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My First Experiences with Windows 10

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by

I am already a fan of Windows 10.

In June, I decided to install Windows 10 on a non-critical machine, so I downloaded a copy of Windows 10 Pro for free from the original source, the Windows Insider Program. The Insider Program requires a Microsoft account and some patience, since the program intentionally releases software before the consumer ship date to give Windows experts an opportunity to find and report issues.

Overall, my experiences with Windows 10 Build 10162 have been very positive.  Below are some of my initial findings:

  • Hardware Compatibility: For me, all is well except for the touchpad. On a Dell XPS 13 laptop, the touchpad works with some limitations. In short, the two finger and three finger gestures (e.g., two finger scrolling) do not work. I’m not the only one reporting the touchpad bug, so I expect to see a vendor solution soon.
  • Software Compatibility: For me, software compatibility has been ok. As expected, there were installation issues with some of the earlier builds of Windows 10, but helpful techies on the Microsoft blogs gave clues to resolve issues. Right now, in build 10162, I’ve got the Office 2013 apps, Chrome, Visual Studio, as well as my favorite -but old- Windows and DOS apps all working. Also, the Cisco VPN client and Box Sync apps work as expected.
  • Battery Life: Excellent. My fan isn’t spinning constantly and the laptop battery life has improved slightly. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping this trend will continue.
  • Improved App Features: Yes, the “Start” menu is back on the Desktop, and I like the enhancements which show the list of apps with a Windows 8 Start Screen look. Also, one of my favorite Windows tools, Snipping Tool, now includes a delay feature. That allows me to take screen snapshots of a pop-up window. Also for the Windows power user, the Command Prompt has been enhanced so the standard copy (CTRL-C) and paste (CTRL-V) are supported.
  • New Features: Finally, Windows has built-in support for virtual desktops! Use CTRL-Win with the left/right arrow keys to shift between desktops.   Microsoft also released a new browser, Edge. It is lightweight, fast, and long overdue. Then, we have Cortana, the “Siri” equivalent. If your computer has a supported mic, just say “Hey Cortana” without food in your mouth and see what you can learn.

I’m pleased with my Windows 10 preview experiences, and I’m looking forward to the July 29 release. If you have decided to brave the installation of Windows 10 Insider Preview, tell me what you think.