Tim Murphy's .NET Software Architecture Blog

November 2014 Entries

Windows 10 Tech Preview–First Impressions

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This post is my impressions of Windows 10 after a couple of weeks of use.  First let me set the stage though.  I have been using Windows 8 since the RC.  So I am very comfortable with it.  At the end of my first 30 minutes with the Windows 10 Technical Preview I was screaming at my Surface Pro “What idiot asked for these features”.  Of course after using it for a while that has subsided.

The upgrade worked seamlessly on my generation 1 Surface Pro.  All my apps showed up, both Store and desktop apps.  There was a slight hicup with the first launch of the OneNote Store app, but other than that it has been pretty smooth.

Two days after I installed the technical preview I was already installing the second build.  This made the things a little more complicated with not being sure what might change, but even that left the system stable and all apps ready to use.

As for the features, I am not a fan of the Task View.  If you like the Alt+Tab experience in Windows 7 then you will feel comfortable here, and if I hadn’t already grown accustom to Windows 8 I would too.  But as I have it feels clunky.  I have really found that at least on my Surface Pro I prefer to be able to swipe in from the left to rotate through my apps.  If I could left swipe with both desktop and store apps it would be perfect.  The other thing this change doesn’t take into consideration is touch mice.  The one I like to use has Windows 8 gestures and the new Task View would hurt there.

Another thing that I miss in Windows 10 is the way that Store Apps snap in Windows 8.  You can get both desktop apps and Store apps to snap to either side of the screen and it will go to half screen.  The problem is that once I have two apps up I’d like to resize them to change the percentage that each app takes up.  So far I haven’t found a way to make this work. I think it would also be great if we could continue to be able to drag windows with touch if I have a touch capable machines.

I do like that the Charms bar is not showing up when the mouse moves to the corners but I’m glad to see it is still there.  Joe Belfiore mentioned that this would not stay in its current form.  We will have to see what they come up with, but the basic capability and ease of use should stay.  My guess would be that the rest of the charms icons may show up in the task bar like the search icon is now.

The next item that aggravates me is the menu.  I want to be able to see a larger number of live tile.  Ultimately I want my start screen.  Fortunately Microsoft has given us some options.  You have the ability to revert back to the Start Screen instead of the Start Menu.  This requires closing all of your apps and logging out, but I’m able to live with that.

There are some interesting changes in Windows Explorer.  Having Frequent Folders and Recent Files sections display along with your drives on the home view is an interesting feature.  I’m not sure how much I will use it, but it isn’t too intrusive and can be collapsed.

There are other features that I haven’t played with such as the Virtual Desktop.  As I work with Windows 10 more and they make further updates I will try to post more reviews.  For now my opinion is that these features may make sense to people who have never experienced real productivity, but even on my laptop without touch I would prefer the Windows 8.1 experience.  Thankfully Microsoft is giving everyone the chance to put their 2 cents in with the Feedback app.  If you have an extra machine I would suggest downloading the technical preview and letting everyone know what you like and dislike so that we hopefully get the best Windows 10 possible.