Windows 10 Evolves: 7 Facts - InformationWeek

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10/27/2014
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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?

hints at future notebooks with LTE support -- something Intel has said will be built into its "Skylake" chips scheduled to start hitting the market late next year. The latter allows users to conserve battery life by automatically activating power-saving actions when the battery starts to drain. A user might set Battery Saver to dim the screen when the battery dips below a certain threshold, or to block app syncing until the device is plugged in.

3. Microsoft continues to refine the desktop.
The first Preview build delivered many big changes to the desktop UI, from the revamped Start menu to support for virtual desktops. The second build added several small refinements. Users complained that in the first build they couldn't always tell when they were switching between desktops, so Microsoft added an animation to make the move more obvious. Microsoft also added a variety of new keyboard shortcuts. Users with multi-monitor setups can now use WIN + SHIFT + <arrow> to move an active app to another display, for example. Other shortcuts allow users to create and toggle among virtual desktops; snap Windows into quadrants of the screen; and open Task View, the new Windows 10 feature that provides a bird's eye view of open apps.

4. Microsoft is showing its rough edges and opening up the dialogue.
After alienating many customers with Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to make Windows 10 a success by involving customers early and acting quickly on their feedback. While this is one of the most promising aspects of Microsoft's Windows 10 strategy, it presents a downside for Preview users: Sometimes features stop working.

Gabe Aul, who leads the Data and Fundamentals Team in Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, stressed in a recent blog post that new Preview builds might be buggy. The second build made it harder to join WiFi networks, for example, though Microsoft quickly issued a fix. The second build also introduced driver problems that caused some Start menus to disappear and prevented some machines from waking from sleep mode.

But in the blog post, Aul laudably alerted Preview users to these problems before the build rolled out. Microsoft officials have said from the start that Windows 10 isn't as stable as a final release and shouldn't be used in production environments. Microsoft could have merely issued this initial warning and then left users to wade through bugs, but instead, the company has tried to foster frequent and more open communication.

Moreover, the number of bugs in new builds is dwarfed by the number of improvements. In the three weeks between the initial Windows 10 preview release and the second build, Microsoft implemented nearly 7,000 improvements, most of them under the hood. Time will tell if Microsoft's efforts result in a great OS, but the company's giving customers reason to feel optimistic.

5. Microsoft is focused on enterprise-grade security.
At the Windows 10 launch, Microsoft execs promised Windows 10 would offer advanced security features while still allowing IT to easily manage all types of devices. In an Oct. 22 blog post, the company revealed more about its plans.

Windows 10 will include a form of two-factor authentication that Microsoft calls "Next Generation Credentials." It will allow users and admins to

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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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Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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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.
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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