Windows 10 Gets iPhone-Like Notification Area

A new Action Center area for tracking notifications is joining the new Start Menu in a new update for the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Microsoft revealed its first significant update to the Windows 10 Technical Preview that users can download for free earlier today at Blogging Windows. In that post, company representatives talk a bit about what it’s calling the Action Center and some changes its making to the Windows 10 Technical Preview distribution process.

As leaks throughout the year accurately revealed, the Action Center is a centralized place to get information from apps installed on Windows 10. The screenshot provided by Microsoft indicates that users should expect both Desktop and Windows Store apps to surface notifications there in chronological order. Each notification is sorted under the app that it originated from, giving users all the information they need to know.

Microsoft says that it focused on giving users notifications with this Windows 10 Technical Preview build, not fully implementing its vision for the Action Center. It plans to add “quick actions and cleaner UI [user interface]” later. As the Action Center came from Windows Phone 8.1, we can conclude that the Quick Actions that Microsoft is referring to are the customizable shortcuts that let Windows Phone users toggle Wi-Fi, tethering and more quickly.

windows 10 action center

Windows 10 isn’t expected to arrival in final form until sometime next year, but Microsoft said it made the preview available early so that it could get feedback on changes and make fixes when they’re needed. Thanks to feedback, Microsoft says that the Windows 10 Technical Preview update going out to users now has around 7,000 bug fixes and improvements. The new animations that happen when users switch between Desktops came from user feedback, according to Microsoft.

When it launches next year, Windows 10 will be one of the first operating systems that Microsoft has practically developed out in the open with real-time feedback. One of the ways Microsoft is getting that feedback is by constantly updating Windows 10 builds. Starting with this update users can choose whether they want to be updated more quickly with new features or whether they’d rather wait until new builds are necessary. It is Microsoft’s assertion that users will start seeing more changes based on their feedback with the next update, though Microsoft doesn’t say when that update is coming. We do know that the build going out to users now first went out to testers and developers at Microsoft about a week and a half ago.

From what we know about Windows 10, it’s easy to conclude that it’s Microsoft most ambitious operating system upgrade to date – and that includes Windows 8.

Microsoft is trying to balance competing interests and for the first time in a long time it looks to be heading in the right direction.

Windows 10 users who have a mouse and keyboard can look forward to a user experience that mostly mimics Windows 7. The Start Menu is back and includes Live Tiles that let users launch Windows Store apps. Windows Store apps no longer open in full-screen by default. Instead, Windows 10 users with traditional setups will see apps launch in the Windows Desktop. For example, Xbox Music can run along iTunes in Windows 10. That’s something that wasn’t possible before. Apps can be resized and all.

The version users have now doesn’t include it, but users of Windows 10 2-in-1s can look forward to Continuum. That’s what Microsoft is calling its hybrid interface that’ll work on things like the Surface Pro 3. Tablets like Microsoft’s own Surface and Surface 2 will lose the Desktop interface entirely. Windows 10 includes more changes than just these.

Read: Windows 10 vs Windows 8 What’s New & Different

Pricing for Windows 10 remains unclear, but its hard to imagine that Microsoft would force users with Windows 8 to pay for Windows 10.