Windows10StartScreenI just installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview.  To say it’s slick is an understatement.  Even for what is considered a “beta” its very polished and smooth.  I’m impressed with it’s fluidity and the lack of the “metro” screen that so many users have come to hate.  Although I never minded the Windows 8 start screen, others went back to Windows 7 to get away from it.  A bit extreme in my opinion.

I’ve been using this for three days now on the laptop I’m writing this post on.  I’m impressed so far and keep finding new gadgets, hidden menu’s and doo-hickey’s to tinker with.  Some of the things I’ve found:

  • Right click start menu with quick links to common OS apps
  • Sweet hybrid of Windows 7 start and Windows 8 metro screen (pictured to the right)
  • Built in Cortana search just like on my Windows Phone, which I can’t wait to update to Windows 10 for Phone.
  • Unified OS experience across all devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc)
  • Hundreds of enhancements to the underlying code to make everything lighter and quicker.  Booting into Windows 10 with an SSD (solid state drive) takes under 10 seconds!
  • Updates to icons, file manager, control panel, update methodology and other fixes to built-in apps that never quite worked well or fit into Windows 8.x

If you’re fairly tech savvy and know how to get around a new interface using shortcuts or search terms, I highly recommend that you check this out.  The actual production release is still months away, but it will be free to everyone with Windows 7 or Windows 8 for a full year after the release.  That is awesome of Microsoft because they’re moving to a new business model that doesn’t rely on software sales.  It’s going to keep Microsoft relevant for several years into the future in that they’re unifying their software to work on all hardware regardless of the platform.  Apple for instance, has a separate iOS for their desktop/laptop systems than they do for their mobile devices and tablets.  It means they spend twice as much money and have divergent OS streams.  Microsoft on the other hand is doing the opposite and giving their software practically for free or for minimal cost.

+1 Microsoft, good job on the next version of Windows!