11 Feb 2015

The State of the Windows 10 Preview in early February

Overview

Do not go by the title as the February build has not yet been released, the developers outside Microsoft are still stuck with the January build, i.e., Build 9926 of Windows 10 Technical Preview. On the plus side, however, it is very stable, stable enough to be used as a daily driver. It has many new features such as the new Universal Office apps, Cortana and the new Settings Panel for a start.

New Stuff

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New Action Buttons
When you boot up Windows 10, the very first thing you’ll notice is that   the Start screen is gone. The second, you’ll notice the new Windows Aero style, opaque taskbar and Windows, and their new Close, Minimize and Restore Buttons. The next thing that will catch your eye is the Search bar on the taskbar. But when you open it, if you’re outside the United States, you’ll find that Cortana is not available for your region. However, you can gain access to Cortana by signing in from a Microsoft account that has the region set to United States, and your Computer also has the region set to United States.

new-taskbar-with-cortana-search

Cortana

Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, is one of the first voice assistants on PC, since Google Now is just a voice search, and it does not have the feature to freely converse with it. Cortana, even in its early stages, has a good voice recognition engine, and it works well even if you have a foreign accent, which, in my case is Indian. Also, Cortana is unique in a way that she has her Notebook, in which she stores all that she knows about you, which makes each person’s Cortana unique.


cortana-the-voice-assistant
Cortana

Xbox App



Another new addition to the Windows Operating System is the Xbox app, which, in some ways, functions like Steam. It connects to your Xbox live account, and lets you make friends, chat with them, play multiplayer etc. Another new feature is that you can stream your Xbox games directly to your PC, so, if you have a Windows 10 PC and an Xbox one, it’s all you need for gaming.


all-new-xbox-app
The Xbox App

Continuum

Microsoft is now concentrating on bringing all the three platforms – Phone, Tablet and Computers, together. It calls this feature Continuum. You will now have a tablet mode which will make the OS more tablet friendly. Microsoft has now scrapped the charms bar, and now has a notifications button near the clock, which will show you the notifications and toggles for various settings.

Universal Apps


The settings app has been improved and it carries a new design, which makes it look extremely good. And as you have probably heard, the start menu is back! It has a new design, with the metro view as well as an all app view. Also, Microsoft’s Continuum includes Universal Apps. The modern apps which always went full screen can now be resized if tablet mode is off, which is a big improvement. All of the modern apps are now Universal, and Microsoft has released previews of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, all of which carry the Universal design language. These apps have all the features of the Office you know, but some of them are restricted to an Office 365 subscription.

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Powerpoint Preview
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Word Preview
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OneNote Preview
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Excel Preview
          

Conclusion

And all that is what is in the current build of Windows 10. We will give you an update all about the newer updates as soon as they are out. Stay Tuned!








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