Microsoft could have a new version of its Windows 10 operating system in the hands of testers in mere days. That’s if all the leaks that surfaced this weekend concerning both Windows 10 and Windows 10 for phones is an accurate indication of the company’s plans. Most of the features weren’t major, but a few will be very interesting to see on users PCs.
Windows 10 10036 has a lot of subtle changes. According to Neowin. Insider Hub, the app that allows users to provide feedback about the operating system directly to Microsoft now shows users stats about their experience. Listed stats include thing like how much feedback they’ve provided and missions they’ve completed. Missions are what Microsoft calls the feature walk-throughs that it asks users to complete.
In the last version of Windows 10, Microsoft said that it’d just started rewriting the Start Screen for better performance and more. As such, we haven’t had a complete look at what Microsoft is planning for it. Windows 10 10036 picks up a transparency setting so that users can have the Start Screen overlay itself on top of other Windows. In its current iteration this looks like a mess in full screen.
There are a lot of fit and finish changes here too. Buttons along the top of the Start Menu are farther away from the top edge. That’s also something that users complained about. Microsoft has completely eliminated Places area icons and header too. That top left area of the Start Menu did look a bit too busy in the earlier release.
Task View well allow Windows 10 users to create separate workspaces for their apps. In theory, the final version of Windows 10 will make it easier to separate work apps from play apps, even if they’re all open. With Windows 10 10036, Task View has picked up some new options. Now users can choose whether apps in the current Desktop they have open in Desktop for show up on the Taskbar. Users can drag and drop apps into different Desktops too, according to Thurrott. Apps can be moved to and from a microSD card. Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant, can’t be taught names.
Windows 10 10036 doesn’t include new apps to replace Calendar and Mail. Also missing is Microsoft’s Spartan web browser. That last bit is strange as Microsoft representatives confirmed that we should see their new up-start Google Chrome and Firefox competitor very soon.
A single toggle for how users get updates is attracting a lot of raised eyebrows. Today, downloading an update for your Windows PC involves your version of Windows reaching out to Microsoft’s servers, checking to see what’s new and then downloading them. Windows 10 10036 includes an option for letting users download apps from either Microsoft’s servers or other PCs. Microsoft describes the feature as letting users get what they need “more quickly.”
Apparently, the feature uses what’s called Peer 2 Peer technology to share updates between PCs. Users who already have a PC in their house with the latest updates won’t have to reach out to Microsoft’s servers again to get the same updates. In theory, in saves on bandwidth at a time when cable companies are trying to reign in the amount of data their users consume with data caps and new pricing schemes. Users will also have the opportunity to pick up updates from other PCs over the internet. That’s what has some security-minded enthusiasts nervous.
Microsoft still says that it plans to release Windows 10 as an update for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users later this year for free. It’s unclear whether Windows Insiders participating in the Windows 10 Technical Preview will get this version of Windows 10 or another with even more features soon.
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