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Windows 10: What Students Need To Know

Windows 10 screenshot
400 200 Jason Tran

It’s official – Windows 10 is here and it’s the operating system we’ve all been waiting for. We’ve put together a quick outline on release date, price, technical specifications, and new features – everything you need to know as a student to prepare for Window’s next best operating system.


When was Windows 10 released?

Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015. If you’re a student or faculty member, you can now search for your school and download Windows 10 Education at no cost.

How much will Windows 10 cost?

Until July 29, 2016, Windows 10 was available as a free upgrade for genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 devices. Unfortunately, Windows XP and Vista users were not eligible for the free upgrade, but they could still get Windows 10 by purchasing from a retailer. If you are a student or faculty member, you may be eligible to receive Windows 10 Education for free. Search for your school to see if you qualify.

What can Windows 10 run on?

For the most part, Windows 10 will run on anything Windows 8 can run on as it requires a 64-bit processor. If you’ve purchased your PC or laptop in the past few years, you should be good to go. Read more on Windows 10 specifications and system requirements.

Which version of Windows should I download?

The four Windows 10 editions you’re most likely to encounter are: Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education. While Home offers the everyday basics and Pro is made for the power users, we recommend Windows 10 Education for students – the most fully featured version of Windows 10 available. Did we mention it’s free for students?

Where can I download Windows 10?

If you’re a student, faculty or staff member attending a school with an organization-wide Volume Licensing Program, you may be eligible to download Windows 10 Education for free. Check now to see if you qualify

Windows 10 BoxshotGet Windows 10 at no cost! Students get Windows 10 Education for free. See if you qualify by searching for your school.

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Got Mac? Run Windows on your Mac with Parallels Desktop – students get 50% off!


Microsoft showed off a bunch of new features and tweaks with the arrival of the new operating system that’s going to make being a productive student that much easier. Whether you’re using a desktop PC or a tablet, we’ve summarized everything that a student needs to know about Windows 10.

Windows 10 is everywhere

The arrival of Windows 10 confirms that Microsoft is aiming for one singular operating system meant to unify all devices – desktop PCs, tablets, and smartphones – with one interface, one way of operating, and one account.

The idea is to offer a familiar workspace regardless of what size screen you’re using – whether you’re on your tablet in class or PC at home. With that being said, Microsoft also announced that Windows 10 will be the next major version of the Windows phone.

The Start menu is back

The Start menu we all know and love is now back and even better. It still has the Windows Live tiles from Windows 8 but they are now fully customizable for easy access to your favorite apps.


➤ Remember your first version of Windows? See how Windows has evolved over time

Universal apps

Microsoft has announced that there will only be one Windows Store for all apps regardless of device. And now with Windows 10, the apps on the Windows App Store can also run on your desktop PC, just like any other app. Check out some of our favorite Windows apps for students.

When using your favorite Microsoft Office apps like Word and Excel on a tablet, it’ll look and feel the same as on your desktop but optimized for touch and screen size. Plus through OneDrive, all of your files will be accessible through any device regardless of where it was created.

➤ Office 2016 is here! Here’s what students need to know

Introducing Microsoft Edge

Microsoft announced Edge, previously known as Spartan, a clean-looking lightweight browser comparing to it’s (much) older cousin Internet Explorer. What we’re looking forward to is Edge’s note-taking mode that let’s you annotate a webpage and then share it with others – great for working with teams and other classmates.

You can up your OneNote game with a new clipping tool that lets you save parts of websites directly to OneNote, one of our favorite apps for students.


Work hard, play hard

Windows 10 is stepping up it’s gaming capabilities with Xbox integration. DirectX gaming API is coming to Windows 10 which claims to deliver a 50% performance improvement for games. When you’re playing on your desktop PC, a new Windows key + G keyboard shortcut brings up an interactive window for saving snapshots and video clips of your gameplay.

One of the biggest improvements that gamers will love is cross-platform support with Xbox One games which bridges the gap between PC gamers and Xbox gamers. Windows 10 will also let you stream games from your PC to any other device with Windows 10 as long as you’re on the same local network.


Productivity boosters

Windows 10 has been dubbed as the Windows we’ve all been waiting for. Plenty of fixes to the user interface make it easy and efficient to use. Two features we think will specifically benefit students everywhere is Continuum, the snap function, and a new task view button.

Continuum detects the state of the computer and adapts the interface depending on whether a keyboard, mouse or touch screen is used. This is especially great for 2-in-1 tablet/laptop devices such as Surface Pro since Windows will switch to a more touch-friendly interface with an on-screen back button to make it easier to navigate.

The Snap function quickly arranges your live apps side-by-side quadrant style so you can split your display among four apps. There’s also support for multiple desktops so you can keep all your work apps in one place and quickly bring up the desktop if needed.

We can’t forget to mention a new, nifty task view button right on the taskbar that gives you a quick look at all your open files and windows.


Windows 10 BoxshotGet Windows 10 at no cost! Students get Windows 10 Education for free. See if you qualify by searching for your school.

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Last updated on March 1, 2017

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