1) Microsoft Account. While you can use Windows 10 without signing into a Microsoft account (called a local account) you will find that some options and features are very limited. If you have an existing Hotmail.com, Live.com or Outlook.com email account, or even an Xbox account you can use that right off the get go. Otherwise you can create a new Microsoft account using either an existing email account (Shaw, SaskTel, Yourlink etc) or a brand new outlook.com email account. The benefits of having a Microsoft Account allows you to sync multiple devices, download apps etc through the WIndows Store as well as adding an extra layer of security to your laptop.
2) The Start Screen is totally customizable! You can arrange all the apps however you seem fit. You can also group similar items together (games, news, Office Suite) and even name the groups.
3) Microsoft has released several major updates for Windows 10, namely the Creators Update and Fall Creators Update. These are service packs that fix a lot of the initial bugs in the OS and reorganize the settings menu into a format that is easier to navigate. In some cases, antivirus products have caused these updates to fail so before you proceed with their install you should remove any antivirus programs from your device.
4) Windows 10 introduces Microsoft’s new internet browser, Edge. The browser has its problems, certain sites do not load well. We recommend having an additional program, such as Firefox, to load any sites that you may encounter issues with.
5) Microsoft has ended service for Windows Live Mail. We recommend switching to Microsoft Outlook, within the Office program, or accessing your mail directly from your service provider.
6) Microsoft Security Essentials has also been discontinued. Kaspersky AV remains our antivirus of choice.
7) The biggest word of advice we can offer is to try not to get to frustrated as a new user. Walk away for a few minutes or take on the mentality of a 5 year old at Christmas playing with a new toy - just go with it.