decision is still required.

Engadget was similarly positive, noting that the upgrade process was painless and that Windows 10’s user interface had balanced aspects of Windows 8 with those of previous versions with a more mature aesthetic. Cortana’s always-on voice detection was considered to be its « true strength », also citing its query capabilities and personalization features, but noting that it was not as pre-emptive as Google Now.

Windows 10’s stock applications were praised for being improved over their Windows 8 counterparts, and for supporting windowed modes. The Xbox app was also praised for its Xbox One streaming functionality, although recommending its use over a wired network because of inconsistent quality over Wi-Fi.

In conclusion, it was argued that « Windows 10 delivers the most refined desktop experience ever from Microsoft, and yet it’s so much more than that. It’s also a decent tablet OS, and it’s ready for a world filled with hybrid devices. And, barring another baffling screwup, it looks like a significant step forward for mobile.

Heck, it makes the Xbox One a more useful machine. Ars Technica panned the new Tablet mode interface for removing the charms and app switching, making the Start button harder to use by requiring users to reach for the button on the bottom-left rather than at the center of the screen when swiping with a thumb, and for making application switching less instantaneous through the use of Task View.

Microsoft Edge was praised for being « tremendously promising », and « a much better browser than Internet Explorer ever was », but criticized it for its lack of functionality on-launch. In conclusion, contrasting Windows 8 as being a « reliable » platform albeit consisting of unfinished concepts, Windows 10 was considered « the best Windows yet », and was praised for having a better overall concept in its ability to be « comfortable and effective » across a wide array of form factors, but that it was buggier than previous versions of Windows were on-launch.

Critics have noted that Windows 10 heavily emphasizes freemium services, and contains various advertising facilities. Some outlets have considered these to be a hidden « cost » of the free upgrade offer. Up to August , Windows 10 usage was increasing, with it then plateauing , [] while eventually in , it became more popular than Windows 7 [] [] though Windows 7 was still more used in some countries in Asia and Africa in As of March [update] , the operating system is running on over a billion devices, reaching the goal set by Microsoft two years after the initial deadline.

Twenty-four hours after it was released, Microsoft announced that over 14 million devices were running Windows According to StatCounter, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8. For one week in late November , Windows 10 overtook first rank from Windows 7 in the United States, before losing it again.

In mid-January , Windows 10 had a slightly higher global market share than Windows 7, [] with it noticeably more popular on weekends, [] while popularity varies widely by region, e. Windows 10 was then still behind in Africa [] and far ahead in some other regions e. Windows 10 Home is permanently set to download all updates automatically, including cumulative updates, security patches, and drivers, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not.

Concerns were raised that because of these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations—although build upgrades will also be subject to public beta testing via Windows Insider program. An example of such a situation occurred prior to the general release of the operating system, when an Nvidia graphics card driver that was automatically pushed to Windows 10 users via Windows Update caused issues that prevented the use of certain functions, or prevented their system from booting at all.

Criticism was also directed towards Microsoft’s decision to no longer provide specific details on the contents of cumulative updates for Windows Some users reported that during the installation of the November upgrade, some applications particularly utility programs such as CPU-Z and Speccy were automatically uninstalled during the upgrade process, and some default programs were reset to Microsoft-specified defaults such as Photos app, and Microsoft Edge for PDF viewing , both without warning.

Further issues were discovered upon the launch of the Anniversary Update « Redstone » , including a bug that caused some devices to freeze but addressed by cumulative update KB, released on August 31, , [] [] and that fundamental changes to how Windows handles webcams had caused many to stop working. A Gartner analyst felt that Windows 10 Pro was becoming increasingly inappropriate for use in enterprise environments because of support policy changes by Microsoft, including consumer-oriented upgrade lifecycle length, and only offering extended support for individual builds to Enterprise and Education editions of Windows Critics have acknowledged that Microsoft’s update and testing practices had been affecting the overall quality of Windows In particular, it was pointed out that Microsoft’s internal testing departments had been prominently affected by a major round of layoffs undertaken by the company in Microsoft relies primarily on user testing and bug reports via the Windows Insider program which may not always be of sufficient quality to identify a bug , as well as correspondence with OEMs and other stakeholders.

In the wake of the known folder redirection data loss bug in the version , it was pointed out that bug reports describing the issue had been present on the Feedback Hub app for several months prior to the public release.

Following the incident, Microsoft updated Feedback Hub so that users may specify the severity of a particular bug report. When announcing the resumption of ‘s rollout, Microsoft stated that it planned to be more transparent in its handling of update quality in the future, through a series of blog posts that will detail its testing process and the planned development of a « dashboard » that will indicate the rollout progress of future updates.

Microsoft was criticized for the tactics that it used to promote its free upgrade campaign for Windows 10, including adware -like behaviors, [] using deceptive user interfaces to coax users into installing the operating system, [] [] [] [] downloading installation files without user consent, [] [] and making it difficult for users to suppress the advertising and notifications if they did not wish to upgrade to In September , it was reported that Microsoft was triggering automatic downloads of Windows 10 installation files on all compatible Windows 7 or 8.

Microsoft officially confirmed the change, claiming it was « an industry practice that reduces the time for installation and ensures device readiness. Other critics argued that Microsoft should not have triggered any downloading of Windows 10 installation files without user consent. In October , Windows 10 began to appear as an « Optional » update on the Windows Update interface, but pre-selected for installation on some systems. A Microsoft spokesperson said that this was a mistake, and that the download would no longer be pre-selected by default.

In March , some users also alleged that their Windows 7 and 8. It was concluded that these users may have unknowingly clicked the « Accept » prompt without full knowledge that this would begin the upgrade. On January 21, , Microsoft was sued in small claims court by a user whose computer had attempted to upgrade to Windows 10 without her consent shortly after the release of the operating system. The upgrade failed, and her computer was left in a broken state thereafter, which disrupted the ability to run her travel agency.

However, in May , Microsoft dropped the appeal and chose to pay the damages. Shortly after the suit was reported on by the Seattle Times , Microsoft confirmed it was updating the GWX software once again to add more explicit options for opting out of a free Windows 10 upgrade; [] [] [] the final notification was a full-screen pop-up window notifying users of the impending end of the free upgrade offer, and contained « Remind me later », « Do not notify me again » and « Notify me three more times » as options.

In March , Microsoft announced that it would display notifications informing users on Windows 7 devices of the upcoming end of extended support for the platform, and direct users to a website urging them to upgrade to Windows 10 or purchase new hardware.

This dialog will be similar to the previous Windows 10 upgrade prompts, but will not explicitly mention Windows Privacy advocates and other critics have expressed concern regarding Windows 10’s privacy policies and its collection and use of customer data.

Users can opt out from most of this data collection, [] [] but telemetry data for error reporting and usage is also sent to Microsoft, and this cannot be disabled on non-Enterprise editions of Windows Rock Paper Shotgun writer Alec Meer argued that Microsoft’s intent for this data collection lacked transparency, stating that « there is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.

The Russian government had passed a federal law requiring all online services to store the data of Russian users on servers within the country by September or be blocked. But Microsoft is held to a different standard than other companies ». The Microsoft Services agreement reads that the company’s online services may automatically « download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.

In September , Microsoft hid the option to create a local account during a fresh installation if a PC is connected to the internet. This move was criticized by users who did not want to use an online Microsoft account. In late-July , Windows Defender began to classify modifications of the hosts file that block Microsoft telemetry servers as being a severe security risk. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 8 August This article is about the operating system for personal computers.

For the related now discontinued operating system for mobile devices, see Windows 10 Mobile. Not to be confused with Windows 1. Closed-source source-available through the Shared Source Initiative Some components free and open-source [1] [2] [3] [4]. List of languages. For the Windows versions produced from to , see Windows 9x.

For the Windows version following Windows 8, see Windows 8. Main article: Features new to Windows See also: List of features removed in Windows Main article: List of typefaces included with Microsoft Windows. Main article: Windows 10 editions. See also: Windows Insider. Main article: Windows 10 version history. Main article: Criticism of Windows This section duplicates the scope of other articles , specifically Criticism of Windows If your version does not appear in the list, please go to KB to find the appropriate Media Feature Pack for your version of Windows.

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– Windows 10 enterprise kn free

 
The N and KN editions of Windows 10 include the same functionality as Windows 10, except for media-related technologies (Windows Media Player) and certain. This evaluation software is designed for IT professionals interested in trying Windows 10 Enterprise on behalf of their organization.