Unlike its predecessor with Windows 10 technology preview I was able to get all the way through succession of preview builds to (almost) RTM build released recently:
If you had any experience with early builds and previews of Windows before Windows 10 you will agree that Microsoft doing major strides in the way they deliver updates – now it is the same seamless and easy experience with build update as one you may have seen with iOS. Prior to 10 it was wipe and load for each early build and now builds just channeled through Windows Update – that is nice and I guess hugely increases number of early adopters and tester as it keeps user side efforts to try all these early builds at minimum. You may also notice that MSFT built some peer-to-peer optimizations for update downloads so that you can pull them not only from their servers but from other PCs on your LAN and on the Internet:
Once this build installed indication that you are running technical preview is gone from your desktop and some sources claim that this build is RTM version. But as you can see in official sources “this build is one step closer to what customers will start to receive on 7/29” – so not exactly final one. Another confirmation to that is that with this build you still have an option to continue receiving Insider Builds:
Apart from missing Technical Preview banner another indication of the fact is that RTM is almost here is availability of language packs (finally!):
Russian language pack weigh about 40 megabytes and it can be downloaded and installed now:
Also you can see that Edge is here as default browser (see this “Open with Internet Explorer” option hidden in “ellipsis menu”? 🙂 ):
You can also notice that icon for Edge is slightly different:
So far I like everything MSFT does with their client OS and as a product it seems to be mature and well engineered. In my opinion they really maintain quality bar in engineering and approach to rolling out new major releases set earlier with Windows 7 and 8 and well documented in Steven Sinofsky Building Windows blog posts (that was at the time when Steven was still with MSFT). As I followed Windows 7, 8 and now following Windows 10 early releases I really find MSFT doing very good job working with users’ community and IT Pro audiences from the early stages of development cycle till the RTM and official launch of their major OSs versions. See Engineering Windows 7 blog, Building Windows 8 blog and Windows Insider Program site. Though Steven’s blog posts is something you can feel miss of, overall quality of builds and communications around those is very good. You may discard these achievements and say that there is no other way to market and sell complex software products nowadays and this is not remarkable, just normal, but saying something and bringing this to reality are very different things. For such widely adopted OS some backlash and disgruntled users are guaranteed, but I am looking forward to the RTM, anyway.
For one or another reason you may be in need of changing your network type from Internet to Private in Windows 8.1/10. For example you can’t join HomeGroup when you connected to Internet type network (being on Domain or Private network is a requirement for this, as well as IPv6 enabled on your network adapter, plus bunch of services in running state). But in my case I had an issue when I installed Windows 10 TP on my main desktop which I usually access via RDP from my laptop. I lost RDP connectivity just because Windows 10 defined my Ethernet connection is of Internet type instead of Private, and I seen this more than once (when changing Windows 10 builds). I’m really wondering how it detects/decides on network type?. Of course you can go and adjust firewall rules for Internet network profile, but this is wrong approach. Though it was something what I used as a quick fix as a way/place where you change your network type from Internet to Private is a bit counter-intuitive/difficult to find.
So I’m just noting how to do this on Windows 8.1/10. In order to change your network type from Internet to Private you should do the following:
Go to Settings (either by accessing respective charms icon or by pressing Win + I) > Change PC Settings > Network > Connection. There you have to click on your connection and enable “Find devices and content” option. Once this is enabled your network type is changed to Private.
Just a quick note on another Windows 10 Technical Preview installation I did recently. I finally managed to replace 80 Gb Western Digital HDD in old Dell OptiPlex 745 I have at home (child’s PC 🙂 ) with fast and nice 750 Gb Barracuda ES2 (which was freed up after moving all my data to NAS) and decided to install Windows 10 TP on this box.
I can confirm that Windows 10 installation on Dell OptiPlex 745 was smooth and quick and all devices were recognized automatically without any need to search for drivers. The only issue I noticed so far is that non-admin user with non-Microsoft account had some difficulties with installing additional display language – I clicked download language and entered admin password in respective prompt many times but seemingly nothing happens after this, whereas under administrative account additional display language was installed successfully (though I also clicked download more than once until system somehow switched to the new display language). But I guess I need a bit more time to see if Windows 10 works well on this box.
UPDATE: It looks like language is just not yet available so I take my words about adding Russian language back – it can not be added so far. Also I can confirm that Sims 3 runs well on Windows 10 🙂
UPDATE#2 12.2016: This box now runs most current build of Windows 10 without any issues though it has slightly different config – 750GB Seagate HDD + discrete video card which passive cooling system was mangled severely to fit it into this tiny case. All works fine though performance for a person spoiled with high performance laptop with SSD drives it is too sluggish…
I wasted most of my last weekend trying to do something with extremely sluggish Toshiba Satellite L300 laptop with Windows Vista. After some years of being in use by my father this laptop become so slow that it exceed tolerance limits even such undemanding user as he is 🙂 As a new and really good laptop was not something within available budget for this particular case, I’ve decided to replace HDD with SSD for best performance gain possible (adding RAM was not an option as this model can’t handle more that 2 GB which were already installed, I found it difficult to believe into this limitation, especially these days, when we can have 64 GB of RAM in desktops 🙂 ).
I ended up buying 240 Gb OCZ Arc 100 to replace built in 160 Gb Toshiba HDD.
This procedure was easy, unlike further wipe and load procedures. Carelessly I started my attempt to put Windows 10 TP onto this antique device – it took 2 attempts and some pondering on why Windows 10 install freezes on “Getting Ready” phase somewhere in the end… I tried to google this and 2 most common suggestions for the similar issues were that windows fails to load/find compatible driver (not sure what’s the difficulty to surface an error/warning for this) and splendid suggestion “I know this is not very good answer but just wait for couple of hours, it may work out, it did for me”. In the end I decided that I wasted enough time waiting, and end up with installing x64 Windows Vista as this laptop was shipped with this OS. Though before doing that I decided to remove another possible reason of poor performance – dust in cooling system:
It required almost complete disassembling of laptop, though it seems that it was necessary thing to do as air which the system blow out from the inside before cleaning was way too hot.
I have not had good Vista SP2 ISO file with all the updates and it took me almost whole day while Vista tried to download all post RTM updates 🙂 At some point I decided that downloading SP2 and installing it would speed up the process – so did I, only to find out that I have to download and install SP1 first. After all service packs were installed it took extra 5 hours to got all the subsequent updates.
In generally I would say that putting SSD improved responsiveness of this laptop but not to extend I expected – i think mainly because other components become bottleneck and also due to the fact that Vista doesn’t support TRIM as at the time when Vista was released SSD weren’t mass market product. In case of Windows TRIM stated to be supported with release of Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 for SATA drives and starting from Windows 8 and onward Windows TRIM supports PCI Express SSDs based on NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory), and the unmap command which is a full analog of the trim command from Serial ATA for devices that use the SCSI driver stack. It seems that missing TRIM may lead to SSD performance degradation overtime unless you don’t have and use some third party software which takes care about this (e.g. Samsung provides sofware which performs garbage collection for their SSDs), but also Vista not as quick starting from SSD as Windows 7 which I believe has other SSD related optimizations. But anyway before installing SSD this system used to take 2 minutes to start (and something like up to 5-6 minutes to the moment when you can actually start using it, i.e. antivirus and other stuff finally started and your desktop become responsive) and something like 15-30 second to start IE, after switch to SSD these delays decreased and system is more pleasant to work with. Alas, there is no that blazing fast speed which you may see when you put SSD into a bit more powerful system with more RAM and newer OS optimized for SSD, where you can reach something very close to impressive 15 seconds from power off to fully operational desktop, but in the end it was not the aim of this attempt 🙂
As you maybe already know Windows 10 Technology Preview already available for Windows Insider program participants. What’s cool about Windows 10 is that after RTM Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users will be able to switch to Windows 10 for free during the firs year. There is also free online course on Windows 10 available on MVA.
What’s interesting is that once you logged in to Windows Insider Program you have an option both to perform direct/in-place upgrade of your Window 8.1 to Windows 10 TP using Windows Update delivery vehicle (default option) and also ISO download for testing on VM/separate machine.
So I decided to give it a shot and perform in-place upgrade of my Windows 8.1 Pro on my home desktop to Windows 10 TP 9926:
In-place upgrade of my desktop computer went without any glitches, apart from the fact than in the very end it redefined my LAN connection as Public and I consequently lost my inbound RDP connectivity to machine (I started this process being connected over RDP). So a quick fix for this was to enable Inbound RDP for Public network profile as a temporary solution, just because off the top of my head I wasn’t able remember how to redefine profile assigned to the network connection.
So far I see good UI improvements and some interesting stuff related to VPN connectivity. Also start menu is back but charms seems to be removed, which could be a sad thing if you at least slightly get used to them.
Here is non-Microsoft video which briefly explains what’s new in Windows 10 TP:
To name some things mentioned there: start menu is back with optional live tiles whereas full-screen modern UI is kept but as an optional thing; Aero snap feature introduced in Windows 7 which allows users to see 2 things side by side is improved and allows tile things in quadrants now; new task view which clearly shows what you are currently working on side by side similar to Apple OS 10 Mission Control feature, also allowing you to open multiple desktops switching between a number of different workspaces quickly; Cortana Microsoft’s answer to Siri (at least initially) evolved into something bigger than this; “entirely separate browser in addition to IE” 🙂 (code-named Spartan); native support for FLAC lossless audio; HEVC video codec with 8K video (aka Ultra HD TV) support and DirectX 12.