Windows 10 Creators Update. Out Now!

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially comes to an end on extended support today, the Windows 10 Creators Update has officially been released!

The Windows 10 Creators Update is the first major update for Windows 10 this year, and this update follows on from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that was released on the 2nd August 2016. As another major Windows Update is set to be released in the coming months, I wanted to give you a run-down of the features I have discovered in the Windows 10 Creators Update, considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of today’s official release:

  • Night Light / Just like f.lux and Apple’s Night Shift feature that comes bundled with all iOS devices, the Creators Update brings this feature to the table and is useful for power-hungry users like me who don’t want to strain their eyes whilst looking at the computer or laptop screen for hours on end. This feature is beneficial if you want to sleep better at night.
  • Speed & Performance / There is a noticeable change in speed and performance after installing this update, as the Windows 10 Creators Update appears to have fixed any problems I may have come across before in previous updates, not to mention the operating system itself appears to be a lot faster than before.
  • Microsoft Edge / Microsoft’s Edge Browser is more responsive and has a new tab preview option, with the ability to set aside tabs that you can revisit later on. Web Notes come bundled with the browser as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Custom Colours / Custom Colours comes to the Windows 10 Creators Update, so if you’re looking to customise the colours of the title bars, including the Start Menu, the Taskbar and Action Centre in the Creators Update, head to Start –> Settings –> Personalisation –> Colours.
  • Storage Sense / Similar to Disk Cleanup, Storage Sense in the Windows 10 Creators Update allows you to optimise your system storage by allowing you to free up space by deleting temporary files and anything else that may be cluttering your system’s memory.
  • Windows Defender Security Centre / Windows Defender Security Centre comes bundled with the Creators Update, which gives you more control over security; App & Browser Control, Family Options, Firewall & Network Protection, Device Performance & Health, Virus & Threat Protection, Settings & Home.
  • Windows Settings / As part of the Creators Update, Windows 10 gets more hands-on with gaming, and in some / most software programs now, a Game Bar, which was present in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update but wasn’t often shown in the Anniversary Update now appears more frequently in the Creators Update, which is beneficial if you are someone who loves playing games on a Laptop / PC.
  • Themes / Custom Themes are now a part of the Creators Update, so if you want to change the background on your Laptop / PC, the colour of the theme, including the sounds and the Mouse Cursor, you can now change those in the Creators Update.
  • Taskbar / You now have the options of hiding the taskbar in desktop and tablet mode while also being given the option to show badges on taskbar buttons, with the added option of being able to replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when you right-click the Start button or press the Windows Logo Key.
  • Mobile Hotspot / Mobile Hotspot is now in the Creators Update, as you can now connect 8 devices to your Laptop / PC’s Internet, even if your laptop is connected to your standard Wi-Fi connection.
  • Troubleshoot / If something doesn’t work properly in the Creators Update, then it’s worth using Troubleshoot, as you can troubleshoot any internet connection problems, fix any problems with audio, even problems with printing wirelessly and even resolve problems that prevent you from updating Windows. The Troubleshoot category also allows you to fix other problems, such as the Blue Screen of Death, Bluetooth, Hardware and Devices, HomeGroup, Incoming Connections, the Keyboard, the Network Adapters, Power, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, Recording Audio, Search and Indexing, Shared Folders, Speech, Video Playback & Windows Store Apps.
  • Cortana / The Microphone button has been redesigned along with other notable changes and has been improved for better use with the Creators Update.
  • Picture in Picture / Just like iOS, the Windows 10 Creators Update now supports Picture in Picture mode, so if you want to watch a music video, a film or footage you may have captured whilst seeing your favourite musician, author or film actor on tour, then Picture in Picture mode will be useful for you whilst you work on something else.
  • Dynamic Lock / If you own a Windows Phone that runs on the latest software build of Windows 10 Mobile and your Windows Phone is away from your Laptop / PC running the Windows 10 Creators Update, Dynamic Lock will automatically lock your Laptop / PC when your Windows Phone goes out of the Laptop / PC’s range.
  • Inking / Inking is a new feature that has come to the Photos app, which is useful if you want to annotate a photograph or design you have created.
  • Windows Hello / Microsoft have improved the recognition process for facial scanning, making the login process faster for users who have Windows Hello Support on selected Laptops / PCs.
  • Improved Control Over Privacy & Updates / You are now able to pause updates you don’t want to download for up to a week, and you can set the Active Hours on Windows 10 up to 18 hours, which is useful for if you want to install any updates outside of work hours. Privacy controls can now be changed, so if you want to turn off or review certain features in Windows 10, such as diagnostics, location, speech recognition, as well as relevant ads, you can now do so thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Paint 3D / Paint officially goes 3D in the Creators Update, which, for the first time, modernises the old with the new and you can now design something in Paint 3D and share it with community members of Remix 3D and if you want to see any work that other Remix 3D community members have produced, you can do so now with the Creators Update. If you want to share your creations to the Remix 3D website or you want to use it on a Windows Mixed Reality Headset or Microsoft HoloLens, thanks to the Creators Update, this is now possible.

What are my thoughts on the Windows 10 Creators Update?

Personally, the Creators Update is a remarkable improvement on Windows 10, because I have noticed the update has made my old HP Stream 11 much faster, and I didn’t think the Creators Update would be so fast on the HP Stream 11 but it surprisingly is and I have noticed that this update has fixed problems I had with my HP Stream 11 initially and made it a whole lot faster and much easier to use. Of course, I installed the Windows 10 Creators Update early on the HP Notebook 17 I currently use, which as it happens, is the current laptop I have used to write this review and I must say that Microsoft have done such a good job with this update because I’ve noticed that my HP Notebook 17 is a lot faster and easier to get around, and not only that, but I’ve noticed that Windows 10 has become a whole lot faster and much easier to get around.

Is the Creators Update more hands-on?

Of course, it is. The Creators Update has allowed me to be more productive in the work I want to produce and has come as a boost in speed and performance for me. In terms of playing games, such as Sonic CD, I have noticed that there are absolutely no drops in the frame rate and the Creators Update has made sure to keep Windows 10 fast and consistent and as it doesn’t require as much RAM (Random Access Memory), I have noticed that Windows 10 has become a lot faster as each major update has been released.

Conclusion

I strongly believe that the Windows 10 Creators Update has fixed a lot of problems and even given me a boost in speed and performance. I’ve noticed an improvement in productivity as well as being able to be more creative with any work I produce, as well as any articles that I love to write and publish and thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update, I can work much better now than before.

If you haven’t downloaded and installed the update, I strongly recommend you update your Laptop / PC to the Windows 10 Creators Update. Also, if you have a Windows Phone running Windows 10, the Windows 10 Creators Update for Windows Phone will be released on the 25th April. The Windows Phone Devices that will support the Windows 10 Creators Update for Mobile are:

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Microsoft Lumia 640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051.

If you own one of the 13 Windows Phone Devices listed above, then your Windows Phone is eligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update once it is released to Windows Phone on the 25th April.

If you enjoyed this review and found this review helpful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation, 2017

© The official Windows 10 Wallpaper, including the official Windows 10 Trademark are all copyright of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Windows 10 Creators Update Rating: 10 / 10

Microsoft Edge | Your no-fuss online browser for doing.

Ten weeks ago next week, Microsoft Corporation released Windows 10 to the world. In the short space of almost two months, Windows 10 was installed on almost 100 million devices across the world.

It’s absolutely amazing how in just the short space of almost 10 weeks, Windows 10 has been changing people’s lives for the better, as it has been helping to make your way of using Windows much better than you think. Before, the possibilities of being able to smile at your webcam to log on to your account are now a thing of the past, as Intel and Microsoft have since joined forces to create an all-new type of technology called Intel RealSense, which is designed for you in mind, meaning only you can smile at the Laptop or PC’s webcam and it will log you in without you needing to type your password in the minute your computer boots up.

The birth of Microsoft Edge blossomed and Internet Explorer was starting to say goodbye after 20 long years of being on our PCs, as Internet Explorer was what revolutionised Windows and Microsoft in the style that they are both in today. Check below to find out why Microsoft Edge is now your no-fuss browser for doing.

In just a short time since Windows 10 was released, Microsoft Edge has been given much more of a wide-birth, which is much better, as this brings new life into the Windows OS, with Internet Explorer being partly the reason for why the Edge browser was made. Without Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge wouldn’t have even been a browser, but it’s because of the fact that the frameworks, the breadcrumbs and the design aspects of Internet Explorer made up for Edge to be a much better browser.

What do I think of Microsoft Edge? I think Microsoft Edge is actually spot-on, because I can access things quicker than I could before, and if I’m looking at or using websites, such as the Metro, WordPress or YouTube, Microsoft Edge remembers the sites I regularly visit by adding that site to the “Top Sites” section underneath the address bar.

In a typical sense, I have noticed quite frequently with this browser that it can get to pages instantly without the hassle, which is a really good sign as this can save me from worrying about the amount of time website pages take to load. Also, I have noticed that by using this browser, I can get around things a hell of a lot more than I used to. It’s actually a lot quicker now to get around things that I initially thought wasn’t possible before.

Give credit where it’s due, Microsoft do try their absolute hardest to try and make a browser like this better, it doesn’t matter if the browser suffers a few teething problems, that happens to any browser, it’s an entirely normal thing, and is nothing new to Microsoft, but you have to give them credit though, they work their socks off to make sure their Windows 10 OS and Microsoft Edge browser is better.

Things are starting to look up now as Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2016 to the whole world on the 22nd September, and if you’re an Office 365 account holder, and you own Office 2013, which is bundled with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, OneNote and Outlook, then you will be able to upgrade Office 2013 to the all-new Office 2016. This is good if you’re an Office 365 user, and if you want to install Office 2016 now, you have to go to the website listed on the packaging of the Office 365 product card provided. If you already have Office 2013 on your computer in your Office 365 subscription, but can’t find the link if you’ve lost the packaging that includes the product card, then click here to be directed to the Office Setup Page.

(Note: If you already have Office 2013 with the 365 subscription and want to upgrade without needing to put a 25-digit pin in, then go to the link highlighted above, and then click on this link to follow the instructions on how to install it without the hassle.)

Moving back to the subject of Microsoft Edge, indeed, Microsoft Edge is most definitely the no-fuss online browser for doing, as it packs a punch, and is also most certainly the browser that shouldn’t go amiss to the naked eye.

At the end of the day, this browser, although it’s been out with Windows 10 for the upmost part of ten weeks, is still being updated with bug fixes and improvements, and not only that, but the accessibility of the browser is being upgraded also to make things better and a lot easier for everyone to access.

My general overview and final thoughts? I absolutely love Microsoft Edge, I’ve had no problems with using it to get to certain websites that I want to get to, and not only that, but I’ve been able to access websites and watch videos quicker and a lot better than I used to. On all grounds, Microsoft has certainly taken all of the ideas it could gather from it’s predecessor, Internet Explorer, and put them all into one browser that is much faster than the first one.

I love using Microsoft Edge, as it is fully functional, the speed is absolutely amazing, and as I am someone who likes to use the internet a lot, I can also get around certain news websites quicker, such as BBC, Sky & ITV. With the new reader feature that is a part of the browser, this means I will be able to read any articles, whether they are blog or website related, without the pesky ads that often pop up on pretty much every website around with ease.

If you make the jump to Windows 10, I strongly suggest that you use Microsoft Edge, it’s a fantastic browser, and it will benefit you in many more ways than one. Microsoft have decided that it’s now time to open the window for everyone to experience a new way to browse.

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation 2015

© The Microsoft Edge logo, Edge’s “E” Logo, the Microsoft Logo and the tagline used in the Featured Image are courtesy of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Windows 10 | Your definitive Windows experience. Redefined.

Following the longed-for release of Windows 10, which hit all laptops and PCs running Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 with Bing, I am absolutely delighted to write this article as a way of thanking Microsoft for really nailing the best of both operating systems in one OS.

If you’re on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 with Bing, get ready to relive the nostalgia of the old Windows, as Windows 10 officially brings back the much-loved Start Menu, which has seen a massive upgrade in design. The Windows 10 Start Menu does away with the controversial Windows 8 Start Menu, as many users felt uncomfortable with the Windows 8 Start Menu layout, given that a lot of the main features were moved around.

I personally thought the Windows 8 layout was alright, I didn’t have a problem with it, apart from a few small bugs, but now that Windows 10 is finally here, I will miss the Windows 8 Start Menu layout, but it’s had a good ride. Now that Windows 10 is finally here, I can, for the first time in a long time, relive the nostalgic days of Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista & 7 all in one operating system alone.

Microsoft have taken the best bits of Windows 7 & Windows 8 and put both of them together to create Windows 10, and with the way they’ve done it, they have actually nailed it 100% spot on. I absolutely love Windows 10, as the voice assistant, Cortana, is now a part of the operating system, and for the first time, Microsoft has now given every user the ability to add new desktops while on the same user account, meaning that you can open a new desktop, and use any other software applications that are not on the original desktop.

Microsoft’s successor to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, is also a part of the release of Windows 10, and I can say that it is perfect, in fact, it’s much better now than Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. I have noticed now when I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that they now seem to slow down a bit more than they did before. Microsoft Edge really has put the icing on top of the cake for Windows 10.

Microsoft Edge debuts with a brand new, and refreshed look, and is also similar to the design aspects of both Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome, but is efficient for everyday use.

Statistics showed that after Windows 10 was released on the 29th July 2015, 14+ million users have since downloaded and installed Windows 10, due to unprecedented demand. This is an extremely positive outlook for Microsoft, as Windows 10 has been welcomed to mostly positive reviews, despite critics, as they had made sure to iron out all the bugs in Windows 10 before its general release.

Since I upgraded to Windows 10, I’ve not only used Microsoft Edge frequently, but I have found that Microsoft Edge is now a lot faster than Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome.

As well as this, I have also found that opening software programs are a lot faster now, and not only that, but it’s much quicker now to get to certain parts of the operating system that I couldn’t get to as quick as I did before.

In light of the update, Windows 10 was also released for selected phones that are compatible with the update, and this is useful for Microsoft because they want to make sure that they can get everyone to upgrade to Windows 10, given that Continuity is now an official feature.

Windows 10, since it’s release on the 29th July, has been welcomed to massive positivity across the world, as Microsoft have been tweeting the Twitter hashtags: “#UpgradeYourWorld” and “#DoGreatThings”, which are both encouraging many users around the world to upgrade to the best Windows update yet.

Upon start-up of Windows 10 for the first time ever, you will notice instantly just how much Windows has changed since it was first released on the 20th November 1985. On start-up, the login screen has been given a much needed overhaul, as the user account or user accounts that are on your computer are now located at the bottom left of your computer screen, and to make things a lot quicker to access, the power button is in the bottom right corner, along with other options that you can use on your computer. Also on start-up, your display picture, name and email address will appear straight in the middle of your computer or laptop screen, with the password bar underneath for you to sign in.

It has been confirmed by Microsoft Corporation that Windows 10 is the last major version of Windows, with all of the subsequently important updates being issued in regular installments.

For a limited time, Windows 10 is completely free to download and install as of the 29th July 2015, and the limited time offer comes to an end on the 29th July 2016. If you haven’t yet downloaded and installed Windows 10 on your laptop or PC running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 with Bing, then I strongly recommend that you go ahead and install the update whilst you can, because after the 29th July 2016, if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10, then you will be expected to pay for the Windows 10 Operating System. So please, if you haven’t already, Upgrade Your World of Windows to Windows 10 for your definitive, yet redefined experience.

My final thoughts? This update is fast, reliable and has improved my own way of using Windows altogether, and I have had absolutely no problems with it at all since I downloaded and installed it on my laptop. Microsoft Edge is also fast and reliable, and since I made the jump to Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, I haven’t looked back since.

If your computer runs Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 with Bing, please make sure to download and install it now, and if you have the latest version of the Windows Phone, please make sure to download Windows 10 on that as well, as Windows 10 Mobile is now available for Windows Phone.

Speed: 10/10

Microsoft Edge: 10/10

Windows 10: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Reliability: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation 2015

© The Official Windows 10 Wallpaper, the Windows 10 Logo, the Microsoft Logo and the tagline used in the Featured Image are courtesy of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

HP Stream 11 | A Laptop Worth Every Penny.

This article comes hot on the heels of the HP Stream 11 laptop that I purchased a few weeks back, which is the HP Stream 11, which has recently been advertised alongside the HP Stream 13.

With a built-in 32GB Hard Drive and plenty of accessibility to ports, this laptop is perfect for college studies, and is compact and easy to use for everything else, even for parties and anything else that this computer best suits for you.

The ability to save and synchronise your documents with Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service is a bonus, because, if you use Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, all the features are included, and as well as this, you get up to 10TB of OneDrive storage if you have signed up to their waiting list.

After a month of having this laptop, I am absolutely delighted with the fluidity of the HP Stream 11, as it is fast, and it also suits to my needs. The HP Stream 11 by Hewlett Packard packs a punch, as it comes with the relevant features needed for a small laptop.

The colour of laptop like the one you have seen in the featured image of the photo I took was of the Horizon Blue HP Stream 11. I picked Horizon Blue because Blue is my favourite colour, given the fact that this colour laptop has a tranquil, and relaxing appearance.

Since I purchased this laptop from PC World, I have optimised it to fit my own viewing comfort, and I’ve also adjusted it carefully to what I need to use for it. It’s always responsive, and because the HP Stream 11 comes with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 with Bing, this gives me the chance to use the HP Stream 11 to my own advantage.

I use this computer mainly for my college studies, for listening to music via Spotify, to create images for this website using the free open-source software, GIMP, Steam for playing games, such as Pivvot by Whitaker Trebella, for watching videos on YouTube, for writing articles for Mother Nature and also for adding further information to my latest book: “My Journey Through a Lens”.

This computer alone also comes with a built-in HDMI port, which is perfect if you want to watch music videos or movies on the big screen in High Definition.

HP - Usable Ports

The HP Stream 11 comes packed with an Intel Inside Processor, which makes the usability and performance of this computer much, much faster than you could possibly imagine. I love using the HP Stream 11 because of the fact it’s compact, it’s the right size of computer for me, and it is also a handy computer that will keep me going for many years to come, should the main computer that I use goes wrong. Make sure to buy this laptop whilst you have the chance, because you won’t regret it, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

HP - Intel Inside Processor

Packed with the HP Stream 11 is the SD Card port, which is perfect if you want to listen to some music that you have stored on those SD Cards that may be lying around somewhere in your house. SD Cards are also handy for those of you who are looking to upload your photos and videos to Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service. The SD Card function on the HP Stream 11 is perfect if you want to free up the storage space on those SD Cards you may have kept for a long time. By freeing up the storage on your SD Cards using Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service, this means that you won’t have to worry, as all your photos and videos will be available online via your OneDrive account storage, with peace of mind.

HP - Further Usability of Ports

A streamlined, yet smooth keyboard layout for the HP Stream 11 defines just how well this laptop performs overall. Packed with the usual controls needed to make the HP Stream 11 function, this makes accessibility and functionality ten times as easier to use.

HP - Keyboard Design - Close-Up

HP - Keyboard Design

The front-facing camera is perfect for the HP Stream 11, for example, if you intend on taking selfies to share with your friends, you can via the camera apps that are provided with this laptop, or, if you use Skype, this will be perfect for you to use if you want to keep in contact with your friends via message and via video and audio calls.

HP - Built-in Camera

To top it all off, what would this laptop be without a beautiful, streamlined design? The HP Stream 11 in Horizon Blue is absolutely beautiful, because the streamlined design makes and also defines how laptops and notebooks should be made. Hewlett Packard have absolutely served me well and fully with such a fantastic laptop. The HP Stream 11, with a £179.99 price tag, packs a punch, as it comes with all the things that you need to get yourself started. The HP Stream 11 also counts as my first ever laptop, and for the price of this laptop, it is absolutely worth every penny.

HP - Streamlined Design

Overall Rating for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Reliability: 10/10

Screen Design: 10/10

Overall Design for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Battery Life: 10/10

Please make sure to buy the HP Stream 11, as it will help you go further in your studies, and even for when you are doing your reports for work. I recommend the HP Stream 11 all the way.

Alex Smithson

© HP 2015 | All credit goes to Hewlett Packard

All photos present in this article were taken on the Nikon D3300 DSLR.