I’ve been playing with Windows 10 build 10036 for several hours now and can confidently say that I love it.
Since this is a pre-release leak, it’s a little buggy but I really like the trajectory where Microsoft is taking Windows. The next evolution of Windows is a dramatic change from anything we’ve ever seen before and I think you’ll agree that it’s worth it.
Back in January I told you that Windows 10 had a bunch of cool features such as an elastic Start Menu and clever Cortana integration.
Well, recently we learned a little more when the incorrigible hacker WZor leaked build 10036 to the web last Friday, March 13th.
So what can you expect?
I got my grubby hands on it last night and started playing with a few things. Here are the top 5 changes that will make you go gagga over Windows 10.
1. Luscious Lock and Login Screens
First, the icons on the lock screen are now in the bottom right corner instead of the bottom left corner.
I guess separating the time and date from icon notifications cleans up the display and makes it easier to see things.
The login screen also got revamped. Notice the Google Apps style avatar in the circular frame.
Who is that handsome guy there? hahah.
2. Print as a PDF is standard
One of the most salient changes I noticed in build 10036 was native support for printing to PDFs. For example, when I opened Notepad I noticed “Print as a PDF” is now a printer option!
Finally! Now I can kiss CuteFTP and FoxitReader goodbye!
This actually made my day. I know I’m a geekasaurus rex but I couldn’t help but smile when I saw it.
3. New Windows Defender Settings
A quick visit to System in PC Settings shows Windows Defender gets a brand spanking new block of options.
You can now toggle cloud protection, sample submissions and file exclusions directly from the settings app.
Hopefully the antivirus engine is stronger now. It would also be neat if you could scan individual files in Windows Defender but perhaps I’m asking for too much?
4. Choose how you download updates
One of the biggest changes in build 10036 is a curious new setting called Choose how you download updates.
If you go to the Start Menu, click Settings in the left pane and choose Update & Recovery at the bottom of the PC Settings window, you’ll see your Windows Update settings in the left pane.
In the right pane, there’s a barely visible option called Advanced options.
Microsoft now includes a scintillating new feature that essentially lets you download apps and OS updates from multiple sources to get them more quickly.
The new updates feature in build 10036 bears an uncanny resemblance to a sanctified KaZaa for Windows.
One of those sources can by PCs on the LAN.
So what do I think about it?
On the one hand this feature makes sense.
Microsoft has the herculean task of delivering billions of updates to billions of devices every month. By off-loading the burden to PCs on the local network that already have the latest updates, Microsoft improves the reliability and availability of its new update service.
Conversely, on the other hand, this could be a latent security risk. Could Microsoft unwittingly introduce a new attack vector into Windows 10 by allowing updates from other PCs?
I don’t know. But I would imagine Windows updates have digital signatures so it would be hard (but not impossible) for hackers to disguise malware as updates.
5. New icons and UI tweaks.
The file and folder icons went under the knife and received a flat face lift. It’s plastic surgery Microsoft style.
I actually like the simpler brighter color scheme.
In addition, the shape shifting Start Menu is still around.
Wierdos who loved the Start Screen in Windows 8 will rejoice at this welcome feature.
Incidentally, all the icons on the taskbar are now slightly smaller.(including the Windows logo icon)
I’m not sure why that is and what effect this will have on people who have specific accessibility needs. But it’s nice to see that the time and date are still displayed even when the taskbar is chopped down to size.
In previous various of Windows, when you right-clicked the Taskbar, went to Properties and selected Use small taskbar buttons, the date went away.
Now it stays!
So when is the full featured version of Windows 10 coming out?
Yesterday, Microsoft hinted that Windows 10 will release sometime this summer. Which puts it anywhere between June 21 and September 23 2015.
And the best part?
You can even upgrade to Windows 10 if you’re using pirated copies. In a telephone interview with Reuters, Terry Meyerson, EVP of Operating Systems said:
We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10
The Bottom Line
So now it’s your turn.
What do you think of these changes? Which is your favorite? Do you think the Metro UI look is atrocious?
Also what do you think about this new peer-to-peer update system – will it work? Is it smart? Let me know in the comments – I’m curious to know what my readers think about these changes.