Even nonetheless a large annual Build discussion doesn’t flog off until subsequent week, Microsoft forsaken Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10061 late Wednesday night. Unlike a last Technical Preview release—which merely combined a Project Spartan browser—this one is definitely pressed with tweaks, changes and news apps.
Curious, yet retiring to implement pre-release program on your PC? Live vicariously. I’ve spent a night poking and prodding during Windows 10 build 10061. Read on for screenshots and impressions of all a new changes, and don’t forget to check out PCWorld’s guides to a best new Windows 10 facilities to try initial and a top Windows 10 tips and tricks to get a deeper feel for a handling system.
Start me up
The unequivocally initial thing we notice on booting build 10061 is that Windows 10’s Start menu has been tweaked nonetheless again. It’s been widened, from one “fat column” of apps to two, lending it a feel closer to Windows 8’s Start screen. Don’t like it? Fear not: Build 10061 also restores a prior choice to resize a Start menu to smaller—or larger—dimensions.
Note that a Power symbol was changed from a upper-right dilemma of a Start menu to a lower-left corner. It’s a pointed tweak, yet an appreciated one for desktop users. Let’s wish it sticks!
Paint it black
This build also adds a black complement thesis that travels opposite a Start menu, taskbar, and Action Center. The Start Menu and taskbar also gained some transparency, arrangement a bit of a shade behind them. It’s a good touch, and a clarity outcome is ambiguous adequate that your credentials doesn’t meddle with indeed navigating a Start menu and taskbar.
Again, don’t worry if we don’t like it: The Personalization territory of a Settings app has been fleshed out in this build. (It was flattering meagre in a final one.) If we conduct to it you’ll find options to capacitate or invalidate a new cultured tweaks in a Colors section.
Vastly softened Mail and Calendar apps
Once we pierce over a cosmetic tweaks you’ll find build 10061’s biggest additions: overhauled apps galore.
Most important are a new Mail and Calendar apps, that first appeared in a leaked 10051 build that never strictly done it to Windows Insiders. The Mail app introduces a three-pane design, with a ability to supplement a tradition picture credentials to a preview mirror when no messages are selected. If we have a touchscreen, we can also appropriate left to undo messages or appropriate right to dwindle them, usually like in a recently expelled Outlook mobile apps.
Email authoring has been tweaked to some-more closely resemble Microsoft’s Word, with many some-more strong formatting options and—get this—the ability to insert tables directly into effusive emails. The new app also includes POP email support, a underline oh-so-sorely lacking in Windows 8. Hallelujah.
The Calendar app, on a other hand, boasts significantly some-more tone and contrariety than a tasteless sight famous as a Windows 8 Calendar app. It also packs a left-hand mirror with a tiny monthly perspective and checkboxes to discerning name that of your particular calendars are being displayed.
More crucially, a new Calendar app restores Google Calendar support, that Microsoft yanked in Windows 8.1 as part of a childish slap-fight with Google. Finally. I’d been forced to stop regulating Windows 8.1’s Calendar app since of it, notwithstanding my devotion for a app’s system-wide notifications
Both paint poignant improvements over their Windows 8 counterparts, yet maybe a many critical changes to Windows 10’s new Mail and Calendar apps start underneath a hood. While a Windows 8 apps were pokey during best—like probably all Windows apps—the Windows 10 versions are discerning and responsive, feeling like loyal desktop apps.
Xbox app power-up
Microsoft showered some adore on a Xbox app as well, after introducing a new Xbox Avatars app in a Windows Store progressing this week.
The changes are mostly subtle. The Xbox app’s tile is now a Live tile in a Start menu, flash your gamerpic, messages you’ve received, and more. You can also check out other gamers’ reputations and bios by selecting a More Info choice on their form page. If we have an Xbox One (I don’t) a app will now uncover a apps you’ve many recently used on a console. If you’re contrast a new Xbox One tuner, a Windows 10 app supports live TV streaming true from your console to your PC, as good as picture-in-picture support.
Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb says a new Windows 10 build also introduces a rarely expected Game DVR duty for PC games, that will let we save video highlights from any PC game, as good a ability to take screenshots of any diversion regulating Win + Alt + PrtScrn. Alas, a work laptop on that I’ve commissioned Windows 10 has no games.
Solitaire is back!
But forget a Xbox app. Here’s a real large gaming deal: Windows 10 build 10061 brings Solitaire behind to Windows, as initial beheld by Steve Troughton-Smith.
Windows 8 outcast a aged standby, casting Solitaire and a other formerly preloaded games (like Minesweeper) into a Windows Store as discretionary downloads. Windows 10 re-embraces Solitaire—though we won’t find it in a Start menu, nor a All Apps screen. Put Cortana to work acid for “Solitaire,” however, and it’ll cocktail adult lickity-split.
Oh, and a warning for Solitaire purists: It’s a new-look Solitaire Windows app that comes preloaded in Windows 10, not a elementary desktop concentration of old.
Call me maybe
Interestingly, Windows 10 build 10061 includes a new “Contact Support” app that points we toward resolutions if we run into trouble. You can arrange to discuss online with Microsoft agents or (theoretically) report a support call from right within a app—which even displays a stream wait time for your callback.
Currently, indeed trying to report a call formula in an error. It’ll be a nifty underline in a final build, though.
Windows 10’s News app also receives a uninformed cloak of paint in build 10061. It’s a some-more unenlightened pattern than a Window 8 counterpart, ditching a predecessor’s full-screen “main story” dash and cramming some-more stories onto a shade by ditching content descriptions in preference of a grid of images with headlines. There’s also a menu quarrel opposite a tip of a shade to burst from subject to topic.
All in all, it’s a immeasurable alleviation over a ho-hum Windows 8 News app—one that introduces a some-more appealing cultured while concurrently improving a navigation knowledge for hold and keyboard-and-mouse users alike.
Finally, a Alarms Clocks app has been redone with a white design, replacing a prior dim theme. Windows 10 build 10061 also includes a new-look calendar and time interface when we click on a time and date in a taskbar’s complement tray.
Tablet mode and practical desktop tweaks
Microsoft also tweaked Continuum, a resolution for swapping between desktop-centric and touch-friendly interfaces.
Activating Tablet Mode (which we can do in a Action Center) strips all apps off your screen, withdrawal usually icons for Task View, a Start screen, and Cortana/search in your taskbar. Those icons are some-more widespread out in Windows 10 build 10061, that is good for fat-fingered folks like myself. Even open and pinned apps disappear from a taskbar to “reduce confusion and facilitate a experience,” nonetheless we can invalidate that by banishment adult a Settings app, acid for Tablet Mode, afterwards toggling “Hide app icons on a taskbar when in Tablet Mode” to off.
That same Tablet Mode settings shade also now contains an choice to foot directly into Tablet Mode, rather than a desktop (though a latter is still a default). You can name your default interface from a “When we pointer on” drop-down menu.
Speaking of interface tweaks, Microsoft’s also somewhat polished a demeanour of a Task View interface, that allows we to burst among your several practical desktops. The new build strips divided all desktop confusion to concentration only on your practical desktops and their open apps. And if we really suffer practical desktops, Windows 10 now supports an total series of them. Huzzah?
Wrapping things up
This is pre-release software, so Windows 10 build 10061 still has some severe edges. One cuts quite sharp: Traditional desktop apps flat-out won’t open when we click them in a Start menu.
“The workaround is to use hunt to find and launch these apps and pin them to your taskbar for discerning access,” says Microsoft’s Gabe Aul—though to be honest, that’s what we do with my most-used apps already. (That function stirred Microsoft to dump a Start menu from Windows 8 to start with, yet that’s a whole other can of worms.)
That crippling smirch aside, Windows 10 build 10061 is simply my favorite Technical Preview build so far. It’s been distant reduction cart than past Preview builds, and a whole picture’s unequivocally starting to fuse into a smart, gratifying knowledge that successfully blends Microsoft’s Modern-era ideas with a normal desktop interface that users adore for damn excellent reason. In other words, Windows 10 is moulding adult into a knowledge that Windows 8 should have been.
We’ll expected hear some-more about Windows 10 during Microsoft’s Build discussion subsequent week, generally deliberation that a handling complement is slated to launch this summer—the finish of July, if AMD’s CEO is to be believed.