What’s new in Windows 10, initial version, 1507

Below is a list of some of the new and updated features included in the initial release of Windows 10 (version 1507). Version 1507, known as "Threshold 1", and "initial Windows 10 version", was released on July 29, 2015.

Start and Action center

  • Start is now based on XAML instead of Direct UI
  • The start menu has been added with support for Live Tiles
  • The Start grid has been improved to allow new arrangements for tiles
  • The Start screen grid now scrolls vertically
  • Tiles no longer use a gradient and border
  • The Action center now takes the full height of the screen
  • You can now change quick settings in the Action center
  • Notifications can now contain actions
  • A swipe from the right now opens the Action center
  • Quick settings can now contain more settings
  • Notifications have received a new design
  • The Action center icon has been added to the taskbar
  • Notifications are now added to the Action center
  • New battery indicator
  • The start menu now can be made transparent
  • You can now pin tiles by dragging apps from the "All apps" list to the start screen
  • You can now put the PC to sleep with the power button in start
  • Folders now have an arrow to indicate that they contain a dropdown
  • Tiles can now be manipulated (format, etc.) with touch, similar to Windows Phone
  • When clicking on the network icon, a new fly-out shows up to manage your connection without opening Settings
  • The battery status popup has been updated
  • The Power button is now showed above the All apps button
  • It is now possible to resize the start menu
  • Tiles for Win32 apps no longer take a color based on the icon of that tile, but follows the accent color
  • Recently installed apps are now displayed on the top of the all apps list
  • There is a new calendar fly-out for the system tray
  • Start now has a blurred background
  • There are new Tile animations
  • There is a new sound control
  • You can now enable "Battery saver" or change the brightness from the "Battery status" icon in the taskbar
  • Start now supports jumplists
  • File Explorer and Settings are now shown above Power options
  • Start will now give a suggestion for new apps
  • You can now click on a letter to show all letters and navigate faster
  • There is now a global back button in the taskbar in Tablet Mode
  • You can add new locations to the left side part of the menu
  • For virtual desktops, the taskbar will now be filtered by default
  • The progress bar behind icons in the taskbar have been redesigned
  • The full screen start menu now shows the power and all apps button at the bottom
  • New start animations for apps
  • You can now swipe up on the left side of start to show all apps
  • New quick settings for Notes and Quiet hours

Cortana and search

  • The search button is replaced with a search bar by default
  • Cortana has been added, although with limited availability
  • Cortana can now search for music
  • Cortana is now integrated into start
  • Cortana's height is now variable to start
  • The Cortana icon is now smaller to match the start button
  • The search field, when disabled, will no longer cover the taskbar when opening the start menu, searching by typing is still possible
  • The search field now appears in the start menu when not enabled on the taskbar
  • In China, users can now choose between Cortana and Huna
  • Cortana now shows a smaller interface when using the "Hey Cortana" command
  • Windows + C now opens Cortana instead of the Charms bar
  • Search will now show a "Try Cortana" button on the bottom if Cortana isn't activated
  • Additional features have been added, like flight tracking, etc.
  • Cortana now supports Office 365 integration
  • Cortana will sometimes "talk" to you through the search box


  • Task View has been added
  • ALT+TAB now opens a view that's merged with the Task View
  • You can now drag windows to another desktop in the Task View
  • You can now choose to display all active apps from all desktops in the taskbar, or only the apps that are on the current desktop
  • Support for multiple desktops
  • Task View replaced the App Switcher
  • Modern UI apps now can run on the desktop
  • Aero Snap has been updated
    • You can now snap up to 4 windows
    • When you snap a window and resize it, then snap another window to the other side, it will fill up the left screen instead of half the screen
    • When snapping an app, Windows will prompt a overview of other running apps to snap along
  • Universal Apps now can create a shortcut on the desktop or any other folder
  • You can now pin the Recycle Bin to the taskbar
  • You can now scroll a window by pointing the cursor to it
  • When used on a touch enabled device, the icons in the notification area have more space
  • Clicking the internet connection icon on the taskbar will open the PC Settings app instead of the fly-out
  • "Personalize" in the desktop context menu now opens the Settings app
  • The window chrome of Win32 apps is now the same as for WinRT apps
  • The back-button no longer takes the accent color in some apps
  • Apps no longer have to take a white icon on the taskbar
  • All Win32 controls have been given a redesign
  • The taskbar animations for loading, needs attention, etc. have been updated
  • The installation experience has been updated, it also introduces more apps
  • There are new default wallpapers
  • Properties windows have received a visual refresh

File Explorer

  • Home is the new default location
  • An "Add to favorites" button has been added under "Start" in the ribbon
  • You can now share files from within the File Explorer with compatible Universal Apps
  • Favorite folders can now be pinned to Home in File Explorer
  • OneDrive now uses selective sync, no more Smart Files
  • You can now choose the default folder for File Explorer
  • A "Pin to quick access" options has been added to the ribbon in the File Explorer, replacing Favorites
  • Apps can now run within File Explorer (or pick a photo, Photos will load in File Explorer, for example)

User Interface

  • The desktop has received a new interface
  • Windows have a new chrome design to match Win32 and WinRT apps
  • Settings fly-out now appears within an app
  • The Charms bar has been removed
  • Many icons have been updated
  • Multiple animations have been altered
  • Animations have been refined
  • Dialogs in WinRT are now windowed
  • The installation interface has been redesigned
  • The start button now has a smaller Windows logo and a new hover design
  • The window preview in the taskbar has been updated with a new design
  • When the taskbar is small, the date will still be visible
  • The "All apps" icon has been changed
  • The lock screen now shows icons in the bottom right corner, instead of under the clock
  • Context menus now have a touch-friendly design when using a touch screen (and a redesign in general)
  • Loading screens for Restarting, Shutting down, etc. have been redesigned
  • Cortana now gets introduced during installation
  • It's now more clear how to make a new Microsoft Account, or how to use a local account
  • The taskbar is now dark by default
  • Windows no longer take on a color and are now always white
  • Jumplists have been redesigned
  • The Hero wallpaper is now available
  • The logon screen has been updated with a centered design
  • The Hero wallpaper is now used in the logon screen

Microsoft Edge

  • Edge 20.10240 has been added with the following features
    • You can now draw on web-pages
    • Comments can now be added to web-pages (like Office)
    • Reading Mode is now built-in for PCs
    • Reading List is now built-in
    • Cortana is now built-in
    • You can now find your downloads in the download manager
    • You can now open Internet Explorer from within Spartan
    • The "Add to" dialogue has been improved
    • You can now save PDFs you opened in the browser
    • There is a new Internet Explorer-like New tabs page
    • There is a new New tabs page
    • Pages that are using sound now show this in their tab
    • You can now pin sites to start again
    • Edge can now save passwords and forms
    • Edge now supports InPrivate browsing
    • When Reading Mode-compatible content is found, the icon will animate
    • When hovering over an URL, the target URL is now shown at the bottom
    • Edge is now capable of going full screen, where it used to go in full window
    • The Settings pane has been split in 2 pages
    • It is now possible to pin panes to the side to let them stay open while browsing
    • Improved print options
    • Improvements to address bar badges
    • Reading Mode now supports more screen sizes and content types
    • There is a new share icon on the url bar
    • You can now enable a dark theme for Edge
    • You can now drag and drop tabs between multiple windows
    • You can now manage your passwords
    • You can now change the search provider
    • When closing Edge with 2 or more tabs open, it will now warn you
    • Pinned hubs now look better
    • You can now show a home button
    • You can now view localhost sites within Microsoft Edge
  • F12 developer tools
    • New and improved Network Tools
    • HTML and CSS Pretty Printing support
    • Async Callstacks for Events and Timers
    • Sourcemaps for Styles and in the Memory Profiler
    • Find references and Go To Definitions
  • EdgeHTML 12.10240 has been added with the following features
    • Support for Content Security Policy
    • GamePad API support has returned (as seen in Internet Explorer Developer Channel)
    • CSS Transforms - preserve-3d support
    • JS Arrow function
    • JS iterators
    • JS Symbols
    • Media Queries Level 4: Interaction Media Features
    • CSS3 Cursor Value support
    • HTML5 date/week/time input fields are now enabled by default
    • Selection API Support
    • WAV Audio Support
    • ES6 Built-ins (Math, Number, String and Object)
    • ES6 Object Literal Enhancements
    • ES6 Promises
    • ES6 Classes
    • ES6 Spread
    • ES6 Template Strings
    • ES6 Proxies
    • ES6 WeakSet
    • HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
    • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)
    • Video Tracks
    • DOM L3 XPath
    • Conditional Rules
    • Gradient Midpoints
    • Date related input types
    • Touch Events
    • Web Audio API
    • ARAI Landmark Roles
    • Fullscreen API
    • DOM Level 3 XPath
    • Default function parameters
    • Rest parameters
    • Spread (...) operator
    • RegEx "y" and "u" flags
    • Generators
    • Proxy
    • Reflect
    • Function "name" property
    • String.prototype methods
    • Improved support for HTML5
    • Improved support for CSS3
    • Default parameter
    • Generators
    • RegExp Build-ins (ES6)
    • ASM.js
    • Media Capture and Streams
    • Meta Referrer
    • SVG foreignobject element

Internet Explorer

  • IE is replaced by Project 'Spartan' as the default browser
  • The Immersive Internet Explorer has been removed


  • New panels, settings and options
    • Options for the Windows Insider Program have been added
    • DataSense is added to manage data connections
    • Battery Saver is added to manage energy consumption on mobile devices
    • You can now choose if you want new Windows builds as soon as they are released, or want to wait a couple of days
    • You can now add Optional Features through the app
    • Battery Saver (Devices) has been added to show usage details
    • Personalization settings have been added
    • Closed captioning can now be set in the app
    • Multiple privacy settings have been added
    • The list of default accent colors has been changed
    • Storage Sense has been added to the main menu
    • You can now back-up settings to OneDrive (not the same as sync)
    • You can now change your background through this app
    • Under "Privacy", Cortana options have been added
    • Transparency can be disabled
    • You can now enable and disable the color of the taskbar and start screen
    • Multiple new personalization settings have been added
    • New privacy options have been added
    • Under "Update & security" there is a new "For developers" section
    • Backup & restore has been re-added from Windows 7
    • Windows Hello has been added with facial recognition, fingerprint and iris scan support
    • Options to change start have been added under "Personalization"
  • Visual updates and others
    • Multiple sections have been renamed, replaced, merged, or split


  • Touch gestures on a touchpad are now built-in and universal across all Windows devices
  • Improvements to multi monitor support have been made
  • Built-in MKV-file support
  • Built-in HVEC-file support
  • System-wide support for the FLAC & ALAC audio formats
  • Apps can now run on a 1024x600 resolution
  • Win32 apps now also use gestures
  • Support for the Persian calendar
  • You can now print to PDF natively
  • You can now install apps from and move apps to an SD card
  • Apps no longer have a restricted minimum size
  • Win32 apps can no longer ask to change the default app for any file format and have to use the method used by Universal Windows Apps


We will no longer cover changes to built-in apps other then Microsoft Edge as this is almost impossible to keep track off and updates to these apps aren't bound to any version of Windows. And in case you do want to know the differences between the built-in Windows 8.1 and built-in Windows 10 apps: they are basically all redone


  • Classic Calculator has been removed

Other features

  • The virtual keyboard now shows AutoComplete suggestions
  • Touching a textbox in the desktop will now auto start the on-screen keyboard
  • Command prompt
    • Standardized key shortcuts
    • Selecting text is now possible
    • Paste from clipboard is now possible
    • Text wrap can be altered on resize
    • Leading zeros can now be trimmed in selections
    • You can alter the opacity of the window between 30 and 100 percent
  • Preview Updates can be rolled back in the EUFI screen
  • "System compression" has been added to Disk Cleanup as a new option
  • It's easier to connect to wireless audio and video devices
  • The Text Input canvas has been improved
  • You can now set a timer in the snapping tool

And further

  • The Windows kernel major version number changed from version 6.3 to 10.0
  • Internet Explorer is no longer a default pinned item on the taskbar and is replaced by Edge
  • Some of the sounds have been renamed
  • "Play to" has been renamed "Cast to Device"

Windows 10 Release History

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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