My Early Windows 10 Experiences

I took the plunge yesterday while preparing an Azure presentation – I performed an in-place upgrade of Windows 8.1 on my Toshiba KIRAbook to Windows 10. Initially I tried to do it via USB, but I’d not prepared a UEFI stick for the device (thanks for the tip Hans Vredevoort). I copied the install files onto the laptop and ran it – within half an hour I had a fully upgraded machine with all my apps, programs, data, and settings in place. I think the only thing I had to do was re-install LastPass for IE.

The performance of the technical preview is excellent. Reboots were already blisteringly fast on this machine and now it’s not much more than a slow blink.

The start menu works as expected. I doubt I’ll use multiple screens much but it’s easy to use too. The weird experience was that I kept expecting to see the start screen when I clicked on Start. I have the ability to go back to the Win8 behaviour but I won’t; instead I just pinned my usual warm apps to the start menu, while my usual hot apps were on the task bar as they were before the upgrade.

I was out on a customer site today performing a health audit of a hosting infrastructure. I had the KIRAbook with me, taking my notes in OneNote. It behaved normally and was stable. Performance was good, and as usual for this hardware, the battery was excellent.

This afternoon I was back in the office and showed the machine to my colleagues. While they are not IT people, most of them are comfy with tech because that’s what they sell. The Start Menu seemed like a hit. One odd reaction I got was “I want to be able to expand the start menu to a start screen”. The reasoning was that it was easier to search for something in a bigger screen if you had loads of stuff installed. I can understand that one.

Anyway, so far, so good. And like many others have said already, Windows 8 would have been a hit if it was like this.

Somewhere, Steven Sinofsky and Julie Larsson Green are seething.

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4 Comments on My Early Windows 10 Experiences

  1. Jacobus Bezemer // October 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM // Reply

    while the experience for the desktop user – or any user with a device that has a physical keyboard – is encouraging, the tablet experience is very much degraded, because the ‘Metro’ environment is pretty much killed off, so now we tablet users (a Dell venue 11′ Pro) have the weird virtual keyboard behavior where every time we want to do input, instead of the keyboard popping up, we have to press the keyboard icon on the taskbar and to get rid of it, we have to press twice.
    The keyboard experience for touch screen users was already cumbersome on win 8.1, with the keyboard often obscuring the very fields you’re trying to type into, but now it’s horrible.

    • You are judging an incomplete “alpha” build, which is probably something that would never have gone public in the past (maybe restricted to NDA TAP). MSFT have released it earlier than usual to get our input (publicly available Windows Insiders program) to steer the ongoing development of the product, something that didn’t happen at all with the “8” generation.

      Right now, you can go back to the Start Screen and abandon the Start Menu if you want. If you look at my previous Win10 posts, you’ll find a video of Continuum that demonstrates how hybrid devices will allow you to (with a single prompted touch/click) to switch between the UIs if a keyboard is added/removed, perfect for your Venue 11 Pro. That feature will be in a future build. And the tablet OS won’t be in preview until early next year. So don’t go judging the OS until much later in the process.

  2. Have you tried the Windows Server Technical Preview yet? That also boots blisteringly fast from my experiences.

    There’s a new Feature called ‘Canary Network Diagnostic’ that ‘enables validation of the physical network.’ – it installs a Windows service but I can’t figure out (from a brief investigation) what it actually does. Any clues?

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