Windows 10 launches today to the public. If you're a time-crunched outdoorsman, you'll want to download it.
Computing has come a long way in the past fifteen years. It dictates almost everything we do in the outdoors; from editing hunting footage to scouting satellite maps on a smart phone, we're always looking for the next digital edge.
Microsoft's latest operating system (OS) promises even more ways to make the most of our time in front of a screen. Here's why.
1. Buy Gear, Not Software
Chances are, there are a few pieces of gear on your list you don't have the cash for just yet. For Windows 7, and 8 users, upgrading to Windows 10 is free! No charge.
The offer only lasts for the operating system's first year of availability so this time next year, if you want it but still haven't gotten it, you'll have to pay. This isn't a trial offer that expires or a throttled back version of 10. It's a full-fledged OS that you'll never have to pay for.
Now go buy that new rangefinder instead!
2. Everybody Wins
Tired of the kids whining when you want to watch a hunting or fishing show and they're playing the Xbox on the living room TV? Whine no more, kiddos!
With Windows 10 they can stream their games onto a PC, laptop or Windows tablet from the Xbox One while you retake your rightful place in the recliner in front of the TV.
A family crisis has been averted and you get to catch up on your bassin' shows.
3. Spend Your Time Wisely
Even during summertime, for an outdoorsman, there's plenty to do. Night catfishing, hanging deer stands, lily pad bluegill fishing; you don't have time to learn a new OS.
Thankfully with Windows 10, it feels more like a polished version of 7 than the dizzying tiles from Windows 8. Those Live Tiles are still around, though they're just see-through and de-emphasized. The old standard Windows Start button is back and lets you know exactly where you are in the OS.
4. On the Run
Windows 10 apps harness the synchronizing power of OneDrive to make your content accessible on whatever Windows 10 device you're on.
Creating some waypoints on a map of your hunting property just before you leave for the deer stand? Pull up that same map complete with your saved locations on your Windows phone as you navigate to your destination.
Pick up right where you left off with seamless integration of all your Windows 10 enabled devices.
5. An OS Jim Shockey Won't Sneer at
Charms. I hated saying that term for the Windows 8 action bar on the right side of the screen. While Charms are gone, they've been replaced by a utilitarian and functional notification center.
Control common settings and get updates on your PC's status in this no-nonsense bar without having to utter...that word.
The Windows 10 buzz is overall positive and the inclusion of Cortana from "Halo" as a digital assistant may make you feel about as close to being Master Chief as you ever will. There are reports that the Cortana feature is still a little buggy, but has great promise.
The new OS launches today. If you're a busy outdoorsman with little time to spare, download it from the Windows Notification center in your system tray (lower right hand of your screen) and begin enjoying all the new features of Microsoft's latest operating system.
Still have questions? Visit Microsoft's Windows 10 FAQ.