/ Operating Systems

Windows 10! (Technical Preview)

As many of you may know, Windows 10 Technical Preview was announced by Microsoft four days ago (on Sep 30, 2014). I have installed the preview on a virtual Hyper-V machine to test out the latest features.

The "New" Start Menu

The first new feature that I noticed is a new (old?) start menu that combines the "traditional" start menu found in Windows 7 and the "modern" start screen in Windows 8. It looks like Microsoft is trying to please those users (and companies) that criticized the radically different start screen in Windows 8, while at the same time keeping the beautifully designed metro tiles, in the next version of Windows.

Screenshot of the New Start Menu

Task View

Another new feature is designed to improve efficiency: "Task View", which allows users to create multiple "desktops" on their computer and see all their opened windows more easily. This is very similar to the "Exposé"/"Mission Control" feature on Mac OS.

Screenshot of Task View

Metro Apps In Windows

Metro apps now open as windows on the main desktop interface, though full-screen metro apps will still exist in later versions on tablet devices.

Windows Store in a Window

Continuum

There is another feature that is planned but not yet implemented in this technical preview: "Continuum", which is going to enable Windows 10 to adjust the User Interface based on the type of hardware attached to the computer. Perhaps this is the feature that will help Microsoft achieve its goal to "deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time." This can be particularly useful on devices that can be considered hybrids between laptops and tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Here is an official demonstration:

Continuum: Video by Microsoft and hosted on YouTube

Keyboard Shortcut for Pasting in Command Prompt

Finally, not as significant as others but a useful improvement: Command Prompt now supports Ctrl + V pasting! This is useful because as of now, in order to paste content into the Command Prompt, one has to right-click and select "Paste" using a mouse/trackpad. Ctrl + V pasting could save users time and the hassle of moving their hands.

Screenshot of New Command Prompt

Where did Windows 9 go?

Wondering where "Windows 9" went? Well there are many interesting explanations on the Internet, including "Windows seven 'ate' nine." Jokes aside, there is an explanation on Reddit that is highly probable: To avoid causing compatibility problems with many 3rd party programs that interpret any Windows version starting with a "9" as Windows 95 or Windows 98 because they are using code that look like this:

if(version.StartsWith("Windows 9"))
{ /* 95 and 98 */
} else {

Want to try out Windows 10?

Want to try out Windows 10 Technical Preview, too? Register for the Windows Insider Program at insider.windows.com, but keep in mind that installing pre-release software is inherently risky and bugs are to be expected. Remember to always back up your data beforehand, and to test this on a secondary or virtual computer. Make sure you know what you are doing, or in Microsoft's official words, "if you think BIOS is a new plant-based fuel, Tech Preview may not be right for you." Also, more consumer-oriented features that are not in the current preview are still yet to come.

Screenshot of Windows 10 in Hyper-V Windows 10 Technical Preview: System Information

Tony Zhaocheng Tan

Tony Zhaocheng Tan

I am a Computer Science major at Georgia Tech. I am fascinated by cybersecurity, especially applied cryptography, exploit mitigation, and usable security.

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