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August 2, 2020

Know Your Windows 10


I was looking into all these details to decide on my options in purchasing the kind of laptop that I want. I ended up purchasing a customized Lenovo laptop, only for it to be cancelled from their end after 6-7 weeks failing their promised delivery in 4 weeks time. Lenovo laptop delivery timelines seem to historically bad and their support is just terrible. I suffered great loss because of their slack. Subsequently, I grew really impatient and wanted to get one ASAP with Windows 10 Pro operating system pre-installed. This narrowed my choice to very few models that didn't impress me much for their hardware specs and price. I opted to prioritize on hardware specs and experiment on the software side of things. And that helped. For the curious I got myself an Acer Predator Triton 300 laptop and have post my experience with it thus far in another post.

This blog post has those little things I wish I knew about Windows 10, when it was most important for me but discovered/learned later. I practically battled my time with Ubuntu OS and Mac OS prior to that. I never cared to think about these details when I was using Windows 10 during my gig at corporate houses in the mean time; understandably there were other things to focus.

  1. If you are using Windows 10 Home, you can use Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) to connect to other systems but not share your desktop with others using it. To share your desktop with others using native RDP app, you must upgrade to Windows 10 pro.
  2. Hyper-V is disabled in Windows 10 Home edition. So if you are purchasing a new laptop, you are better off getting one with Windows 10 Pro OS installed instead of Windows 10 Home. Cost saving tip!
  3. If you are in a country like India where you have plethora of options to buy Windows 10 Home laptop with very limited options for pre-installed Windows 10 Pro or customised laptops, you can always upgrade to Windows 10 Pro via Windows Store at half the price (INR 8000 incl. taxes), instead of buying a new one from windows website at full price (INR 18000 incl. taxes). Microsoft managed to lend its ears to the market and respond positively to its consumers.
  4. In your Control Panel > Turn Windows Features On/Off, you should enable Windows Defender Application Guard that offers a secure container from internet browsing to protect your host OS from malicious attacks. To take advantage of this though, you need to use Microsoft Edge browser only. 
  5. Windows Office Home/Student pack works well on Windows 10 Pro OS. So if you are a developer wanting both Windows 10 Pro and MS Office for your personal needs, you have have them both together without any incompatibility issue.
  6. You can get your pre-installed windows 10 license key from your terminal aka command prompt by running it as administrator and executing the command: wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey. Note down this license key for future reference.
  7. Do you know that when you upgrade from Windows 10 from Home to Pro, your license key actually changes. I got this confirmed from Windows Support Team!
  8. Do you know that when you upgrade from Windows 10 from Home to Pro, you end up getting a Single User License (aka Retail license) instead of the OEM license. At least, I think I had only the OEM license prior to windows upgrade. You can check the type of your license by opening your terminal or powershell in administrator mode and executing the command: slmgr /dli
  9. With WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) support introduced by Microsoft in 2019, you don't miss your Linux distros. I have Ubuntu installed, for instance.
  10. If you are on Windows 10 Home, you can use WSL-1. If you are on Windows 10 Pro, you should use WSL-2 to leverage windows native virtualization, for better performance. 
  11. Do you know that you can download and use Windows 10 Home for free, legally for personal use. The only downside is that you can't have any customization done to it and you will see a watermark on the screen to activate your version of installed operating system. Cheers to Microsoft for that smart strategy of allowing the masses to experience its work.
Should you think there is more that I should know as a developer, do drop your comments.

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