“I enjoy using a PC just as much as some people enjoy using their iPhone.” Saying that aloud in front of certain crowds is fond of declaring that you’re insane. People always assume that Windows can’t be that great, that the guy declaring his appreciation for most of Microsoft’s products – including Windows 10 – may have some deep issues.
It’s not that I love everything about Microsoft or Windows 10; there are some things that I simply can’t stand about them both. What I do appreciate is the amount of customizing that you can do and how far reaching the tendrils of Windows and its core services are at this point. My Windows 10 machine is just is good as any Mac, once I’ve made some changes to the way it works and behaves.
Enable Cortana Always Listening If You’re Going to Use Her
The single best feature of Windows 10, is Cortana, the digital assistant that first came to Windows Phone before expanding into Windows, iOS and Android this year. She’s my scratchpad and encyclopedia. Having her in Windows and syncing to my iPhone makes every day run a bit smoother. Once I’ve got security nailed down, I move on to enabling her.
Click or tap on the Cortana icon to the left of the Windows button on your Taskbar. After agreeing to Microsoft’s Terms & Conditions, go into her Notebook and explore her settings. Enable Always Listening so that you can give her commands whenever you need to. You may want to tell her some information about yourself too.
Install Microsoft Companion Apps on Your iPhone or Android Device
Using a Windows Phone for years allowed me to get access to the same apps and services of Microsoft’s from anywhere. When I switched away from Windows Phone a few years ago I thought I was leaving all of Microsoft’s services behind. I did ditch some of them, but not all of them.
OneDrive, Outlook, Cortana, Groove Music, OneNote, Word, PowerPoint and Excel are available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store.
Add a Home Button and Home Page to Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s new web browser and replacement for Internet Explorer outside of businesses, does two things so wrong by default that I immediately change them. First, it lacks a Home button to take you back to the site you start out at. Second, Microsoft uses a page filled with links to the Windows Store and MSN as the default for new tabs and a home page.
Open Microsoft Edge and click or tap on the three dots on the right side of your screen. From that fly-out menu, select Settings. From here you can explicitly set a Homepage for Edge. Clicking or tapping on the Advanced Settings button lets you add a Home button back to the interface.
Also take note that Internet Explorer is still around if you prefer to use it. Microsoft has it tucked within the Windows Accessories folder in your list of installed apps on the Start Menu/Starter Screen.