Here are some first looks at the Windows 10 Preview installation experience and initial use of the system. This is the very first release and I expect changes to happen quickly as feedback happens but will try to keep the blog updated as things go. I think the first this you will notice after installing and logging in is the change in how you get to you applications and make system changes. The Start Menu is back and the swipe for switching apps is changed.
The following are screens of the installation process. Nothing amazing and it really just reminds me of Windows 8. I wouldn’t expect much yet as the focus is on core functionality of the OS, not the installation experience. There are a few things to note:
- Review the legal notice. They have done some work to make it easier to understand and have also effectively use bold fonts to highlight things that are of importance to you.
- The importing of settings. These are from Windows 8.1, but sure make setting up your system easy. I ran this on my Surface Pro and was amazed that in the upgrade I did not have to reinstall anything. All my windows apps were there as well as my Modern apps. all of my data was there as well.
Here, for the sake of being able to get into the system quickly, I chose to use express settings. I will choose the other route and blog on it later.
You will need internet access (just like in Windows 8 if you want to link to your Microsoft account. Otherwise you will get a message saying to create a local account.
If you have Windows Phone 8.1, you might be familiar with this next screen. Microsoft has an application for your phone called Authenticator that is similar to an RSA token for your Live ID. I love this two factor method for ensuring my live ID doesn’t get associated to rogue machine and have all my data sync to it.
If it connects, it will let you import settings from other systems you might have. In this case, here is my Win8.1 Surface Pro
Just like Windows 8.1, you get the first run experience for Microsoft Apps
And after login (yes, my wallpaper is a black screen on my computers)
Once in, there are two things you will find quickly. One, is that we have the Start Menu back. I have mixed feelings about this as I am really used to the Start Screen and grouping my apps. Drilling in to find my apps from an alphabetized list is not optimal for me, however, it isn’t that I browse for applications like that very often. On my Surface, I found this type of menu difficult to use with only touch.
The other is the feedback function as you click on new features. Personally, I think this should not appear the first time I click on something as I am exploring new features and the prompting is on something I don’t have context to provide opinion on yet necessarily. However, you can add feedback easily enough later as you use the system through the Feedback application.
You can see folders still just like windows 7, and your modern apps are in the root and you can interact with them just like you could in the start screen by right clicking on them. Here I right clicked ion Yammer and told it to install.
You can still pin applications to the start, resize them, and leverage live tiles. It is like the best of both worlds from Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Modern Apps in a Windows world
We can now use Modern Apps (Metro Apps) like we use regular Windows applications. They wove around in Windows and dock seamlessly, however some application UIs are not meant for windows and you will find moving around with scrollbars challenging/annoying. There is a new item in the title bar for interacting with the application for displaying and interacting with it. I found the options in the drop down to be difficult to click on using touch on my Surface and I expect this to change. Docking them is simpler and swapping between them using swipe from the left has changed from full application swapping to the familiar application task switch similar to Windows 7.
On the surface, you might question why this is a whole new version. The control panel, file system, and desktop all work the same.There are some interface changes, notably the Start Menu and application interaction but if your using Win8/Win8.1 already you would be challenged to see a major difference outside of that. I definitely have the feeling they are trying to reach the users of Windows 7 that just don’t want to go to the new interface for Windows 8. This is a nice halfway point and I can see it being accepted.
It is what you can’t see that is the most exciting. Management of the system will leverage MDM frameworks, possibly making it easier to manage and discern corporate data and settings from personal. I think this was evident in to me when I upgraded my Surface and all of my data, applications, and configurations stayed. There wasn’t a single thing I had to do to make my Surface usable. Kick off the process, come back 20 minutes later and pickup where I started with a new UI. Awesome! HomeGroups will be leveraged more as will the connection to cloud services, OneDrive being most prevalent at first. Exciting times and I look forward to getting to dig in under the hood now.
I will explore more and keep you posted on any other changes I find.