Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Alexia
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:?
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martindtanderson
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Yea, Build numbers are separate numbers, not a decimal it seems :)
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Philip
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It's a little odd looking, but Microsoft have also come up with names such as 'Windows 8.1 Update 1' so it's bad all round.
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Alexia
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On the other hand they do now have twice as many 10s as Windows 10 or Blackberry 10.
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Pete
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Having downloaded the beta (or whatever it is) I'm actually very impressed. It does seem to be everything that was nice about Windows 8 (the speed in partuclar) but much more keyboard and mouse focused.

All the irritating nonsense from 8 such as charms seems to have been banished.

I'll see how I get on, although since work gave me a Mac I now can't copy and paste properly on Windows anymore :(
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Philip
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I installed a virtual machine of Windows 10 on my dad's machine this weekend, who is currently running Windows 7. The return of the start menu is a step in the right direction, but I'm afraid for most people there is still confusion between the difference of normal x86/x64 programs and the new Windows Store apps, even with this integration. They still feel like a webpage and they are still terrible to use with a mouse and keyboard.

Apart from that, it's great because there were so many improvements to the desktop in Windows 8 that people missed when they stayed with 7 (apart from the removal of the Aero theme for a drab, retro looking flat colour scheme). More than two windows can now be tiled at a time with Aero Snap, however this means it looks even more like Windows 1.0 than it used to!
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cwathen
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Finally got it running - it turned out my CPU doesn't support the NX bit in virtual machines which precludes it from virtualising anything newer than Windows 7 (seems a bit odd since the CPU itself does support NX and will happily run the newer versions), now installed it on a netbook for testing.

Lets get the little niggles out of the way first. Only real bug I've found is that when attempting to run modern apps on the netbook (which isn't supported due to the low screen resolution) the error messages which pops up triggers an explorer crash...and from that we come to my first issue, at present there is still a minimum resolution of 1024x768 for modern UI. That firstly rules out netbooks which generally have a 1024x600 resolution, but given that modern is supposed to be cross-platform, you would expect it to be able to scale to any resolution depending on device - and especially to be able to scale lower to allow for things like 800x480 on low end smartphones. When modern apps can now run in a window too, a minimum resolution seems pointless.

I also found out that if I connected an external screen to the netbook and span it, it will now detect a screen supporting a high enough resolution and open the modern apps - on the netbook's own screen which runs them just fine even though isn't supposed to support them! Hopefully the 1024x768 check will be taken out by RTM...

...which conveniently leads me onto my second issues, spanned multiple monitors. If I tried to open a modern app with the focus on the netbook's own screen, they would refuse to open just as with no external display connected. However, finally, the second display now has it's own taskbar and start menu, if I opened them from the external screen they run - but on the netbook's own screen. As does everything, everything launched from the external display is launched on the internal one and has to be moved over. Hopefully this is also a bug which will be fixed.

But really, that's about all I can find wrong with it (and all of those issues I would expect will be fixed before RTM). It's a damn good OS, almost seems finished and unless there are any major new features yet to be introduced, I can't actually see why it will take until the middle of next year to get it released, I've seen release candidates from previous versions of Windows with more problems than this.

A great shame with the failure of Windows 8 is that it often does run better than Windows 7 on the same hardware - and Windows 10 continues this. It's doing far better on an old Atom-powered netbook with 1GB of RAM than Windows 7 does, it's more responsive and quicker to complete tasks.

The new start menu is great (although I admit that before being happy with it I did play about with it for a while it to put back basic icons like This PC and Control Panel which aren't there by default and also tidying up the myriad number of silly modern apps which fill the top of the all apps section). It manages to be just as functional as the Windows 7 start menu but do that in less space (that's with all the live tiles turned off), or be more functional in the same space (with some live tiles on).

The modern apps also now finally have some real utility now that they can be freely mixed and matched with the desktop and resized freely like other applications.

And of course if you still want the Windows 8 style experience you can have it. The only thing I'm left wondering is why on earth they couldn't have just made Windows 8 like this in the first place.

This may also be the point at which Windows Phone becomes a serious platform - if key phone apps (well, games) like Simpsons Tapped out and (back in the day) Angry Birds could be easily run across PC and mobile platforms this could well be the appeal which Windows Phone needs to knock Android off it's perch.

All in all, I just want the RTM version to come out now, finally Windows has taken a decent step forward.
cwathen
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Microsoft have now updated to build 9860, to get it you need to specifically choose to upgrade in PC settings, it doesn't come through Windows Update. What you then get is an in-place upgrade of the original build 9841 which for me upgraded to the new build cleanly and reliably (if very slowly). Bizarrely however, this is not available as an ISO to download for clean installations - even if you download a fresh copy of Windows Technical Preview you still get the original 9841 build which you need to install and then upgrade.

Once the new build is on you will then get an option to be automatically upgraded on future builds rather than needing to do it manually, and can choose between 'fast track' (get new builds on the day they come out) or 'slow track' (get new builds after a couple of weeks - useful if you are using WTP on a main system in case a new build turns out to be a lemon) for updates.

New features in the new build:

* Resolution check for modern apps has gone - you no longer need a 1024x768 screen for moderns apps to work. This is a big deal for me as I'm testing it on a netbook with a 1024x600 screen.

* New animation effects added for windows opening/closing and maximising/minimising/restoring.

* A new action centre is added which shows previous notifications rather than that WIndows 8-style way of them appearing once and then disappearing forever if you don't read them at the time they pop up. You can also now control how (or at all) notifications are displayed

* There is now a keyboard shortcut to move apps between multiple monitors

* ALL modern apps (not just bundled ones) can now have desktop shortcuts created - further merging of the classic and modern UIs.

* Several currently non-functional features which seem to have been brought over from Windows phone are now present including a data usage monitor and a battery saver. May be useful for tablets with inbuilt mobile comms once they are implemented.

* There is also a (again non-functional) additional PC Settings app called 'zPC Settings' which seems to be bringing more stuff over from Control Panel. I do hope in the end that Microsoft decide on one or the other, the WIndows 8 style way of some options being in PC Settings, some in Control Panel and some in both is a mess that needs to end. Personally I would have favoured leaving Control Panel as is and ditching the PC Settings app, but at least they are moving towards everything being in one place.

On the downside though, this build seems to have lost it's Windows 8-like nimbleness. Granted, I am testing it on marginal hardware (an Atom-based netbook with 1GB of RAM) but one of the (very few) things that impressed me about Windows 8 was how much better it ran than Windows 7 on low-spec hardware. WTP did similarly impress, but having done the update it's now got a bit sluggish (worse than Windows 7 actually). I did treat the machine to a RAM upgrade (to 2GB, the maximum supported by the hardware) which has made no difference. This was on the 64 bit build, at present I'm installing the 32 bit to see if that runs any better.
cwathen
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The 3rd build of Windows Technical Preview, build 9879 (I imagine they'll be going for build 10000 for the final RTM version, the way they're slowly edging up through the late 9000's like this) was released a couple of weeks ago to the fast track and in recent days to the slow track.

This was the first build released under the fast track/slow track policy, and it's proved it's worth - the original 9879 which went out to the fast track turned out to have major stability issues, this has now been fixed and those on the slow track are getting the fixed version. I've now updated to it and it seems just as stable as the previous builds.

They've also released new ISOs for this version if you want to do a clean install (last month's new build had no ISO release, even on a clean installation you had to install the original build and then update to the new build).

The new toys this month are:

*New version of IE - until now WTP has shipped with the same IE that's in Windows 8. There are no functional changes (it's still IE11) but under the hood it has a new rendering engine. IE has a smiley/sad/indifferent face button to rate the ability of the engine to load each page as better, worse or the same compared to the standard engine.

*New window animations (again)

*Improved window controls for modern apps running in a window.

*Modern apps can now display dialog boxes for better integration with the desktop (although sadly not much has been implemented for this yet - eg clicking on the wifi icon will still throw you into a full screen modern app to manage it which you need to wait several seconds to load rather than just popping up a little box instantly as Windows 7 does but presumably this will change in time).

*Gesture support for laptop trackpads is now built in to the generic windows pointing device drivers, there is no longer any need to install hardware-specific drivers to make gestures work on trackpads - this should be good as it will finally mean that all gestures are the same rather than differing from manufacturer to manufacturer.

*You can now turn off the search and task buttons on the taskbar if you want to.

*New shell icons for some things (a new folder icon is the most noticeable one). Explorer also has new functionality to pin favourites folders to the home screen when you open file explorer.

*Native MKV support

*The onedrive modern app is no more, one drive is now managed through explorer. Considering the last build started moving stuff out of control panel into the PC Settings modern app, and WTP generally is focussed on making modern apps easier to work with, moving a feature OUT of the modern UI seems a bit odd. I personally couldn't care less as I don't use one drive and if I did would much prefer a simple dialog box than waiting for a modern app to load, but it seems odd nonetheless.
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martindtanderson
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As well as native MKV, they announced Native FLAC is coming too
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Critique
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Has any further light been shed on how PC, Phone, Tablet and Xbox are all going to run the same OS? I assume PC will be the only one which has a traditional desktop, with all the other ones just focused on the Modern UI as is the situation currently with Windows Phone, Xbox and one of the flavours of the Surface tablet? If it works and Modern apps can run properly across the lot I think it'll be a really good move, as it means that platforms like Xbox won't be neglected for apps like you could argue they have been previously - I'm not sure what the Xbox One app store is like but I remember on Xbox 360 there weren't many and the 'important' ones like iPlayer, ITV Player etc either took a while to get there or weren't appearing on the platform any time soon, and the Facebook app specifically was a relic from many a year ago, using the UI style of a long-gone dashboard, which sort of showed that apps were not exactly top of the agenda on the platform!
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