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Windows 10 Evolves: 7 Facts

Less than a month into its Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft has implemented more than 7,000 improvements and dealt with a few bugs. What's the focus now?

Windows 10: 11 Big Changes
Windows 10: 11 Big Changes
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft's critics have had no trouble coming up with reasons to hate Windows 8. Poor app selection, awkward interface transitions, hidden menus -- the litany of complaints could go on and on. Though the criticisms have varied, a single subtext has united them all: With Windows 8, Microsoft wasn't listening to its customers.

But the Microsoft that launched Windows 8 isn't the Microsoft that's building Windows 10. In the two years since Windows 8 launched, the company announced a companywide reorg, named a new CEO, replaced several board members and major executives, absorbed Nokia's device business, and commenced the largest layoff in company history. That's a lot of change.

It's still unclear how it will all shake out. But with Windows 10, company execs have promised a more customer-focused process -- and they appear to be living up to that ideal. They'll need to, too. Though the company announced robust earnings last Thursday, due to strong server and cloud revenues, Windows remains a mixed bag, especially outside of volume enterprise licenses.

Microsoft launched the Windows 10 Technical Preview less than a month ago and released a follow-up build less than three weeks later. The speed with which Microsoft is iterating is encouraging -- but not as encouraging as the fact that the new build already includes some of Preview users' requested changes.

In addition to the quick build turnaround, Microsoft execs have published several blog posts that reveal important details about the company's OS roadmap. Company reps aren't answering all questions yet. But in contrast to the Windows 8 era, Microsoft seems legitimately committed to a more collaborative relationship between its OS teams and its customers.

How has Microsoft continued to build goodwill since releasing the Windows 10 Technical Preview? Here are seven ways the company and its flagship OS have evolved since Win 10 debuted.

1. The Technical Preview includes surprises for mobile users.
So far, Microsoft has focused on the desktop-oriented edition of Windows 10, with a preview of the version for tablets and smartphones expected early next year. That said, the first Preview build included at least one unannounced change, ostensibly aimed at hybrid devices, that's likely to show up in the mobile-oriented version: The onscreen touch keyboard includes predictive text, just like the Windows Phone keyboard.

The second build added a few more touches for touchscreen users: The onscreen keyboard automatically appears when users touch a text box; users can now swipe down from the top of a full-screen Modern app to reveal the title bar; and users can now swipe up from the bottom of full-screen Modern apps to reveal the taskbar.

2. Windows 10 brings Windows Phone features to the desktop.
In addition to predictive text, the PC version of Windows 10 will include several additional features from Windows Phone 8.1. The second Preview build introduced a rudimentary Action Center, for example, that currently displays basic notifications, but Microsoft said it will gain visual polish and additional functionality in future builds. Windows 10 also includes Windows Phone's Data Sense and Battery Saver features. The former

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Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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saliknaqi
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saliknaqi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/28/2014 | 12:36:11 PM
Re: Major modifications.
I like the fact Microsoft is encouraging feedback from different sources rather than one. Hope this time it wont be complex than its predecessor.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2014 | 5:52:56 PM
WIN + SHIFT +
Users with multi-monitor setups can now use WIN + SHIFT + <arrow> to move an active app to another display

Windows 7 has also the WIN + SHIFT + <arrow> feature. Not sure about Win 8.

@Whoopty

"I wonder if it's actually possible too please both camps..."

I believe Windows 10 is heading that way and, to be honest. I like it.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2014 | 1:18:23 PM
Re: Major modifications.
Agreed. I wonder if it's actually possible too please both camps, since one is rooted firmly in the past, while the other is primarily used by those with drastically different input methods. 

I hope it's a success as really, my Windows 7 is feeling a bit dated at this point. It should be, as Microsoft has a history of leap frogging whenit comes to OS popularity. 

 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2014 | 12:43:25 PM
Re: MS Next-Gen Credentials
Not sure that is type of security problem most of us have (stolen devices). Web pages and attachments injecting malware is the big problem. And that not just MS/Windows battle to fight by themselves. With Windows, even with UAC, just too darn easy for malware to corrupt o/s core functions. And even worse, hide the fact that o/s is even corrupted. Being an old IBM mainframe and midrange o/s guy, where that is virtually impossible, that is most irritating part of Windows. But that is nature of Windows versus those IBM o/s, not like MS can do much about it.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 11:52:31 AM
Re: Major modifications.
Microsoft's stated goal is to make Windows 10 intuitive for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, so we'll see. Having used both OSes extensively, I think Microsoft is making some good decisions, but we're a long way from the finished version of Win 10.
saliknaqi
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saliknaqi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2014 | 11:14:24 AM
Major modifications.
I hope it dosen't go undergo major modifications. They should keep it simple, It took me couple of days to get used to windows 8. And yup it wasn't easy to explore the featiures. But it seems highly unlikely it wont go major transition. Fingers crossed.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
10/27/2014 | 10:57:13 AM
MS Next-Gen Credentials
That security promise sounds like a big one. How important is that to your plans, readers? Ironically, security sometimes gets lost in all the discussion about windows UI....
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