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10 beloved PC programs Windows 10 renders obsolete


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Pedal to the metal

For as long as Windows has existed, third-party programs have sprouted up to fix its most glaring headaches and omissions—only to be eventually squashed when Microsoft corrected course. Several of those programs, from PDF readers to ISO mounting tools to file management boosters, became unnecessary when Windows 8 rolled out. But Microsoft’s relentless axe didn’t stop there.

Windows 10 and its massive Anniversary Update have brought a wide range of improvements designed to eliminate hassles—but several of those upgrades have rendered some of our favorite tools all but obsolete. Rather than mourn these beloved programs and services, let’s rejoice in the fact that they inspired Microsoft to make Windows 10 that much better. (And don’t hesitate to download these gems if you’re still on an older version of Windows!)

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Let’s start with a killer that took root in Windows 8, but blossomed in Windows 10.

Microsoft began baking Windows Defender—its in-house antivirus solution—into Windows 8, but that integration contained a fatal flaw. In a bid to toss PC makers a bloatware bone, Microsoft allowed them to disable Defender and include third-party AV trialware instead. The problem? You had to manually reactivate Windows Defender when that trial was up or risk your computer being vulnerable.

Not in Windows 10. Now, Windows Defender automatically reactivates whenever you don’t have another AV solution active. And there’s little need to; while Defender doesn’t come out tops in independent AV tests, it still performs more than well enough for everyday use.

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