Roughly a week ago, Microsoft announced the next Windows and revealed its name will be Windows 10. Not Threshold, not Windows 9, not Windows 8.2 or just Windows. Some ridiculous rumors circled the Internet about why they decided to “skip the 9”, but I don’t really care about the name. I care about the experience. And now after a week of testing the Technical Preview I’d like to share some short thoughts about the most notable of the new features.
I installed it through a USB drive to my Lenovo ThinkPad T430u ultrabook. I don’t really do gaming on the machine and all my files are obviously on cloud, so I found no harm on installing the Preview as my primary OS (overriding the Windows 8.1). When you start up the machine, you can see the OS info on the bottom right. On taskbar from left to right there’s the same old Windows logo, then the new search button, and a task view button.
Windows icon now brings up the Start Menu that some of you have badly wanted back. Nothing fancy here, although live tiles and overall looks of the menu are fully customizable as expected. You can still get rid of the Start Menu from the settings and replace it with the Start Screen – which is highly recommended especially on touch-first devices (and what I am going to do when I install Tech Preview on my Surface). Magnifying glass icon brings up the search, which works like the search you can find on the bottom of the Start Menu.
Task view button allows you to not just switch quickly between apps, but also to create new desktops. I believe this is a feature some people have been eagerly waiting to come for Windows, but I have not personally found any use on it just yet. I like to keep my virtual and physical workspace neat and tidy, so I don’t really have a need to hide stuff away. I understand that multiple desktops might come handy even for me if I would use same computer for work and personal use, but that won’t happen anytime soon as I am already balancing between a desktop computer, ultrabook and two tablets.
Final little thing is that all apps now run in a window, even those which are downloaded from the Store. This is a good thing, but unfortunately as a side product one of my favorite features from Windows 8 – the Charmbar – has been removed. Now Win+C opens up the app’s menu from the top left, or you can just click the three-dot icon.
Overall I haven’t had any bugs or crashes yet, which is really impressive for a Technical Preview (which is likely to be just first of several Previews, or at least that was the case when Windows 8 was coming). The OS automatically downloaded all the specific firmware for the ultrabook (including fingerprint reader and nVidia drivers). Can’t really say is it any faster than Windows 8.1, as it was already insanely fast on the SSD of T430u.
You can download the Windows 10 Technical Preview FOR FREE from here, and try it out for yourself: http://preview.windows.com/ But if you want more detailed look on it before trying, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84NI5fjTfpQ