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Operating Systems

Microsoft: Here's why you should upgrade to Windows 10

With now less than 10 days left before Windows 10 starts its official rollout, a new Microsoft campaign wants to convince current Windows users to upgrade.

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Yep, the Start menu is back in Windows 10 but with a new look. Microsoft/YouTube/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft has kicked off a new series of videos and blog posts that aim to explain why you should upgrade to Windows 10.

Launched on Sunday, the initial blog post authored by the Windows Team focuses on the Start menu, which is alive and well once again in Windows 10 but with a few twists. The team highlights the new Start menu by saying it's back in a "more robust and expanded format" with access to your most frequently used apps, Windows settings and space to add live tiles.

Following the feeble response to Windows 8, Microsoft needs Windows 10 to be a hit. As such, the company has been fine-tuning its new OS since October 2014 with ongoing new versions, or builds, of its current Technical Preview based in part on user feedback. One way Microsoft has been enhancing Windows 10 is by bringing back some of the features from Windows 7 that people have missed. And Numero Uno on the list is the Start menu. Even Microsoft now realizes it made a major boo boo by killing the Start menu in Windows 8 in favor of the Start screen. People don't like change. And the Start menu was a familiar way of working. Now in Windows 10, the Start menu has returned, but with some of the Windows 8 flair.

So what goodies will you find in the new Start menu that Microsoft thinks you'll love?

The apps you use most most frequently automatically show up on the menu. Windows 7 has a similar effect. The menu also offers a spot to discover newly-installed apps as well as suggested apps based on the software you currently run. A section called Places provides quick access to File Explorer for managing your files, the Power button for shutting down or restarting Windows and the Settings command for tweaking your Windows options.

Perhaps what's most different in the new Start menu is that it incorporates the tiles from the Windows Start screen. So you can pin your favorite Windows apps to the right pane of the Start menu and view live tiles for News, Weather and other apps that show you up-to-the minute information. With the new menu, Microsoft is blending elements of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, an approach designed to appeal to people who like the traditional menu as well as those who prefer the Start screen.

In its blog, the Windows Team also attempts to reassure Windows 7 and 8.1 users concerned about upgrading to Windows 10 that they're in good hands.

"Over 5 million Windows Insiders have been helping us test Windows 10 and make it our best Windows ever," the team said. "They're also helping us make the upgrade process smooth and easy. Upgrade preserves your documents and files so you don't need to worry about things getting lost. Plus you can pick up the phone or text chat with the Microsoft Answer Desk for any reason. It's all part of our 'No worries' approach."

Known as "10 Reasons to Upgrade," the video hosted on the blog is a quickie, running just 45 seconds. But it says a lot in that short time. In touting the return of the Start menu and the integration with live tiles, Microsoft sees Windows 10 as something familiar, offering the best of Windows 7 and the best of Windows 8. And it clearly wants users to see it the same way.

The team urges people to stay tuned for more blog posts leading up to the July 29 launch of Windows 10. Other features the team will be touting include the Cortana voice assistant, the new Edge browser, the Xbox app, and the Windows Hello biometric security that lets you log in using your face or finger.