I have a Tech category on the blog that has so far been thoughts on operating systems. This would be another one of those as I decided to try the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
I’ve been using Windows 8 ever since it came out in October 2012. I had troubles updating to the later updates (the 8.1 updates) because of both technical issues and preference. My computer got significantly slower, even though Windows 8 is optimized well enough to bring better speed to my PC compared to Windows 7. In terms of preference, I felt like the reintroduction of the Start button was a waste of space for what it does, and they moved the search results in the Start screen to the side bar and added Bing results which felt slower and wasn’t as pretty. I’ve really grown to love the metro-style Start menu so I wanted to see if I’d fall in love with the new Start menu in Windows 10.I kind of like the hybrid Start menu with the tiles because I really think it makes finding and launching applications faster. I know many people are still into having shortcuts on their desktop but I’ve become accustomed to clearing the desktop to nothing but the Recycle Bin and a few stray shortcuts. You can remove all the tiles so it will act like the classic Start menu. Because you stay on your desktop, the Start button feels better than the hastily added one in the 8.1 updates that I didn’t really like.
As I talked about before, one gripe with the 8.1 update was the change in the way search happens in the Start menu. The search on the Windows 10 Start menu includes Bing results, but there is now a dedicated search button in the taskbar that you can’t remove. The Start menu Bing results open up the Bing app with results. The search button opens up small search window which, for some reason, lags like crazy so I can’t even use it. I don’t think I’d ever transition to use either since searching for things in Google on a web browser is easy enough…
The button to the right of the search button is the new task switcher, one of the major highlights of Windows 10. It shows you all of your open applications and desktops. The multiple desktops thing is a little clunky to me, at this point anyway. I’m sure there are upgrades to it coming soon since this is just a preview after all. The one big thing missing is you can’t drag and drop applications between desktops; You have to right-click the application and select the desktop to move it to. Again, I’m sure it will get better in time. I’m currently using Dexpot to have multiple desktops in Windows so that’s the standard I have set for Windows 10 because it does multiple desktops really well.
In addition to that, when you snap one window to one side of the screen, it will display all of the other open apps as thumbnails next to it so you can select one to snap to the other side of the screen. It’s something to get used to but I think it’s a good idea.
I’m happy to report that all of the gestures are gone so I’m not longer accidentally activating random things on the edges of the screen.
There are some new animations and window effects (GIANT GRADIENT WINDOW BORDERS!!!) in the Windows 10 Preview, but I expect them to continually change. The Windows 8 Previews had a different look to the final version which I honestly thought looked better.
One thing I’ve got to talk about is the Windows Feedback app. Since this is a Technical Preview, they want to see what the users are thinking. The Feedback app is where you can report problems or suggest things, and people can vote if they agree with you. I really like it because there are some things that have a high number of votes that I agreed with so I hope they force some good changes by the time the final version comes out.
So that’s my quick first look at the Windows 10 Technical Preview! I think it has the makings to win the pro-7 anti-8 people back. You can sign up for the Windows Insider Program here to get a copy of the Technical Preview to play with.