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Windows 10 vs Windows 8: What are the differences between the two?

Windows 10 vs Windows 8: What are the differences between the two?

by AshwinJuly 30, 2015

Windows 10 is the talk of the town, that should actually read “talk of the world”, because it literally is.


Some of you may be confused, or even worried about upgrading to the new operating system, and who can blame you? Windows 8 was nothing short of a fiasco.

So, how does Windows 10 compare to Windows 8 anyway? Let’s find out.

Windows 10 vs Windows 8

Start Menu vs Start Screen:


The Start Menu is back in Windows 10, though not exactly like Windows 7’s, it is a huge improvement from the ridiculous and clunky “Start Screen” of Windows 8. Windows 10’s Start Menu has two sections: the left pane has shortcuts to All Apps, Settings, Power Options, etc, while the right pane has Live Tiles. Yes, the Live Tiles are similar to those in Windows 8, but they can be resized and complement the operating system well.

You can also customize the Start Menu to some extent, including Switching to a Full Start Screen, and also choosing which folders will appear in the menu’s left pane.

Action Center vs Charms Bar:

Gone is the hated Windows 8 Charm Bar which used to pop-up when you hovered the cursor to the corners. But Microsoft has provided an alternative way to for quickly accessing various toggles, system settings, notifications, in the form of the Action Center, which sits in the form of an icon in the system tray.


It also houses the Tablet mode called Continuum, which automatically shifts to a tablet friendly UI, when the tablet of a Hybrid 2-in-1 device is undocked from the keyboard.

Microsoft Edge vs Internet Explorer:

Microsoft Edge is the new kid on the block, and replaces Internet Explorer as the default browser of Windows 10. IE has been severely outdated for years, and thankfully Windows 10 actually has a Microsoft browser worthy to be used, and if I daresay, a good replacement for memory hogs like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.


Microsoft Edge is more than a match for modern browsers, and comes with a plethora of features like Reading View, Web page annotation, sharing them, Cortana integration, Smartscreen Filter, OpenSearch support, built-in Sandbox, and so much more.

Microsoft is yet to add support for browser extensions, which I think will be the deciding factor, of how successful Edge will be. It will surely give it an Edge, in the browser wars.


Multi-tasking is a breeze in Windows 10 thanks to Snap Assist, Task View and Virtual Desktops. I use these features everyday, which are especially handy if you need to quickly work with multiple apps without using alt-ab.


A power user such as myself, needs to several apps open, and to switch to them easily or even pin a couple of them on either side of the screen is a real boon. I mostly use it to write articles in a text editor, whilst keeping an eye out on social networks/rss feeds/emails for news.

Universal Apps, Windowed Apps, Windows Store Apps

Microsoft has made a lot of of its apps in to Universal apps, and so have some developers. These apps will offer a similar experience, no matter what Windows 10 device you use, be it a PC, Phone or a Tablet.

A key reason why Windows 8 flopped, was the horrid Full Screen Windows Store Apps. Windows 10 does not suffer from this flaw, and supports Windowed Apps, which you can use along side legacy apps.

Windows 10’s popularity during the Insider Preview Program, has managed to attract popular developers to the Windows Store, and this includes the likes of Twitter, which released an official app for Windows 10 yesterday, and Mozilla, which is expected to release Firefox for Windows 10 soon.

Windows Update:

Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, and Microsoft will continue to service the OS regularly with feature and security updates, rather than release service packs.

Okay, there is a huge negative point, in that Windows 10 Home edition users cannot defer updates at all. The OS will install every single update without the user’s intervention, and you cannot turn off Windows Updates. Only Pro edition users can defer updates, for a while, and even they must install updates which they skipped, to continue receiving future updates. Enterprise Edition users can skip feature updates entirely, and only install security updates. Refer to my previous write up about how the various update branches for the Editions of Windows 10 work.