T-Mobile’s first Windows 10 phone will be the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL

T-Mobile U.S. may have been brushed off for the latest Lumias, but they are not finished with Windows 10 Mobile. Windows Central has verified that the carrier is expected to announce support for the upcoming Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL.

News of the Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL was first revealed by @evleaks back in September with an unofficial render (see above) of the phone posted by him in October. (Note: despite the Windows Hello screen in the render the Fierce XL does not have bio-authentication). The Fierce XL is by all means an entry-level device and fits in with T-Mobile’s previous efforts with Windows Phone.
Interestingly, the T-Mobile variant will ship in cyan and is a nice nod to old-school Lumia fans who preferred a more colorful phone. Marketing also appears to have dropped ‘Mobile’ from Windows 10 Mobile to keep sloganeering for the phone direct.

T-Mobile U.S. Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL

Windows 10 Mobile OS
Black bezel but cyan back
5.5-inch 720p display
Capacitive buttons
Snapdragon 210
2GB of RAM
16GB internal memory with micro SD slot
8MP rear and 2MP front camera
WiFi Calling 2.0
Non-removable 2500mah battery

Alcatel OneTouch has an extensive history making Android smartphones e.g. the recent Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. They have also boldly claimed that the future of Windows Phone is in the entry-level and that does look to be holding true.

As to when the T-Mobile version will launch in the U.S. it is expected in the coming weeks, and it should be less than $100 off contract. Alcatel OneTouch is likely to feature the phone at CES in Las Vegas next week and Windows Central will be on hand to cover it and any other launches.

On a final note, T-Mobile has also set up an extensive training guide for employees on Windows 10 Mobile suggesting the Fierce XL may be part of a larger portfolio. Although the Fierce XL does not support Continuum the Windows 10 Mobile training guides do hinting a higher-end phone that supports the ‘phone as a PC’ experience may be coming to T-Mobile.

First firmware update for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL improves performance, stability and more

Over the last 24 hours, we have seen reports from many users that a new firmware update was going out. The update is under the guise MICROSOFTMDG update and while the OS remains the same the firmware does change from 01078.00017.15452.xxxx to01078.00027.15506.xxxx.

Microsoft has now posted a changelog of this update, and it looks to a rather interesting one with many improvements.

New firmware update for Lumia 950/950 XL: 01078.00027.15506.020xx

  • Stability and performance improvements.
  • Improvements for SD memory card support.
  • Improvements for automatic display brightness settings.
  • Fix for a camera problem that was causing noisy images in low-light conditions for some users.
  • Fix for a 4K video problem that was causing stripes to show up while playing back recorded videos for some users.

We should caution that the update appears to be rolling out for those in Europe first with many getting the update starting yesterday. However, none of our phones here in the US, including our AT&T Lumia 950 and unlocked Lumia 950 XL are seeing the update just yet. Microsoft says the update is rolling out gradually:

“The update should be already available for many of the users and rollouts will continue gradually. Availability of the update may depend on your network service provider.”

That last line is a little concerning for those on AT&T specifically. On the other hand, we are less than 24 hours into this process, and even our unlocked device is not seeing the update so no conclusions can yet be drawn.

Regardless, you can see if you phone has the update by going into Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates to see if it is live. If it is, you should see aMICROSOFTMDG update waiting.

Indian smartphone market’s big trend of 2016

About 40% of smartphones being shipped are already on 4G and more than 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones can be there by 2018.

NEW DELHI: With smartphones turning smarter every passing day, it is the domestic players and new Chinese entrants to the market that continued to challenge global giants like Apple and Samsung in 2015 and the New Year can be much more exciting with the expansion of 4G services.

Emerging as a big force in the global smartphones market during 2015, India saw about 75 million devices being shipped in the first three quarters of the year. The pace of the blistering growth was further strengthened by the online channel as many handset makers added e-commerce only devices.

The strong pace is expected to help India replace the the US as the second largest market globally, after China.

“Smartphones as a category have grown at a phenomenal pace this year and this is across price points. In the coming year, there will be a lot of action in 4G as operators expand coverage. With 4G network rollout, India will become one of the biggest mobile internet markets in the world leading to the launch of many services that consumers can benefit from,” homegrown Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.

About 40% of smartphones being shipped are already on 4G and more than 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones can be there by 2018, he added.

A major driver of this growth has been online sales.

“One in three smartphone in October was sold using the digital platform. With a lot of discounted offers, ‘exclusive-to-online’ products accounted for about 17% of the total smartphone volumes, while the overall online including marketplace touched around 25% of the volumes,” he added.

The online platforms gave a lot of Chinese brands an easy launchpad for India without much investment in the distribution and service channels.

The year ahead would continue to see “intense action”, especially in the entry-level smartphone market, as companies look to upgrade feature phone users. With 60% of the user base still on feature phones, the expectation is that close to 70-80 million feature phone consumers will switch to affordable smartphones.

Mike Wang, CEO at Oppo Mobiles India, said the ongoing trend of affordable smartphones will continue in the coming year with launch of more mid-segment smartphones.

Year 2016 is also expected to see introduction of new brands like LeTV, a trend seen this year.

A trend that could become the mainstay in the year ahead could be services-laden smartphones.

The app ecosystem grew fast this year with users graduating from just using gaming apps to services-oriented apps like Ola and Uber to book cabs, Foodpanda to order food to using mobile wallets like Paytm and Mobikwik.

Nasscom and IAMAI join net neutrality fight

Internet and Mobile Association of India said that differential pricing violates the principle of net neutrality.
NEW DELHI: Two industry bodies representing several major national and international corporations said that they are opposed to a blanket enablement of differential pricing of data services, in response to a telecom regulator paper seeking comment on the practice. One of them, however, said that there may be certain situations that warrant allowing discounted tariffs for some online services.

“The differential pricing issue is important, because it has implications for net neutrality,” R Chandrashekhar, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) president told ET. “Differential pricing as a blanket enablement is out of question. It should not be done because it will completely erode net neutrality,” he added.

Nasscom member companies include technology services companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which includes members such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, said it was opposed to differential pricing, as it violates net neutrality.

“In addition to being against net neutrality, the differential pricing models suggested by Trai prima facie also violate the regulator’s own stated principles of intervening in pricing,” said Subho Ray, the president of IAMAI.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had asked for suggestions on differential pricing of data services in a consultation paper it released on December 9. In the paper, it describes differential tariff plans as those offered by telecom companies at “zero or discounted tariffs to certain contents of certain websites/applications/platforms.”

While both associations opposed blanket differential pricing plans, Nasscom said that there was a case for considering such plans in special cases. “However, we have recognised that there may be a need for differential pricing in certain contexts. For example emergency services,” Chandrashekhar said.

IAMAI also counts Facebook as a member, which has been at the centre of the storm brewing around net neutrality, and has been slammed for driving a campaign supporting its “Free Basics” programme, which is seen as violating net neutrality.

Trai has said that the “objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service providers/content providers or platform providers to enable people of this country especially the poor to access certain content on the internet free of charge”.

Opponents of zero-rated services have argued that a service such as Free Basics will create a “walled garden” by providing preferential access to the internet. Free Basics, in partnership with a telecom, seeks to guide traffic to only those content providers or apps who have subscribed to become a part of it – at the expense of others.

“IAMAI submits that any pricing mechanism that allows paid or unpaid prioritisation or other discriminatory practices will seriously limit competition, throttle innovation and fundamentally lead to fragmentation of the internet. Such measures should not be allowed in any case,” IAMAI said in its submission.

Neither Nasscom, nor IAMAI mentioned Free Basics in their submissions to the regulator.

Rotate an image, another one appears

Rotate an image, another one appears (w/ Video)Hidden elements can now be placed into an inkjet printed image, thanks to EPFL software. These hidden elements become visible by simply rotating the print.

Hide an image within an image. EPFL scientists have developed a printing algorithm that does just that onto metallic sheets. Two images are printed together using an inkjet printer so that only one image can be seen at a time from a given angle.

The technique could one day be used as a security element in passports and printed money to prevent counterfeit.

Roger Hersch holds a printed image of a colourful butterfly. He then turns the print 90 degrees to reveal an entirely new image, the Mona Lisa. “Elements can only be seen upon rotation, ” says Hersch of EPFL’s Peripheral Systems Laboratory. “This rotation effect has never been done before.”

Messages have been hidden in documents for over two millennia, starting with the chemical properties of substances from lemon juice to bodily fluids. Modern techniques use the fluorescence of substances under ultraviolet light, the precision of nanoparticle printing or even engineered bacteria that glow under certain circumstances. Printing is part of that game.

Printers spray ink as tiny dots into precise patterns, a standard technique called halftoning. Different patterns of cyan, magenta and yellow dots produce a wide range of colours.

When the halftone is printed along lines onto metallic sheets, the researchers noticed that the resulting colour depends on the viewing angle. This is because incoming light traversing the ink lines cast shadows onto the metallic surface. Ink lines perpendicular to the incoming light create a large shadow and appear as “strong colors”. Ink lines parallel to the incoming light do not induce a shadow and appear as “weak colors”. When the print is rotated by 90 degrees, strong colors become weak and weak colors become strong.

This effect would not be noticeable on paper. Unlike the mirror properties of a metallic sheet, paper diffuses light in many directions and gets rid of directional shadows.

Based on these observations, the researchers developed both a mathematical model and associated software that predict the colours that will be observed from different viewing angles. Currently, the software supports standard inkjet prints onto metallic sheets.

Their algorithm essentially superposes two images during the printing process, creating a print with visible and hidden elements. By changing the viewing angle, and hence the way light casts shadows, hidden elements literally come to light.

Adobe updates Flash amid renewed exploit fears

US software maker Adobe released an update for its widely used Flash player on December 28, 2015, amid reports that vulnerabilit

Adobe said it was aware of a report of “limited, targeted attacks” against unprotected versions of the software.

“These updates address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” the company said in a statement.

“Adobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest version.”

But some websites and services have been abandoning Adobe for security reasons.

Facebook this month said it was switching software for its embedded videos while adding that “we are continuing to work together with Adobe to deliver a reliable and secure Flash experience for games on our platform.”

Apple notably dropped the use of Flash in its iPhones several years ago, and earlier this year Amazon said it had stopped accepting advertising in Flash format.

Google also blocked Flash ads from its Web browsers this year by converting the content to a different format known as HTML5.

The moves come amid concerns that hackers could insert malicious software into video ads, a technique known as “malvertising.”

Security blogger Brian Krebs said that Internet users should at least update their Flash programs or “better yet, get rid of Flash altogether, or at least disable it until and unless you need it.”


Samsung to Reveal 3 Creative Lab Projects at CES 2016

Samsung to Reveal 3 Creative Lab Projects at CES 2016

Samsung has announced that it will be showcasing three Creative Lab (also known as C-Lab) projects “for the first time” at CES 2016. The three new projects are Welt, which is a healthcare belt that can help users manage their waist size; Rink, is a hand-motion controller for mobile VR devices, and TipTalk, is a user experience (UX) that is claimed to enable users’ to hear sounds, transmitted through their own body.

The South Korean giant confirmed that the three new C-Labs projects will be showcased at Eureka Park, the destination for startups at CES from January 6 to January 9. Samsung says that the three projects are still in the development process but are being showcased to assess their market potential and gather hands-on feedback from CES attendees. In the statement, Samsung elaborated about the programme, “C-Lab is one of Samsung’s innovation programs, which helps its employees to nurture their own creative business ideas.”


The first project Welt is said to record the user’s waist size, eating habits and the number of steps taken, as well as time spent sitting down. The device can also send the gathered data to an app for analysis, and for other purposes such as personalised healthcare and weight management plans. On the other hand, Rink is a hand-motion controller for mobile VR devices which is claimed to have ability to intuitively control the game by using hands gestures.


Lastly, TipTalk is touted to be the company’s “remarkable new UX” that can allow people to listen to the sound from their smart devices (such as the Samsung Gear S2) without headsets or earphones. Users will need to just touch their finger to their ear.

Samsung claims this will enhance the clarity of calls enabling the user to hear even in loud environments.

Recently, Samsung confirmed that all of its 2016 Smart TVs will be compatible with SmartThings, its home automation platform. The South Korean giant had also revealed that all of its SUHD TVs would have IoT Hub technology enabling the TV to control other smart appliances.

Samsung’s 2016 Smart TVs to Get Better Security, More Games

Samsung's 2016 Smart TVs to Get Better Security, More Games

Ahead of CES 2016, Samsung has announced more details about its upcoming 2016 Tizen-based Smart TV lineup. The South Korean giant has announced that its new Smart TV lineup will pack a three-layer security solution as well as bring over 400 streaming games (from PlayStation Now) and 100 downloadable games.

The new security solution has been named Gaia, a service designed to offer consumers protection across the Smart TV ecosystem including services, software, and hardware security. The Gaia service will come preloaded on all of the 2016 Samsung SUHD TVs.

Samsung said Gaia protects consumer’s personal data in three ways. It has Secure Zone, which is said to be a virtual barrier that creates a secure space and protects the core service operations. Secondly, Gaia encrypts important data transmitted between the TV and IoT service servers and lastly, the security level is strengthened in terms of hardware which divides the Tizen OS into two parts the main and the security space.

The company expects 2016 as the year the TV will “become the centre for Internet of Things (IoT).”

Announcing the Gaia service, Hyun Suk Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics said, “Protecting consumers’ personal information is of the utmost importance to Samsung, both in terms of the company’s values and what’s needed for the continued growth and success of the IoT ecosystem. GAIA is a security solution that will give Samsung customers security and peace of mind now and in the future.”


Additionally, Samsung announced plans to expand the library of games on its 2016 Samsung Smart TV lineup. The company will showcase some of the upgraded game services at CES 2016. One of the most notable improvements to the Samsung Smart TV lineup is access to the upgraded PlayStation Now service in 2016. The two companies had partnered ahead of CES last year to bring the service to Samsung Smart TVs. At the time, the PlayStation Now library contained only 200 games.

As before, the PlayStation Now service is available in the US and Canada, and offers subscribers access to nearly 300 games. Some of game titles that have recently been added include Mortal Kombat, The Last of Us: Left Behind, God of War III, BioShock 2, and Borderlands 2. Some of the games that were added recently include Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham Origins, and The Lego Movie Videogame from PlayStation Now.

Users will get a free 7-day subscription to PlayStation Now, following which they will have to subscribe to the service for $19.99 a month.

The company notes that these will be available for gamers to stream directly through their Samsung Smart TVs. It added that the Samsung’s Smart TV Games offers services to gamers in 43 countries and claims to have 4.5 million monthly users.

Apart from the above games, Samsung 2016 Smart TV users will be able to stream games on their TVs users can also download over 100 games to play, including Revolt3, Deer Hunter, Eternity Warriors 3, and more.

Youngchan Kim, Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics said, “Samsung’s 2016 Smart TV lineup is a direct response to the expectation of consumers that their TVs should be more than just a device on which to watch content. The new Smart TV gaming service is just one feature of a TV that offers all-round entertainment. Our game offering will continue to expand, as Samsung partners with publishers of popular games.”

Some of the other announcements made by Samsung for CES 2016 include showcasing three Creative Lab (also known as C-Lab) projects “for the first time” at CES. The company has already confirmed that all 2016 Smart TVs will be compatible with SmartThings. The company has also revealed that all of its SUHD TVs will have IoT Hub technology enabling the TV to control other smart appliances.

Best Windows 10 apps

One of the principal benefits of Windows 10 is having a single, homogeneous app library that works across all your devices, including your Windows Phone, PC and Xbox.

However, as Windows 10 for Phones is still some months from release, this facet of the Windows 10 platform has time yet before it comes into its own.

However, this doesn’t mean that your new Windows 10 computer is going to be bereft of apps; far from it. Paradoxically, one of the major changes for Windows 10 is that many aspects haven’t changed.

While there have been some shake-ups in the way apps are presented and laid out, the fact remains that Windows 8 apps are still fully compatible with Windows 10.

Rather than having to write an entirely new version of their app for the new platform, developers can just stick with the old version, and update it with Windows 10 functionality as they go along.

This means that the vast majority of popular apps on Windows 10 are going to be largely identical to their Windows 8.1 counterparts.

There are already a large selection of apps and desktop programs for you to start using with Windows 10, and we’ve rounded up the best offering available on day one. This list will be updated with new entries, as the Windows 10 library continues to grow.

Best Windows 10 apps: Get Started

A handy guide for new users, Get Started uses slideshows and video tutorials to walk you through the new platform.

It’s a useful feature considering the new OS was only released in July 2015, and represents quite a departure from operating systems like Windows 7, which many are more familiar with.

Just type Get Started into the search bar to pull up the app, and scroll through the tabs on the left to pick a feature you want to learn about.

Best Windows 10 apps: Microsoft Edge

In terms of Killer apps, Microsoft Edge is the new big-ticket item. Replacing Internet Explorer as the default Windows browser, Microsoft has put a lot of effort into sprucing up Edge for the new, internet-centric generation.

One of the most obvious changes is a new visual design, which blends the sparse, stripped-down appearance of Windows 8’s touch-optimised Internet Explorer with the added utility seen in rivals like Chrome and Firefox, along with unique annotation tools.

Elsewhere, it’s sporting a built-in Pocket or Instapaper-syle reading list, which allows you to save interesting articles for later perusal. There’s also a new Reading View, which breaks down and reformats the page to give a basic, uncluttered view of whatever article you’re reading.

As a default browser, it’s a massive step up from Internet Explorer, and Microsoft now has a viable rival to other companies’ more impressive offerings.

Best Windows 10 apps: Uber

Uber has arrived on Windows 10 PCs thanks to the Universal Windows Platform, which lets developers build an app that works across different types of devices.

You can pinpoint your location on your desktop app to request a driver to pick you up, or, if you’re too busy, you can just request Cortana to request a cab for you, by saying: “Hey Cortana, get me an uberX to [name an address here]”.

If you’re already working on your Windows 10 device, it means there’s no need to pull out your phone to book a ride.

Additionally by pinning the app to your Start menu, Uber will count down the estimated time of arrival of your taxi.

Best Windows 10 apps: OneNote

As one of the comparatively recent additions to the Office stable, OneNote is often – unfairly – overlooked as a basic note-taking tool. In reality, it can have a surprising amount of functionality outside this.

There’s a full suite of drawing tools for use with touchscreens and styluses, so you can handwrite notes as well as type them. In addition to this, you can also record audio via your device microphone and link it to specific sections of your notes for easy reference.

Be warned though – the desktop Office 2013 version of OneNote is the one to go for. The app version that comes preinstalled with many Windows machines has its uses, but it’s severely lacking in functionality compared to its big brother.

Best Windows 10 apps: Cortana

Microsoft’s answer to the recent wave of digital assistants like Siri and Google Now, Cortana is now built into Windows 10 on desktops. Like all DAs, it works best in conjunction with a paired phone on the same ecosystem, but Cortana is still useful even if you’re on Android or iOS.

By default, Cortana appears as a search box just next to the start button on the taskbar. From there, you can search your computer and the internet, just like in Windows 8. However, Cortana will also organise your appointments, giving you context-sensitive reminders based on time, place or contacts.

Through machine learning, Cortana utilises your search history and other data to learn more about your likes and dislikes, building an intelligent profile of what to suggest to you in its notebook.

Naturally, it’s got voice-activation options – via the ‘hey Cortana’ keyphrase – and Microsoft claims that it can understand more natural speech patterns than competitors. It’s a useful tool purely on desktop, but it’ll be a downright essential once Windows 10 arrives on phones.

Best Windows 10 apps: Twitter Moments

Twitter updated its Windows 10 app in December 2015 to include Moments, a feature that enables you to see the highest trending stories of the day.

Moments lets you browse conversations, video clips and pictures to check out the latest news relevant to you, and when you find a subject that piques your interest, you can follow it, with Twitter curating the best tweets about it to send to your feed.

Best Windows 10 apps: Microsoft Word Mobile

Most people may be more familiar with its full-fat Office cousin, but unlike OneNote, the app version of Microsoft Word is actually our favourite of the two.

Like with all the mobile-friendly Office apps, Word is a lot more slimmed down compared to the desktop version. However, while this means a loss of functionality for many apps, for word it actually results in a much more streamlined experience.

Some of the more fine-grained control is gone, but all the core options and elements remain intact. Font and paragraph options are present and correct, as well as change tracking and media insertion tools.

For the day-to-day needs of most users, the Word app is a perfect lightweight document editor, with a clean layout and a great set of cloud syncing tools to boot.

Best Windows 10 apps: Xbox

Consider this a must-have for any Xbox gamer. Through the Xbox app, Windows 10 now includes functionality for streaming games from an Xbox One directly to a PC, without the need for a high-end processor or graphics card.

Gamers no longer need to be confined to the bedroom or living room while playing their favourite games. Streaming to a Windows 10 laptop, games can be taken anywhere, as long as you’re within range of your home WiFi network.

The app can also be used to capture game footage through the Game DVR system, then browsed and uploaded remotely. Acting as a Facebook-esque social hub for all your gaming activity, the Xbox app is a real leap forward for cross-platform support.

How to download and and carry out a clean install of Windows 10

Now that Windows 10 is available for free to any users of Windows 7 and Windows 8, it is somewhat of a no-brainer to upgrade.

This marks a very real drive by the company to get its user base onto the latest and greatest version of its successful operating system. As it is also one of the first to be available online only, installing Windows 10 is a different proposition altogether.

There are many ways to install Windows 10; if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 from 7/8.1 for free then you’ll need to use the install in place using one of the two methods outlined below.

While installing in place with older versions of Windows was a scary enough process that we wouldn’t have recommended it, it’s a far easier thing with Windows 10. The first way is the most straightforward but will take longer. If you’re apprehensive to use Microsoft’s latest and greatest, go for the latter method instead which is faster but involves a little more work.

It’s worth noting that if you have a retail copy of Windows 7 or 8/8.1, you can transfer your licence to a new computer by first installing Windows 7/8.1 on another computer and then upgrade to Windows 10 using one of the methods below. Once Microsoft’s offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 expires on 29 July 2016, you’ll no longer be able to to this. In other words, once you’ve upgraded you’ll be on a new licence with more restrictive terms about you can and can’t do with your copy of Windows 10.

Method One: Windows 10 reservation tool

1. While we didn’t have any problems during our installation, it’s always a good idea to backup your computer prior to installing any new software – particularly something as important as a new operating system. Should anything go wrong, at least, you’ll still have duplicates of all your files.

2. In advance of installing Windows 10, you’ll need to ensure that all the latest updates available for your existing installation of Windows (7 SP1 or 8.1) are installed. Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Windows Update (Windows 7) or Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update and follow the on-screen prompts to install all available Important updates.

3. Once these updates are installed, you’ll see a tiny Windows icon in your System Tray. Click it and follow the on-screen prompts – a wizard will check your computer for compatibility and ‘reserve’ your copy of Windows 10 in Microsoft’s staggered worldwide download queue.

4. When your reserved copy of Windows is ready, you’ll see a dialog box prompting you to download the installer. Accept and the long wait begins. The exact size of the installer will vary depending on your existing setup, but it will be in the region of at least 2.5GB.

5. Once the installer has downloaded, another dialog box will prompt you to finally start the installation itself (hooray!) either straight away or at a later time. The lengthy download will be followed by an equally lengthy ‘preparing for installation’ phase, so scheduling for installation will be a good idea. Follow the on-screen prompts to start installation – it’ll be another lengthy process, but it’ll be worth it.

Method Two: Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

1. Backup your existing Windows installation, as in step 1 above.

2. Install all available Important updates, as in step 2 above.

3. Find out whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. Under Windows 7, you can find this information in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System. Under Windows 8.1, it’ll be in Control Panel\System and Security\System

4. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Although intended primarily for creating a Windows installation DVD or USB stick, you can also use it to upgrade Windows in place. Make sure you download the right version for your PC – either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version.

5. Once the Tool has downloaded, run it and follow the on-screen prompts to download and install Windows 10. As with Method One, download and installation can take a long time, so don’t do it if you’re in a hurry.

Method Three: Performing a clean install of Windows 10

The upgrade process in Windows 10 takes old files, settings, and programs from a previous system to a new one. You can, however, refresh your computer completely by carrying out a clean install. However, the activation process can be trickier.

A clean install can come in handy if you want to dodge the ton of bloatware that manufacturers install. It is also necessary when you have replaced a hard drive.

By far the easiest way to do a clean install is to use Windows 10’s Reset function. This differs from the Windows 8 Reset function as that feature used a recovery image from manufacturers that was customised for their software. Sure, that would include the specific drivers from them, but this also included bloatware and in some cases (*cough* Lenovo) undesirable software such as Superfish.

Windows 10 purports to have a system in place that rebuilds Windows without the need for a separate recovery image. This cleans up the system and keeps the latest files. This also means that you don’t have to run Windows Update directly after a reset.

Microsoft claims this resetting brings “Windows devices back to a pristine state” with only Windows files installed.

To reset your Windows 10 PC, open the Settings app, choose Update & security, choose Recovery, and click the “Get started” button under Reset this PC. Choose “Remove everything.” This will wipe all your files, so be sure you have backups.