For the last 10 years or so I've only used Macs, though used Windows extensively before that. I find myself in a situation for which I need a Windows machine again. However I have a few concerns based on what Windows used to be like back in the day. Wondered if anyone is able to give any pointers / reassure me things have improved. Specifically...
Backups. I love Apple's time machine- specifically because it is easy to restore to a completely blank/ replaced disk without having to install the OS. Understand Windows' equivalent can do this if you create recovery media, is that right? Does it work well?
Do PC manufactures generally include installation discs for Windows/bundled software and any drivers needed? If no, are they easily obtainable? Remember this bring a problem in Win9x/XP days with some manufacturers.
Is it still advisable to install 3rd party AV, spyware protection, firewall etc or are the built in tools 'good enough' these days?