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Ever since Microsoft launched Windows 10, it’s made the OS officially or unofficially available. Officially, you stopped being able to download or upgrade your system to Windows 10 on July 29, 2016. Unofficially, you can still download an upgrade license for the OS. And despite statements from Microsoft that it would absolutely-no-fooling-really-truly kill the Windows 10 free upgrade offer on December 31, 2017, that offer is still good.

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Aug 10, 2020. Download Windows apps for your Windows tablet or computer. Browse thousands of free and paid apps by category, read user reviews, and compare ratings. Aug 05, 2020. Free VIEW → Update Windows network adapter drivers for your Acer Ferrari laptop. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 1.1 patch Free VIEW.

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Microsoft’s first giant push to convince customers to use Windows 10 was marred by an increasingly heavy hand as the campaign went on, to the point that it was both accused of malware tactics and later admitted to the same. We’ll never know exactly how many people avoided the upgrade for this reason alone, but some readers have indicated they were disgusted by the company’s behavior and refused to update.

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Without implying that Windows 7 or Windows 8 users have to change their mind on that, it’s worth noting Windows 7 exits support by 2020, with Windows 8.1 out of long-term support in 2023. Windows 8 users have a little while, Windows 7 users have less. Microsoft also now locks out updates on Intel and AMD systems based on Kaby Lake, Ryzen, or Bristol Ridge, though there are some ways to bypass that block. Either way, Windows 10 may be a nice OS to have as an option, even if you don’t immediately start using it.

Here’s how you can still get a free copy of Windows 10 directly from Microsoft: Visit this webpage, attest that you use assistive technologies baked into Windows, and download the executable provided. It’s that simple. Maybe it’ll still vanish soon, maybe it won’t, but we don’t recommend waiting. Better safe than sorry and whatnot.

As for why Microsoft keeps threatening to pull the rug, I’m guessing the company has seen adoption rates from already running computers fall off over time. It’s been over 2.5 years since Windows 10 launched, and MS was never going to leave this backdoor in its own policy open forever. If you haven’t upgraded by now, I suppose Microsoft thinks you’re never going to actually upgrade, and OEMs would probably be happier if MS shut down the option since it competes with their ability to offer Windows 10 as a new OS on their devices.

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Microsoft has also plowed ahead with the idea of Windows-as-a-service, in a bid to convince customers that being upgraded to the latest and greatest is the best way to be. Closing this loophole at some point may be an attempt to shove customers towards new hardware as opposed to letting them upgrade existing installations — though again, I’m not sure the volume is high enough to matter either way.

Now read: Windows 10: The Best Hidden Features, Tips, and Tricks

Thanks to communication apps like Zoom, you can say goodbye to Monday rush hour, corporate attire and mundane office environments. The video conferencing software allows you to go to work without leaving the comfort of your home. It's a response to the latest trend in working styles--remote working. No matter where you are, Zoom will make sure that all stakeholders can stay on task and work together efficiently.

Using cloud computing, the remote conferencing platform invites users to hold meetings and conferences online. It also features instant messaging, screen sharing, and much more. This software offers four different plans to best suit your needs, making it a popular online tool for professional use. Get to know one of the more effective means for reaching out to colleagues from different places around the globe.

A forerunner in business communications

Zoom also tries its best to deliver the best audio and video quality during meetings. Yes, even in meetings that involve more than two participants.
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Zoom, a forerunner in business video communications, was developed to make remote collaboration easier and more reliable. This software uses a cloud platform to host webinars, conferences, video calls, etc. Since its conception in 2011, it has become a staple name in many global businesses, such as TrendMicro, Logitech, Uber among others. It's no surprise given that the platform was awarded the best communication solutions product.

There's Zoom for everyone

Zoom offers users four different plans. Their free-of-charge Basic plan features the capability to host conferences with up to 100 participants simultaneously. The service delivers all the basic Zoom characteristics plus an increase in meeting duration limit from 40 minutes to 24 hours! There is also a lot of features on this plan that you cannot find in the free version. Reap the benefits of custom personal meeting ID, 1GB of MP4 or M4A recording, and admin feature controls.

The Zoom business plan is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses. A minimum number of hosts is needed to purchase the plan. The bump in price comes with added value in exclusive features, such as dedicated phone support, admin dashboard, and LTI integration. Its custom emails and vanity URL are extra perks to boost company branding.

Meanwhile, big businesses with more than 50 hosts can opt for the Enterprise plan. With this plan, companies can take advantage of features from the immediate lower plan plus a dedicated customer success manager, bundle discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms. Conferences can hold up to 1,000 participants.

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Zooming experience

Setting up meetings without a glitch is one of Zoom's promising features. You can schedule video conferences and invite others to attend through email. You can even integrate the application into Google Calendar for easier schedule tracking. Share screens with others during meetings and present decks clearly. And if need be, record audio, and video so that all those who didn't attend are still in the loop about all the main issues.

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Indeed, Zoom does its best to deliver quality services. The video communications platform aims to provide meeting participants withoptimal audio and video quality. Caveat: stability may vary depending on the connection speed. Also, for basic plan users who want to extend their meetings past the 40-minute limit, Zoom's straightforward interface makes it happen quick and simple. And if you ever encounter complications when using the application, Zoom customer support is ridiculously easy to reach. Curious about their reputable customer service? Check out their live chat support on their website.Kudos to an app that makes customer experience top priority.

Where can you run this program?

Its multi-platform characteristic makes Zoom one of the best software out there. Run the app on Windows, macOS and even Linux distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Debian, or hold and attend on-the-go video conferences on Android and iOS. If you sport an Apple Watch, download the app there and attend virtual meetings while multitasking!

For new users still getting used to Zoom, take a look at the many articles available about the platform. Step-by-step installation guides for several platforms and devices are readily available on the app's website.

Is there a better alternative?

There is a number of video conferencing applications in the market. Skype is one of the biggest and oldest names in the competition. Much like Zoom, it allows one-to-one video calls, instant messaging, screen sharing, group calls, and file sharing. For those participating offline, Skype redirects messages to email inbox. However, Skype still lags behind its competition in that the platform only allows up to ten participants at a time. Definitely a no-go for larger conferences.

ezTalks Cloud Meeting is another of Zoom's neck-to-neck competition. Both boast features, such as an unlimited number of meetings for users, high-definition audio and video experience. Both allow users to hold conferences with as many as 100 participants at a time. Screen sharing and recording meetings are some of the other features of this program. ezTalk even has an interactive whiteboard and co-annotation--features that Zoom just doesn't offer.

Our take

Despite a few hiccups with Zoom, it's one good video conferencing software. Its commitment to delivering high-definition audio and video quality is spectacular, even if it requires a stronger internet connection. Overall, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and Zoom is worth it.

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Should you download it?

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Yes. Zoom's free version equips you with the most essential tools needed to communicate with others remotely. With this tool, quality is optimal, even for their non-paying users. Compared to other applications of its kind, it leans more to the budget-friendly side. There's no need to think twice because Zoom is definitely a bang for the buck.

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