Windows 10 IT Pro Training – November 20th

Newly announced, Microsoft is offering some free live training November 20th on MVA for IT Pros around Windows 10. Simon May, Brad McCabe, Michael Niehaus, Chris Hallum, and Fred Pullen are your hosts and I expect it to be a great session. If you have had the chance to see Simon or Michael speak I am sure you will agree this is something you don’t want to miss. If you have the time, check it out.

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/windows-10-technical-preview-fundamentals-for-it-pros

Windows 10 Technical Preview Fundamentals for IT Pros

Live Event Details
November 20, 2014
9am–1pm PST

In this Jump Start training with live Q&A, join us as the lead Windows 10 Enterprise Product Managers roll back the covers on the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Learn about new UI enhancements, find out how management and deployment is evolving, and hear how new security enhancements in Windows 10 can help your organization respond to the modern security threat landscape. Be sure to bring your questions!

Windows 10 – Build 9879 released

As I have posted before I am using Windows 10 as my main device on my Surface Pro and am quite impressed. At first, the new OS was bloated and used way too much power. With the second update (9860) three weeks ago, I was pleased to see my tablet go back to 5-8 hours of battery life with impressive power savings when docked while on battery. Well, in all its awesomeness, it looks like we have another update to test out!

If you are part of the fast track, you started receiving the newest build (9879) on the 12th. If you are part of the slower track, you should start seeing the build in the next week or so. There are some nice enhancements and I cant wait to play with this and give my feedback. If you are running this in an enterprise, you may want to put yourself on the slow track until they work out some of the bugs with the new build. The following are the current known bugs:

Some known problems:

As with the last build, you’re getting hot-off-the-presses code which means there are a few issues. We’ll be publishing WU updates shortly to fix the first two, but the remainder will not be fixed for 9879.

  • In some cases you may get a black screen when trying to log-in or unlock. The only option is to hold the power button to hard reboot.
  • You will be unable to connect to Distributed File System network locations.
  • Some systems may see disk growth of 20GB+ due to driver install duplication. On systems with low disk space this can block setup and cause a rollback to the previous build.
  • Skype calls will disconnect and Music will stop playing if those apps are minimized.
  • There are several known issues with screen sharing with Lync.

You can find out more at the Windows Blog (http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/11/12/new-build-available-to-the-windows-insider-program/)

Jason Condo
Principle Consultant

First Looks for Windows 10 Preview

Windows 10 Live Tiles

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.

Installation

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Initial Configuration

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Just like Windows 8.1, you get the first run experience for Microsoft Apps

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And after login (yes, my wallpaper is a black screen on my computers)

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The desktop

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.

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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.

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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.

Windows 10 Live Tiles

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.

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Conclusion

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.

Jason Condo
Principle Consultant