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The Windows 10 Technical Preview Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More is now available to everyone who wants it, but Microsoft’s claim that it’s an early build is no joke. There are bugs, driver issues and other problems that make it a poor choice for your primary computer. If you don’t have a second PC to install it on, however, don’t fret. We’ll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time.

The Desktop

No Start Screen

Microsoft has decided to make Windows 10 more desktop friendly. Consequently, the Start Screen from Windows 8 is disabled by default on all systems with a keyboard attached. The result is a clean, simple environment that looks a lot like Windows 7 with a minimalist Taskbar Get More Out Of The Windows Taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Get More Out Of The Windows Taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Could the Windows Taskbar be more useful? You can quickly add features and keep things simple with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. Customize your Taskbar to your needs - without the fluff. Read More .

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New Start Menu With Live Tiles

In the lower left hand corner is the new Start Menu 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More . In function it’s quite similar to the old menu, but has live tiles added in the right pane. In Windows 7 this is where a variety of folder and menu options would appear, so in a sense the new Start Menu is still less functional than the old one.

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On the plus side, though, live tiles can be used like widgets to show live updates Miss Gadgets & Widgets On Windows 8? Here's How You Can Get Them Back Miss Gadgets & Widgets On Windows 8? Here's How You Can Get Them Back Microsoft removed gadgets, the desktop widget feature introduced in Windows Vista, from Windows 8. Microsoft would prefer you use live tiles on the new Start screen to get information – but what if you want... Read More of news, weather and more. It’s not as good as actually having widgets (if you like that sort of thing – I don’t) but it’s close.

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Clicking the All Apps option at the bottom of the Start Menu brings up a simple list view of everything you have installed. This can become unwieldy because it includes both traditional software and any applications installed from the Windows Store Don't Be Fooled! 5 Tips To Avoid Fake Apps In The Windows Store Don't Be Fooled! 5 Tips To Avoid Fake Apps In The Windows Store The Windows Store has been spoiled by useless junkware and scams. Microsoft recently purged many fake apps, but the store still features questionable apps. We show you how not to get scammed. Read More . I hope Microsoft adds some organizational tools to make this space less cluttered.

Search Is Back Twice

Next to the Start Menu is a magnifying glass which of course represents Search How To Search Better & Faster On Windows 8 How To Search Better & Faster On Windows 8 Windows 8 search features are quite robust once you get used to them. You can use modern and desktop approaches to search your computer and the Internet. Find out more! Read More . Keen eyes may have noticed there was already Search in the Start Menu 8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How To Get Them Back 8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How To Get Them Back Microsoft removed a variety of features from Windows 8. Many of them aren't great losses to most people, but they are if you depended on them. Luckily, Windows 8 isn't yet a locked-down mobile operating... Read More . What’s the difference?

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Not much, to be honest. The only difference I found is that the dedicated search function can insert photos from web results, while desktop search cannot. They otherwise seem to generate the same results. This aesthetic look of this feature is extremely basic and obviously unfinished, so I would not be surprised if Microsoft combined this feature with the Start Menu search field or vice versa.

Task View & Virtual Desktops

Shifting right once again, you’ll find two white rectangles which represent Task View, an important addition to Windows 10. Task view is a lot like Mission Control in OS X Do More, Better: Enhancing Multitasking In Mac OS X Do More, Better: Enhancing Multitasking In Mac OS X Multitasking is not always a choice. When you have to write up a report, you need access to your text processor, but also to your reference material. While working, I often end up working with... Read More . It provides an overview of the windows you have open and lets you manage multiple desktops Finally Get Two Functional Desktops With Actual Multiple Monitors Finally Get Two Functional Desktops With Actual Multiple Monitors Once you have tried working with a dual monitor setup, you'll never go back. While two monitors give you double the workspace and boost productivity, I found the setup is never perfect. In the end,... Read More , each with their own windows.

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This is a very convenient addition that Microsoft should have added years ago, but it’s better late than never. People who have large, high-resolution displays will love it because Task View can display the content of many windows at once. If you have 10 Word documents open, for example, Task View will help you find the one you want.

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No Notification Center

Over in the right corner there’s the usual array of tray icons. The notification center that was rumored before release is not in the Technical Preview, so the look hasn’t changed much since the days of Windows Vista. Well, one thing has – the current build of Windows 10 still uses the Modern UI (aka Metro) look for its WiFi selection menu.

Explorer

New Home View

You may have noticed the Taskbar has a new folder icon previously unseen in any version of Windows. This is the only place this icon appears (for now) and it takes users to a new Explorer view Hack Windows Explorer for Efficiency Boosts Hack Windows Explorer for Efficiency Boosts Windows Explorer -- known as File Explorer on Windows 8 -- is an application that you probably spend a good amount of time in. Even Windows geeks that avoid using any other Microsoft program tend... Read More called Home.

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Home is sort of like the favorites section, which remains, but it’s not quite the same. Home view includes favorites, frequent folders and recent files all in one place. While it’s a simple addition, this new area of Explorer is a convenient link between areas of the file system. And it’s part of Explorer’s navigation pane 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer 3 Advanced Tips & Tricks For Using Windows Explorer Windows Explorer is the default Windows file manager. Last week I introduced you to 3 easy ways to improve Windows 7 Explorer by tweaking features and using it to its full potential. In this article,... Read More , not just a Taskbar icon, so it’s accessible whenever you’re viewing files.

Icon Design Is Flat

Another noticeable change is the variety of new icons added in Windows 10. This may seem minor, but they indicate the aesthetic direction Microsoft is pursuing. I’ve taken some of the icons and placed them in a folder so you can see them together.

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What do all of these icons have in common? They’re flat! Really flat. No more than four colors are used across all of these icons. There’s no gradients or shadows to be found. White space is often used to define borders within the icons instead. If you look at the navigation pane to the left, where many of the icons appear, you’ll see they scale down extremely well (Click the screenshot for a larger view).

Flat Design Beyond Icons

It’s important to note that while the Modern user interface of Windows 8 Why Microsoft Should Not Be Pushing Their New Metro UI Onto Their Other Products [Opinion] Why Microsoft Should Not Be Pushing Their New Metro UI Onto Their Other Products [Opinion] With the introduction of the Windows Phone platform in 2010, Microsoft unveiled the Metro user interface, designed to make accessing information quick and easy. Rather than litter their new mobile platform with endless rows of... Read More  is also flat, it isn’t the same kind of flat. Many colors are included in its live tiles and most its interface elements are large and chunky. The Modern UI was built that way because it was designed for touch. Windows 10 is more about the desktop, so Microsoft has embraced fine details that look great on a 1080p (or greater) displays. This is also the first major redesign of desktop icons since Vista.

We see the embrace of fine detail carry over to windows, as well. To demonstrate this I’ve layered a number of Explorer windows on top of each other.

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The first thing you’ll notice is how little color is present. It’s blue, gray and white, and that’s about it. What I want to call attention to, though, is the border around each window. It’s barely there! The title bar is still as fat as ever, but the left, right and bottom borders are thin, almost invisible depending on the background. This contributes to the new flat aesthetic. However, Microsoft is still using shadow to give a sense of depth when multiple windows are layered.

Delving Back Into Modern UI

I could take your through the Control Panel and other options, but I’ll save you some time and tell you this; it’s basically the same as Windows 7. That was true in Windows 8 as well, but obscured by the fact some options were more readily accessed through the new Modern UI. Now those have been banished by default, so Windows 10 is a lot like Windows 7 on desktops and laptops without touch.

Start Screen Hasn’t Changed

What happens when you turn the Start Screen Manage Start Screen Tiles & Modern Apps Like A Pro Manage Start Screen Tiles & Modern Apps Like A Pro Some things take time to grow on you. The Windows 8 Start Screen is one of them. I bet you'll appreciate it more after learning about these tips and tricks. Read More back on, though? You end up with Windows 8.

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Microsoft hasn’t changed the Start Screen in the Technical Preview and didn’t announce any at its reveal event. Does that mean nothing will change? Not necessarily, but with the company’s attention now directed at the desktop, we might not see anything ground-breaking. And you know what? The Start Screen probably doesn’t need it. This interface works well – if you’re on a touchscreen device.

Windowed Modern Apps On The Desktop

One change does become noticeable when you open a modern app from the Windows 8 store, though, whether you have the Start Screen enabled or not. These apps now open in a normal window.

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Microsoft brought these apps to the desktop in Windows 8.1, but they didn’t behave like normal windows. They could not be minimized or re-sized. Now those options are available. Microsoft has further improved the use of these apps on the desktop by placing Charms Bar options in a “…” menu on the title bar. With these changes in place, using a Windows Store app Windows Store Loses Fake Apps, Apple iWatch Incoming, And More... [Tech News Digest] Windows Store Loses Fake Apps, Apple iWatch Incoming, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Twitter analyzes your tweets, Kinect for Xbox One, a side order of smartphones, selfish Olympus unveils selfie camera, and real life imitates art when a SWAT team stops a live stream. Read More  on the desktop is no longer a hassle.

Snap View Is Buggy

There’s also a new four-way snap view that’s supported by all windows including Store apps, but it doesn’t always work right.

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Here we see the result of trying to snap four Store apps simultaneously. They just won’t do it without significant overlap, and often Windows become confused and opens the Task View. In other situations it doesn’t open Task View and actually fills empty spaces with a blank gray hue, which is obviously some sort of error. It’s a preview, remember?

Charms Bar Still Opens With Touch Gestures

The Charms Bar, by the way, is still enabled by default, but it won’t appear as a result of hovering the cursor in desktop’s right corner. Instead it appears only with a touchpad or touchscreen gesture.

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Here too the interface is unchanged, which means there’s actually three ways to search a Windows 10 machine. The PC Settings menu that desktop users despised in Windows 8 still exists as well, but the Start Menu’s return means it’s no longer the easiest way to access some Control Panel options. Also, PC settings can be used as a standard window like other modern applications, so it’s not as painful for desktop users when it is accessed.

The Command Prompt

Finally, Microsoft has added some features to the command prompt. Well, kinda. Have a look for yourself.

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So, it looks the same. If you were expecting Microsoft to turn it into something as beautiful as Notepad++ 3 Handy Built-In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows] 3 Handy Built-In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows] This summer, I’ve used Notepad++ for my internship quite a bit, so I can see why almost all developers and programmers I know actually prefer it, not to mention, the thousand of Notepad++ fans that... Read More (and it’s kin) you’re out of luck. It’s still a simple black screen. But it does include word wrap and pasting from the Clipboard, so that’s progress.

Windows 10 Is Looking Good

The new version of Windows looks good if you’re a desktop owner. A new look has been introduced alongside the Start Menu, Task View and a new type of desktop search. It’s clear that this is, in fact, an early build; yet a lot of things do look or work as you’d expect. I think Windows 10 has promise.

What do you think of its design? Would you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7, or do you think Microsoft is delivering too little, too late? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Rob Bourgeois
    June 9, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Having had a Windows 8 tablet for a while, I have to disagree that the Start Screen (or Windows 8 interface in general) is better with touch. I found it much more enjoyable with a mouse and keyboard.

    I also find the Start Screen much more useful than the Start Menu ever was (and significantly more customizable), and it works just fine with a mouse. They didn't even need to bring the Start button back to the taskbar, as the Windows key works just fine. Basically, the Start Menu was obviated with the ability to pin things to the taskbar.

    The flatness doesn't bother me insofar as the icons are concerned, as it makes them much easier to distinguish at a glance, but the particular colors they've chosen do seem rather dull.

    For window borders, though, I much prefer having Aero Glass (with automatic border coloring to follow wallpaper changes), as there's a lot less grey to look at, and the borders themselves, while chunky, still allow some basic information through.

  2. bimo
    May 17, 2015 at 1:32 am

    i was installed win 10 and it look amazing.. flat design and also free to use.

  3. magnus
    April 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Its even uglier than Win 8 was.

    There is no way that my brain can work in such an ugly utilitarian environment.

    Here is what I see:

    Microsoft wants to shove this UI down our throats and offers NO way to customize it to something prettier that the individual might want.

    There are quite literally tens of thousands of beautiful UI elements out there that people can use and I'm not seeing any way in 10 that will allow me to use them.

    I spent years slowly customizing Win 7 to where I find it perfect as a creative jump point for my ideas and work place....and they want me to upgrade to this?

    YUCK!

    I sincerely hope that Stardock develops something that I can use to pretty up this pig with not even lipstick on it. And I'm not that happy with Stardock anymore since they moved to a subscription service.

    I've seen a lot of people claim that 7 is a mess and insecure. LOL Idiots. 7 is the BEST OS that Microsoft EVER released.

    If you want security take a look at the NSA security recommendations......set your computer up like that. They work. I have NEVER been hacked and NEVER been infected by following those protocols.

    I'll have a system with 10 on it for use with HoloLens.....but unless I can pretty it up I will probably not use it for anything else.

    • Fatih Guler
      June 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      You are saying that you followed NSA security recommendations and you are feeling secure.

  4. Anthony
    April 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    love the flat look!

  5. DanteYoda
    March 29, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Still Friggin ugly with useless Metro look and apps, i'll stick to 7 thanks

  6. snarkist
    February 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    ugly design. and no option to revert to 'Classic' style windows. it's not simply a matter of 'pretty' interface as some have dismissed disparagingly. it is being able to customize the look to a less glaring or garish colors. what is that about? the default to white backgrounds is disturbing. loathe is an apt description for my feeling toward win 8, 8.1 and now (so it seems) 10.

    • Bear
      February 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      I concur, I'll be looking to buy 2-3 Win7 cd's to have just in case in the foreseeable future.
      Win 10 was so promising many months ago before they added the flatness, terrible icons and "PC settings" screen.
      It's like they decided against using artists to make more money or something.
      Truly baffling considering how well liked the metro "style" (or lack there of) that windows 8 had.
      Some people call it modern, I call it childish, lazy and unbecoming of a technologically advanced civilization.

  7. Murtala
    February 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Like it & I will go for it

  8. Jane Worlock
    February 1, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Oh yes and there aren't drivers to stop skipping around when you type- as you can see in my above comment, it jumps about. I normally double check but miss it sometimes.

  9. Jane Worlock
    February 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    I can't find any drivers for sound that will work with Windows 10. Does anyone else have this problem? Is there anything that I can do?

    The main thing otherwise is that I can't see what I have open on my bottom bar, other than a faint lightening below the icon. I prefer where in windows 7 whereas it was clear.

  10. John Wilson
    January 22, 2015 at 3:28 am

    There's a look and feel to 8 up thru 10 that seems to want to correct the problems with 7 such as its roaring instability and the targeting that is certainly more towards a home audience than a business one because with each release the Windows OS seems more targeted towards gamers and the like than business users, say what you will about MS Office. And I take it you have seen office packages that duplicate to a T and then some every feature of MS Office a few of which have been around a while,not much innovation there, I'm sorry to say. I'm no longer sure what MS wants to be when it grows up anymore. It can't play bully boy down the block because no one seems to pay attention as their business market fades and they try too hard on other things now with gadget filled interfaces that appear (and are) dedicated to wasting time as people get used to them. For Business dull and old fashioned works. People have work to do, not watch up to the second videos of the latest Wall Street and City of London hot Shot for a few seconds surrounded by beautiful people or other time wasters. I can see the newer versions selling for home use because that's truly what their aimed at, businesses,no. Not a chance. Win7 and beyond have done a ton of damage to MS in the business world or,should I say, MS has inflicted a ton of damage on itself recently and seems determined to continue to do so. For the new OS versions I can't say I see as much in the way of innovation as I do a near panic how do we save ourselves from what began with Win 7. Too bad too. MS isn't an incompetent or bad company it just truly doesn't seem to know what it wants to be anymore, cause it isn't being much of anything.

  11. Falconer
    January 18, 2015 at 5:05 am

    I do not like flat. The Windows aesthetic is a huge loss in value in this regard.

    The start menu live tiles are not helpful to me at all. Overall the start menu is a mess.

    Will probably, once again, go with a third party start menu, IFF I go to Win 10.

    I hope I can simulate a launch bar.

    I really have no use for task view.

    Thank God apps are in windows, otherwise, how can MS call the product "Windows"?

  12. johnniedoo
    October 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I have been using this Win10 TP in a virtual machine and had been a happy Win7 pro user for a while,(in 5 of 5 computers). I am not thrilled with the look/feel of win10, I see that it did take a couple of good ideas from linux, they say, search. a good idea it is back. I had a mac in 97 'finder' was better than windows7 so called search.
    I moved over to linux mint17 in august for a laptop. works great. win vista ceased being able to get past booting up,then got stuck doing anything. a dual core 1.9gz x64 amd cpu, too.
    I have only been messing with win10 for a week total. a few hours in real time usage. Not real happy, the start menu is back, i hear, i never touched win8 did linux for upgrade instead-which is how i spotted a couple of clear imports to the 10preview.
    It would be unfair to make any snap conclusions as to direction, but the returned start menu is a terrible mess. way too much there and disorganized at the moment. i was unfamiliar with the live tile or charm notion from the start which may have contributed to my sense of being overwhelmed.
    will be following it as it progresses. I do not like flat, i like the aero/glass look though. i liked a couple of widgets, but not many. i liked being able to have them ,so maybe the live tile thing will help me get over losing the 2 or 3 widgets i lost.

  13. liam
    October 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    10 gets my vote

  14. likefunbutnot
    October 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    It's REALLY not very different from Windows 8 at all. I was happy to find that the start screen was still present. It's extremely useful as a 10' interface (one of the places I have Windows 10 running is my HTPC).

    "Home" in Windows Explorer should be more customizable than it is. As things stand, I mostly navigate using jump lists of pinned items and extensive libraries anyway, but I think top level drives should be exposed with at least the same priority as library folders.

    I'm also a little disappointed that no work has been done to improve the default set of modern-style apps. Some of them would be a lot more useful if they just had a few customization options or some level of proper filesystem access.

  15. ReadandShare
    October 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I am a Win 7 (desktop) and Android (7-in tablet) user. Win 10 looks good enough for the desktop. But I wonder if it will be easy to use on a 7-in tablet - like Android?

    • Tina
      October 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

      The new Continuum feature will enable touch-features, like the Start Screen. People who use Windows 8 on a touch device, e.g. a tablet, actually love it. It's desktop users who hate it. So yes, it will be easy to use on a tablet.

  16. Ed
    October 5, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Other than the home folder, more clicks to get to system drives, i like it.

  17. Hello
    October 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    It sure looks promising, i do expect M to fix some things.Hope it comes together so that i ll change to it :)

  18. Mike the Mechanic6
    October 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    This is how windows 8 should look like :/

  19. geniotic
    October 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Glad to see it will still work well with my touchscreen Thinkpad. For all the people who haven't tried this combination (with Windows 8), you are missing out in a computing revolution.

    • bnjohanson
      October 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      You're way off pal....and you'll see. 80% of folks, when they buy a new computer, could care less; they just want to be able to work the damn thing of which Win. 8 confused these folks from the get-go. Win. 10 is an evolutionary upgrade vs. revolutionary so, the 80% will adapt just fine and enthusiasts will love the updated appearance and efficiencies, and best of all, far better/cleaner code.

      You on the other hand will relegate yourself to today's XP users with clunky code, less security, and typical ineffeciencies to support the newer software updates/upgrades that will tune to Win. 10.

      Good Luck and it was nice knowing ya ! lol.

  20. Lulz
    October 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Still ugly as sin. That's just a fact. If that is how they want to get Win7 users to their new platform they failed. Hard. So here we are, wondering just how many iterations of this ugly ass interface with the flat metro tile nonsense we have to endure until Microsoft finally gets the message.

    The only takeaway from this is that I shall order another Windows 7 Ultimate for my new rig cause I have a feeling the price for Win7 will only continue to go up as MS will desperately try to strongarm people into getting this primitive looking piece of gose.

    • Maryon Jeane
      October 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Absolutely - couldn't have said it better myself!

  21. James Hymer
    October 4, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    This review was somewhat thoughtfully written, but the venom towards windows 8 is very apparent. Note that the start screen will probably have some big changes as it is suppose to run across all touch devices, from all in one desktops to phones, so there will be some large changes. I didn't have many problems with win8 to begin with, but I'm sure many people will be happy with the changes that are coming in win10

  22. Krasen
    October 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I guess finally my friends will update from windows 7 :)

    I like Windows 8, and can't stand windows 7 i miss the cool windows 8 features; and with some of the stupid things removed and tuned up a bit, I am gonna like windows 10 too :)

  23. Sudeepto
    October 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    The UI has not changed much, only a slight improvement. And I think this is the right move from Microsoft . I like windows 8.1 . I can see that the application borders are thinned out by default as opposed to thick borders on windows 8 which I really didn't liked . I use an application from winaero.com that reduces /increases the application border paddings .

    Other than that , I really wished MS would replace the useless Notepad with a dedicated code editor. But I guess we are stuck with it .

    All and all a good move by MS and I think Windows 1 0 will be successful .

    Thank You .

    • Tina
      October 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Not sure Notepad is a major concern of Microsoft, but keep in mind that the Technical Preview focuses on Enterprise users. A Consumer Preview with new software features (e.g. Cortana and IE 12 - aren't we all excited about that one!), as well as a Developer Preview will follow next year.

  24. Kerny
    October 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Windows 10 looks amazing.

  25. David
    October 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    It feels more like an 8.X update rather than something new that I'd call 10.

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