So I broke down and got the developer preview for my Lumia Icon. Best choice I probably made all week. I love it to death. Cortana is my new best friend. Geo based reminders, and the ability for me to set places and then ask how bad traffic is, is flat out amazing. Since my job requires a lot of traveling around Houston, knowing what traffic is like is a MUST!
Only complaints so far are related to music playback. There seems be be some random noises at the end of some songs. It’s definitely software related as it happens when playing out of different music apps. Now I just want the feature to be able to use Cortana with just my voice. Another minor annoyance is when someone else is talking while you’re talking to Cortana. She’ll pick up words from the audience and mess with your search.
Now on to Windows 10
The rumored reason that makes the most sense as to why they skipped Windows 9 has to deal with old code that would check for Windows 95 and Windows 98. Essentially the code would look for the 9 and handle it a specific way. I still think that they wanted to call it Windows 2, but used binary instead of base ten. If you recall during the press conference they called it “Windows One” as a joke…
Anyways, I’ve been running the “Technical Preview” since I am a tech, for a couple of days now. The “new” start is essentially a cross between a Windows 7 start and an Windows 8 start. The functionality of searching from the start menu is still there. They added a dedicated search icon on the task-bar that is is a global search. Essentially the same search from the charms bar. They did not do away with the charms bar, but you cannot access it with the mouse like you used to. On touch screens it is still a swipe from the right. Swipe in from the left is now the same as Windows Tab on the keyboard. It shows you your open applications and you can click or tap the one you need. It will also allow you to “add” desktops. You can have multiple desktops, and switching between them is pretty easy. If an app is open in another desktop it will be underlined on the task-bar and you can switch to it. Alt Tab on the keyboard now shows you a screen shot of the app you are switching too instead of just an icon. The biggest improvement for me is the spacing on the notification area icons. I used to fat finger those like no other. They have added space to make it easier for us fat fingered people to hit the right button the first time. Windows Explorer also got a new start page. It now lists common folders and recently accessed files which is a huge benefit. I have not had any application compatibility issues, and the system appears to be extremely stable for being a “preview” release. Windows 8 was a lot more buggy at this stage of development. One other thing, all windows are now border less. You know that little piece of window on the left or right side that you would grab to resize a windows? Well that’s gone, well almost. You can still resized the windows from there, but you get that much more space for your applications to display info.
Stay tuned for more! Microsoft is supposed to be releasing updates to this platform so I’m hoping to see some new and amazing features coming soon!