back to article SURPRISE! Microsoft pops open Windows 10 Preview build early

Microsoft has released the next preview build of Windows 10 to members of its Windows Insider program, slightly ahead of schedule. At the big promo event in Redmond on Wednesday, Microsoft said the new build would be available "in the next two weeks," but it seems the software giant has decided its code is ready for prime time …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first two 'new' features where putting back things they took out. Everything else is irrelevant.

    1. Len Goddard

      Be fair

      ... changing the windows store icon from green to grey is awesome!

      1. Kunari

        Re: Be fair

        Can you imagine how many man hours it took?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Be fair

          Thousands, imagine the first high level meetings with everyone sat in front of a powerpoint demo with loads of different coloured shop icons right through to the last ones with 50 shades of grey.

          1. CaptainBanjax

            Re: Be fair

            Dude you forgot about the MSProject file and Sharepoint wiki.

        2. Captain DaFt

          Re: Be fair

          And the meetings... oh God, the meetings!

        3. Van

          Re: Be fair

          "Can you imagine how many man hours it took?"

          Going through the bins to retrieve stuff you through away is indeed very time consuming.

      2. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: Be fair

        I hope they've kept the original for when they put it back

      3. Steve Knox

        Re: Be fair

        ... changing the windows store icon from green to grey is awesome!

        Yes, it'll be good to get out of this artificial universe and back to the real one at last!

      4. cheshS80

        Re: Be fair

        I like how they addressed the issue of the "Fisher Price" colored pop ups / outs, of Search / PC settings / Network / Notifications etc - by turning everything in those areas Monochrome and the making the flat folder icons more gaudy - The marketing team have to stop going to the design meetings. Build 9226 is the worst attempt yet at "fixing" - still they can claim to be listening to feedback and keep the faith in the TIFKAM Club

        Rather than this continual abysmal graphic makeover , how about adding really useful things like S.M.A.R.T monitoring of Hard Drives, or Temperature monitoring, or a decent Defrag utility

    2. joed

      yep, we're basically back to Windows 8 Beta (they removed access to start menu somewhere in Preview release). Progress or just taking care job security?

  2. Richard Taylor 2

    Well despite the recent comments, it does look rather good and admittedly very early stress tests are positive compared with both 7 and Vista

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh really is that so?

      1. Richard Taylor 2
  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > The most annoying one, most likely, will be the tendency for some PCs to display a boot selection menu each time they start up.

    My laptop does that all the time. It's Linux Mint and it's called a "feature" :D

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Boot

      "My laptop does that all the time. It's Linux Mint and it's called a "feature" :D"

      It's not Mint, it's GRUB. And it's easy to configure to, amongst other stuff:

      1) autostart an entry after n seconds

      2) default to the last started entry

      3) not show a menu unless requested

      Sounds like you need (2) and (3) - a few minutes work with a search engine will tell you what to do.

      [Edit: you can use the tool grub-customizer if you don't fancy editing the config file]

    2. Martin Maloney
      Thumb Up

      Re: Boot

      My laptop does that all the time. It's Linux Mint and it's called a "feature" :D

      My laptop does that all the time. It's EasyBCD, and it allows me to dual-boot between Windows 7 and Linux Mint. It's from NeoSmart Technologies, and it's free for private, non-commercial use.

      Full disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with NeoSmart Technologies. I'm plugging EasyBCD only because it's a terrific product. It saved my butt, when Linux Mint discontinued Mint4Win.

  4. Teiwaz

    It's almost too slick in the video

    Must admit it looked rather nice in places.

    The tablet->desktop transition looked a little 'edited' in order to appear smooth. Maybe it's not quite finished yet but they wanted to show it off anyway. (it's not as if I was expecting a loading screen like Fable) but it just looked false.

    They did not demonstrate the multi-desktop feature that is supposed to be new. That disappointed me.

    The Cortana integration looked interesting from the human-computer interaction perspetive. Creepy, but interesting.

    They are definetly still convinced that touch is 'the thing'. Overall, they have made it sound really appealing if you have partially or full already bought into the whole windows/Xbox ecosystem. A lot of the features seem to be designed to encourage you to get into Windows on phone and tablet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's almost too slick in the video

      I love your enthusiasm but everything you mentioned (except the multi-desktop) are the very things that repulse me.

      1. Teiwaz

        Re: It's almost too slick in the video... enthusiasm,erk!

        Alright, I hated it with a fiery passion I usually reserve for the over-privileged and stupid. There, fixed that.

        I thought I was mostly critical in the post.

        Cortana is mostly sold to the masses on it's superfluous/mildly useless abilities like being able to tell it to remind you to buy milk, but Linux lacks a coherent voice recognition system and that Winidows is obviously now lightyears ahead in terms of Accessibility than any of the Linux desktops.

        The new browser 'sounds' good, yet to see any previews on it's rendering ability and how many standards have been adhered to versus 'improved'. Does that article reader actually remove ads, kinds looks like it did.

        The tablet/desktop switch (although looking a little contrived in the vid) looked like it would solve a lot of the self-inflicted Win8 scars.

        I know plenty of gameheads who'll love the added Xbox and phone integration .

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are there less clicks to fire up a program than XP or Win7? Or more?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      0 clicks... it's touch or talk

  6. John Tserkezis

    "your Microsoft account"

    I've been out of the Win10 loop for a little while and haven't kept up. Does this imply we've lost the ability to log in using standalone login names (like now and win8.1) or are we really forced to create an (erk) microsoft account let us log in? (blech - that leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I say it.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For the duration of the preview builds, it seems you have to have a Microsoft account. If nothing else, the telemetry data that is sent back needs to tag to "something Microsoft."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In 8/8.1 you can log in with local account, but you need MS/Outlook to download and install Store apps. I think that's one of the reasons they're not that popular

  7. jonfr

    The internet

    Too much reliance on the internet is dangerous. One day *poof* the server that you need to use is gone and never coming back. Making your operating system useless in the process. That is a rather bad future for users.

    1. Mage

      Re: The internet

      Plays for sure ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The internet

      I'm pretty sure MS accounts behave the same as domain accounts when disconnected. You don't need to be connected to the domain to logon as long as you have logged on with the domain account at least once in the past, same for MS accounts.

      1. dogged

        Re: The internet

        > I'm pretty sure MS accounts behave the same as domain accounts when disconnected.

        They do. I tested it.

  8. DainB Bronze badge

    Connected standby

    Microsoft, get rid of that half-baked junk you conceived with Intel.

    Connected Standby is by far THE most annoying feature of Windows 8.1 on a tablet - you can't turn screen off without tablet going to sleep, you can't leave any applications that need network access running in background (unless they are Metro Apps, and there are not many useful amongst them), it drains battery without any particular reason for it, and you just can't disable or work around it.

    Microsoft, fix it and I'll buy another Windows tablet (and I really-really liked proper operating system on a tablet for about 4 hours, until discovered all issues above).

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Downloaded it

    Installing tomorrow. Should be interesting.

  10. adnim

    Read privacy statement

    Data We Collect

    Obviously this relates to to the technical preview and data collection from a preview is all well and good. However the information is personally identifiable and some of the data collected is far beyond what is required to asses the performance of an operating system.

    "Examples of data we may collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; location, browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; voice, text and writing input; and application usage."

    Please read the above quote again, read it slowly and think what that data might be that you are sharing.

    If this level of data collection is in the final release and one agrees to the licence, one has basically given Microsoft permission to read, store and analyse every interaction with the OS.

    All your data belong to them?

    If you are not concerned about this, you should be.

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Read privacy statement

      Thank you Adnim, Dainb

      Cured me of any temptation towards tablet procurment in any way connected with Win8/10.

      Not that that was really likely, but the lure of the shiny and new can sometimes be hard to resist.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Read privacy statement

        "Cured me of any temptation towards tablet procurment in any way connected with Win8/10."

        Ah well, back to iDevices then -- the things you only borrrow.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Read privacy statement

      "Examples of data we may collect include [...] phone call and SMS data; [...] voice, text and writing input; [...]"

      I really can't see *that* surviving in the EULA of the final release. How would Microsoft ever hope to sell a single copy into the business market with a threat to record pretty much everything you do on the device?

      OTOH, I'm not concerned. Participation in the beta program is optional and I will read the EULA for the final release. (Microsoft ought to be a little concerned that the population of their beta program might be heavily skewed towards those who don't care about privacy (or, equivalently, towards those who aren't using the product realistically or with an honest ID). If MS are using beta program stats to guide design decisions for privacy-related features, they'll be getting the wrong answers.)

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Read privacy statement

        @ken Hagan... Or worried that those of us that do care won't be using the preview normally. Nothing that needs my passwords is going in the win10 vm, no browsing with account logins, I won't be running any dev tools until ms sends us non instrumented builds etc. Not going to be a lot of useful testing from my install with that!

    3. David Roberts

      Re: Read privacy statement

      Looks pretty mild compared with all the apps on an Android phone.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Read privacy statement

        It would actually be nice if EULAs had a legally binding hashsum...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Which Linux distro has been forked in order to hack the look and feel of the Windows 10 UI?

    1. Palpy
      Paris Hilton

      No distro I know of mimics Win 10

      I mean, why? A lot of people (sorry, users) liked the look of Win 7, so most of the good ideas from the GUI are available in distros like Zorin. Ditto XP. Why mimic a GUI that is already seeing lukewarm enthusiasm among Windows users (sorry, people)? Not even Paris knows why you'd do that.

      But this is about Win 10, not Linux. Linux has a fat 1.6% of the desktop user base, remember? It's irrelevant except on web servers, supercomputers, tablets, and phones.

      So maybe MS is responding to certain dynamics:

      1. Management in the highest towers believe the company must innovate or wither. Hence the freakish obsession with OS candy and turning desktops into very large powerful smartphones.

      2. Yet many users want need and LUST AFTER: stability and predictability, ease of use, and no confusing new gimmicks. So there is a fundamental conflict between this and the previous point.

      3. MS introduced a lot of security holes in trad Windows over the years. Permissions are lax and simple MS tools like VBScript and VBA can be used to eat victims' data, hard drives, and networks. The point is, the App model sandboxes by default. It does have a coherecnt security model. The problem with the point is -- and I'm just whistling in the dark here, so correct me if I'm wrong -- the PROBLEM is, apps are currently mostly toys, and serious users with serious needs always go to the *.exe applications. With development -- and a lot of buy-in from software makers -- app-world could get as powerful as exe-world. But as things are now, it may not ever get there.

      4. So, shoving Metro App-World at the users -- as some at MS think is absolutely necessary -- ends up alienating the professional-level user base. Because they need powerful applications NOW. Won't settle for jam tomorrow, no, jam is needed today. And rightly so.

      To be fair, I don't see clear ways for Microsoft to escape these binds. I may be all wet, or full of twice-baked beans. Dunno. Just yammering in the morning.

  12. HighHo

    Looks promising!

    Im a little scared, but acctully looks like there are some innovative features! Currently im a Linux based user (at home, I use a Mac at work). Not sure I will switch but I will be happy to give it a go, when win 7 was released it didnt really offer anything not avilable on my Linux based desktop (ignoring games, and had no business app requirments), but MS seem to have woken up a little and started developing new features.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looks promising!

      What new features? Surely you're mocking us?

      I'm currently a windows user and I feel the complete opposite. The next windows was supposed to save us from the win8 disaster but apart from a few tweaks that aren't even as good as what we're already getting via 3rd party tools, it's no better.

      They say windows versions alternative good to bad, with skipping 9 they skipped the good one.

  13. Mark C Casey

    Been using windows 10 since the first public release

    And this new build feels like a really big step backwards from previous builds.

    * The start menu has gone back to metro, you can't resize it, it isn't anywhere near as customisable as before and just feels like they've gone back to windows 8 and thought "hey, lets use that".

    * They've sneaked bing into a few more places and it feels more awkward, the fact you can't change it to google makes it all the more a frustrating experience.

    * Onedrive is really being pushed down your throat. "Don't like it, tough.. you can't disable it anymore without hacking it up"

    * They are pushing the metro stuff a lot more in this release, a lot of apps that you could uninstall before you cannot now.

    Overall, if you're using a previous build of windows 10 I would say avoid this one as it is a big disappointment. It feels like Microsoft have ignored all that positive feedback that has been given to them and taken massive steps backward. It's a damn shame.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been using windows 10 since the first public release

      Totally agree :- Build 9926 is huge fail , makes you wonder why you give them feedback

      M$ just appease one group in one build then switch it back in the next.

      Having removed all the Apps from the right hand side of start menu (again) I now have a start menu which covers 2/3rds of the laptop screen with grey blank space (might be a bug - probably going to be a feature).

      New PC Settings screen - Yuk ! - sort of a flat Control Panel (shall we guess what gets dropped in the next build ?)

      M$ You're smoking some weird stuff - change your supplier

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Been using windows 10 since the first public release

        I've been testing it on a Tosh netbook. And the latest build is s-l-o-w. The last one ran quite sensibly - not fast, but usable. 9926 is just treacle. On a cold day.

        The Start Menu (when it eventually appears) is now a shrunk version of the Metro start screen. The old "All Programs" tree is no more. The only choice now is to pin your favourites, or brows an alphabetical list of every shortcut to event program you have installed. Whu? Apparently Microsoft are "super exited" because it's now written in XAML.

        The wireless connect screen (they think it's better) is now very unresponsive, as if it does not have a proper connection to the wireless service process. Connecting takes ages, and there's no progress indication. While it's connecting, you can click on other wireless connections, (with the attendant animations/colour changes) but the clicks are ignored.

        I thought that Sinofsky's diciples would have been shown the door when he left, but it seems not.

        And I thought that I wasn't going to hate win10 after all......

  14. Sokolik

    Please help...

    ...this ignoramus. Is Win10 primarily for phones? On the other hand, if Win10 is for PC's, slabs, and notebooks....did I miss Win9?

    I am running Win7 on both my notebook and my gaming desktop. Even I knew enough not to "upgrade"(!?!) to Win8.

    Win10 beta-testers out there: any reason to upgrade from Win7 to Win10?

    Thanks to all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please help...

      It's not windows 8 and it's end of life is further away. Apart from that, cling on to 7. If upgrading was at least tempting, they wouldn't be giving it away.

      1. Sokolik

        Re: Please help...

        Anon: "giving it away". Ah-hah! Of course. Thanks much for that and also for the extension-of-Win8 insight.

  15. Miss Config

    Unpin that PIN

    So they STILL insist that enter a PIN at login or restarting from sleep ?

    Goodness knows how many of us asked them to remove that 'facility'.

    ( Microsoft are certainly not telling. )

  16. adnim

    I installed the preview,

    I played for a few hours. For me it offers nothing over Win 7 that would make me want to use it. And a whole lot of "features" that make me not want to use it. Each to their own and their own needs, I don't need Windows 10.

    Seems to be Windows 7 with a big start menu, except the system settings are harder to find. And every Microsoft service available is forced down the users throat. I think MS want the OS to be used the way THEY want the user to use it. Not going to happen here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I installed the preview,

      I thought exactly the same. Almost like windows 7, but with more crap to try to disable.

      It's not awful like win8, but still very disappointing.

  17. James 29

    Erm, dont think this is the consumer preview. Its just an updated build of the tech preview, with some very broken features (start menu).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When is SP2 out?

    Maybe then..

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