Here is what is new (so far) in Windows 10 Technical Preview

Microsoft has been busy testing and updating Windows 10 and we have been just as busy trying to keep track of all the new features that have been added. For that reason, we have decided to compile a list things that make Windows 10 stand apart, one build version at a time.

Windows 10 is not due until mid-2015 but with regular updates and a free installation, the Technical Preview lets you try it out today. How far will the OS evolve over the next nine months? We have no idea, but we are going to start keeping track. Here is what is new so far.

Windows 10 Build 9841

Start menu: This is probably the most prominent and highly anticipated feature in Windows 10. The new Start menu combines the basics that we know and love from Windows 7 with an extended sidebar that allows you pin Live Tiles to it. On tablets, the Start button instead will open the touch-friendly Start Screen that you have in Windows 8.1.

A new feature called "Continuum" is expected to arrive in a future build of Windows 10. This new feature will recognize when a convertible device switches from desktop mode (using keyboard and mouse) to tablet mode (touchscreen only) and will change the Start menu to the Start screen and vice versa.

Multiple Desktops: Similar to Mac OS, Windows 10 now allows you to create multiple Desktops. These can be created/closed right from the taskbar using the Task view button and can contain multiple apps themselves.

Task view: Task view can be accessed by pressing ALT+TAB, swiping from the left of the screen, or by using the new button on the taskbar. It lets you see what windows, apps, and Desktops are open. You can also open and close them from there.

Enhanced Snap feature: The snap feature from Windows 8 now takes place on the Desktop. Snap Assist, another new addition, offers up a list of available apps to snap. You can now snap up to four apps into quadrants.

Home Folder: Found in File Explorer, this folder contains a list of frequent, recent, and favorite files and folders. If you don't like it, here's how you can get rid of it.

Share button in File Explorer: Another addition to the File Explorer, this button is like the one found in the Charms bar in Windows 8. When clicked, you can share a file via email, network, OneDrive or other apps.

"More" button: Appearing as "…" in the top left corner of Modern apps, this button gives you similar options as opening the Charms bar in an app: Search, Share, Print, Project, Settings and Full Screen.

Search button: Found in the updated taskbar, the new Search lets you type in words or phrases and shows results from your computer and the web. It also pulls in news from Bing and is likely to be where Cortana resides when added by the Windows team.

Universal apps: This is the future of all Windows apps downloaded from the Windows Store. They are made to run across computer, tablet, and mobile device. While they used to run in their own space in Windows 8, they now run within the Windows 10 Desktop for a more seamless experience.

Preview Builds: A new addition to Windows Update, Preview Builds lets you search for and install the latest version of Windows 10. In Build 9860, the option was added that lets you choose how fast or slow you receive new builds of the OS. Those who choose "Fast" will get new builds quicker, at the risk of more potential bugs. Choosing "Slow" delays your access to new builds, but delivers more stable ones instead.

Windows 10 Build 9860:

Preview Builds speed: As mentioned above, you can now go into the Preview Builds section of PC Settings and choose how fast you would like to receive new builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Notifications in Action Center: Similar to the Notification Center in Windows Phone 8.1, the Action Center displays messages from apps and the Windows system itself. Notifications can be viewed by clicking the button of the same name in the taskbar.

Data Sense: Found in PC Settings, Data Sense is a feature first found in Windows Phone 8.1. It shows you how much data has flowed through your individual network connections. This feature is most useful for devices that use cellular connections to the internet.

Battery Saver: Also found in PC Settings, and originating on Windows Phone, Battery Saver limits data connections and tweaks hardware settings for maximum battery life. It can be activated manually or set to kick in automatically when battery life drains to a particular percentage.

Improved touch features: Now when you are in a Desktop app and touch a text box, such as in Notepad or the address bar on Internet Explorer, the onscreen keyboard appears. Also, swiping down from the top of the screen when in full-screen mode in a Modern app will bring down the title bar. This will allow you exit full-screen mode or to close the app easily on a touchscreen device.

New window animations: New animations when opening and closing windows. These are enabled by default in Build 9860.

Did we miss anything? Give us a shout in the comments below.

Seth Brodeur
  • Windows 10 is really beginning to look and feel smooth :)
  • Seems faster too
  • Depends on the ram.
  • Depends what seems faster.
  • in this day and age having less than 2 gigs of ram for a desktop environment is just pathetic anyway, so I think RAM considerations are moot.
  • Works buttery smooth on a Intel Pentium 3.10GHz mechine with 2 GB RAM. What's more you want?
  • Oh yeah!
  • i want full screen metro ie back so i can have two full screen videos open via split screen.
  • You still can
  • Why are you watching two videos at once??
  • Porn​ obviously.
  • +925
  • +620
  • LoL
  • Duel porn mode
  • Screw that, in Windows 10 you can have quad porn !
  • With desktop IE you can have as many open as you want, not limited to two.
  • A great new feature is that it for some reason destroyed my theme colors and I can't figure out how to get it back. I love it! Best feature ever! 10/10
  • Another great feature is that you can wait until November to fix it! Perfect!
  • You DO realize it's an alpha version of the OS right? *rolls eyes*
  • Is it true that once you done the preview you don't get to have the final version? That's what I was told and that you have to reinstall your original version or pay for the official windows 10?
  • Well, the person who told you must be a god or fortune teller or something, because not even Microsoft has announced anything, so whoever told you can see the future!
  • It's kind of too soon to speak about it :) I'm guessing for a free update. Anyways I think you'll be good just to take WCentral serious :) legit here.
  • Thanks guys... I don't know how it went with PD on the phone....did people manage to keep it? I used the recovery tool to get to 8 then 8.1 again (for cyan)
  • The reason you heard that was because it is true. For previous consumer previews of Windows 7 or Windows 8 you had to install the final RTM version because the consumer build would expire later on.
  • Yeah. Microsoft always prefers preview users do a complete reinstall to RTM to prevent any chance of bugs. But recently cyan was released for WP preview users, so we never know..
  • What about that the bar at the top of apps is always black now? I like that appearance though and I hope we get to keep that as an option.
  • I hope that they let developers customize the title bar to achieve a perfect blend with the app content, I think it's the best option.
  • Well, I think that would make it too colorful and inconsistent. While it does sound cool at first, when I really think about it, I wouldn't like that.
  • The colour should just match the app accent to have a better look, it's up the developers to provide a good design. Example: 100 times better than the standard title bar.
  • I guess that would work. But if they went all wild with the colors it would look like a children's toy. Basic colors like blue, black, and white are the only ones I would like.
  • Nah, that top bar is a part of the OS function, so it should match the OS and be consistent. Developers for the most part suck at design, so I'd rather MS control as much as possible.
  • Yeah, plus it's always best to keep the OS design as simple as possible.
  • I don't want that border itself, something like office which is borderless and looks really cool when in windowed mode :)
  • This is where my Win10 is going right now...
  • Did you install the patch that was released right after the build?
  • There's already a fix for that, check Windows Update.
  • Lol, good luck adding to user feedback.
  • Hah you keep the taskbar on top XD
  • A also have that, it was fixed in 9860 but PDFs still print out blank
  • Looking forward to some icon polishing too :)
  • Ya, I really hope when they release the final version that ALL of the icons have a unified Metro design. My biggest gripe with W8 is how inconsistent the design is. So far Windows 10 still has that, but they are showing hints of them changing that with each new update. If they get all that polished, I think W10 will be the best OS ever made.
    ^ this is new too
  • It's not. My Windows 8.1 Tablet has that..
  • That has been there since Windows 8.0. Nice feature :)
  • Not new at all.
  • yea thats old, however, w8 often had a bug where that wouldnt always show up, which appear to be fixed in w10.. perhaps thats why your jsut now noticing it?
  • Im really excited about Windows 10 cant wait for it to happen. Want it on all my devices, I wil go from a Windows 7 desktop and an Android Phone al in on Windows 10 on the next couple of years. I will first get rid of Android, after owning several iPhones for several years I went over to Android (on an impulse) and my high end HTC One M7 performs nicely, I just dont like the Google way of things. So no real regrets but I know I'll never stay with Android.  Windows is the logical step. My PC has been Windows based like for ever. I dont like OSX, it cant give me what I need as a gamer. So i'm baked in the Windows legacy ecosystem, I really like the Lumia Phones. And I like that its not that mainstream, I want something different. So I'm gonna save up for a red lumia 1520, and after that a new desktop. And bye the time Windows 10 comes out I  wil go on the Surface Pro 4. All my devices need updating, and Windows is a perfect fit for me! So excited :D  
  • I did that with SP3 and Lumia Icon...... Couldn't be happier. There are a few phone apps I miss, but no deal breakers. Same for W8.1, missing some good mobile apps, but full IE makes up for 99% of any apps that are not there. I got bored of android, I was rooted, and tinkering with all different ROMs and Kernals..... They always would have issues, force closes, lag, etc..... Got to a point where I wanted to throw the thing against the wall. Enter Windows phone. It's smooth and the UI on 8.1.1 is amazing. You won't be disappointed!
  • +930
  • Why does Windows Centeral always show windows 10 with that ugly/limited start menu. The start screen is so much better. I tried the menu twice, it just makes me feel like i'm going backwards in tech. Even on my desktop PC with 4 monitors (30" each with 2560x1600 res), the start screen is way better.
  • Because that's one of the biggest identifiable difference between 8 and 10. However, they could make a nice looking Start Menu instead of one so cluttered and ugly.
  • No. No you can't.  I hate the Start Menu.  There IS no more Start Screen like the one in Windows 8.  This is garbage.  Complete, utter garbage.
  • So turn the start screen back on then. Problem solved.
  • You're wrong, it's there.
  • It works with my older 1024x600px screen resolution notebook. No longer complains about res like it was under previous built.  
  • Sorry MS, not good enough reason to upgrade from Windows 7...
  • Being stuck in the past sucks.
  • Of course it does... that's why all the sheep stand in line to buy every new Iphone
  • Of course they do, but Derrick Rose was hurt last year
  • Yes, being stuck in the past sucks, which is exactly why Windows 10 looks and acts as crappy as it does.  It sucks.
  • Since it is a pre alpha release... Too much lol
  • The performance improvements from 7 to 8 were worth that upgrade, but its your machine, run ME if you want.
  • I'm loving my technical preview so far. Windows 10 FTW.
  • Not to mention that now when you to connect to WiFi you have open settings instead of the side bar experience. Forgive the hyperbolic tone but I don't think I have ever been as aggravated about anything in windows 8 as that added feature. Can someone please explain to me who that feature is better for because I can't think of a single scenario... 
  • A) Let Microsoft know how you feel about that in the feedback app. B) I really think that is not the final way wifi is going to work (though I could be wrong of course) because you also have to manually connect to wifi everytime you boot up in this build and we know that is not going to be the way that will work ultimately; Microsoft has said as much.
  • They already stated (on the Windows Blog if I'm not wrong) that they are thinking a better solution for that as they removed the sidebar. It's just temporary in this build.
  • Tablets, 100% better for tablets that way... You really couldn't think of that scenario?
  • I'm just hoping that in some there's a complete, metro, beautiful, overhauled UI that's consistent and has good iconography. I don't much care about any other feature but that.
  • Agree..
  • You've missed one feature that was in the original build but seems to have been removed in the latest update: Scrolling under the mouse cursor rather than the active window. Though it's gone now, so I had to install KatMouse again. Also has anyone noticed that the new snapping features are completely gone in the latest build?
  • Oh wow, you're right. The snapping features are gone.
  • In fact, after installing their latest updates it's back. Except only horizontal -- the vertical snapping isn't working. EDIT: Vertical snapping is actually working, but you can no longer Windows Key + Up twice to snap to the full top half of the screen. You can only snap a full half horizontally, or a quarter in any corner.
  • I was enjoying the scrolling without focus feature thoroughly, I'm so pissed they took it out in this new build. Hopefully it comes back in the next build.
  • "The snap feature from Windows 8 now takes place on the Desktop." ? Snap was introduced in Windows 7 (on the desktop, of course). Windows 8 featured it on the desktop and Metro. Windows 10 added Snap Assist and a "corner snap" that allows you to snap 4 windows, one in each corner.
  • They already stated (on the Windows Blog if I'm not wrong) that they are thinking a better solution for that as they removed the sidebar. It's just temporary in this build.
  • Wrong reply, nevermind!
  • That is cool . Just cant wait for final build ^_^
  • Thumbnails of pictures don't show up in file explorer. It just shows the regular picture icons.
  • That would be a major contributor to "seems faster"
  • Why does drone say that the virtual desktops is like Mac OS? Windows XP and even NT had them. Remember power toys for XP?
  • That's great. But the download size is large plus lies features this time
  • I like that they open the virtual keyboard automatically for desktop applications
  • You mentioned in a previous zPC settings and may be worth mentioning here as well. Strangely enough I can no longer access settings from the charms bar and have to use this. Another addition during the last update for me was a Docking Controller app. Unfortunately that's s much as I know of that one as it doesn't load and I'm running the preview on a tower PC and don't have a dockable tablet like the Surface.
  • This latest preview is even worse than the first one!  I'm at the point now that if I could take my test computer and beat to death every single person who LIKES this crap, I'd do it without hesitation.  EVERYTHING I love about Windows 8 is completely destroyed.  The mouse use is garbage.  I use to be able to use the mouse just like my finger on a touch device.  Now, it's just stupid. I'm sick and tired of seeing that flipping Task Bar I could scream.  I wish I could disable the Task Bar altogether, even on the desktop.  I can't swipe from any side and see or do what I wanted to do.  No Charms unless I use a stupid keyboard.  No pulling up active apps unless I use a stupid keyboard.  No closing apps with a swipe.  The Task Bar pops up every time I move my cursor to the bottom.  A stupid title bar pops down every time I move my mouse to the top.  And Metro apps only run on the desktop.  DESKTOP DESKTOP DESKTOP DESKTOP.  I'm so sick of this.
  • It's an enterprise preview. The biggest touch features like Continuum are still to come. Dude chill out or you'll pop a blood vessle. Maybe you should have read up before you installed the tech preview if you are so touch oriented.   *edit for typo
  • What part of "prerelease software" did you not understand?
  • Lol, I hate it when noobs install stuff without realizing what the purpose was. The touch stuff is all coming later, this release was for the enterprise xD
  • Good point! The lack of a mouse operated Charms Bar can be (very!!) annoying, but all in all this is an EXTREMELY good OS for enterprise.
  • Swiping up from the bottom while in a fullscreen app shows the taskbar.
  • Cool. That's a neat feature for our friends with tablets.
  • Stupendous!!
  • One new feature is the inclusion of "Quiet Hours" which is a Windows Phone 8.1 feature that is now included in the latest public build of Windows 10 TP.  To access the feature, do a search for zPC in settings
  • Oh great, I almost cry of happiness but, why apps' tittles are imcomplete?
  • Anyone know which Dell laptop is pictured?
  • You missed Animated Windows Transitions in the article... Well that's what I call them :P
  • Did anyone know that before build 9860 you could scroll through multiple windows, like for example you have google chrome open in two windows and you were browsing through the first window and if you hover your mouse over the second window and just scroll with your mouse without clicking you could scroll through the page, that seems to be gone after build 9860
  • The ONLY thing that annoys me about Windows 10 is that Metro apps and desktop apps have slightly different taskbar button icons. I like the new square kind, I wish they all had them :(
  • Can check it out my MacBook pro retina? Would be awesome go for surface pro 4 as it comes available:)
  • Anyone getting a random Removable Drive (D:) in file explorer since updating to Build 9860?
  • windows 10 can run windows phone 8 apps?
  • About Multiple Desktop feature please vote on this (Windows User Voice): Desktop as it is now in my opinion is useless... It should be done like in my post on Microsoft User Voice. 
  • The desktop environment could use a lot more modern UI love and bigger buttons and icons. Many are still too small. The UI works for mouse and keyboard, but currently is not end user friendly enough for touch use. many desktop butoons such as drop downs and ribbon items remain too small. As is also the X, the minus and the full screen buttons in all windows
  • Can't find Windows Update, maybe they decided to go with the Metro Update App?
  • I want the option of no start menue and full use of the charms bar in ALL modes.
  • I have 6gb of ram n 2 gb of graphic card but windows 10 hangs so much....!! Need to improve more.
  • What CPU do you have?
  • Upgraded to build 9680 last night on a late 2009 17" HP laptop w 4GB RAM. Prior to the update, I did not have these problems, but now, the text in Internet Explorer, and Windows feedback are essentially unreadable, with more than half the letters being invisible. I tried downloading Firefox, and it garbles most of the text seemingly at random, so it's also unusable (don't know if it would've been usable in the old build our not, since prior to today, I was committed to using IE.) The good news for me, and any of you who are having the same problem is that Chrome saves the day and works great, so I can still use the computer for web browsing. Also the UI itself, and Office apps seem immune to this. I have not tried opening iTunes, Zune, or the Pandora app yet but I expect them to be okay. So, who else is having this problem, and do we know of any solutions (other than using Chrome)? Is there any way to retrograde to the earlier build without having to wipe and start all over? Those of us who are having this problem need to band together to make a big stink about it so it'll be fixed quickly.
  • try Windows Update. It World for me. I had the same problem and i just updated and nok my readability problems are gone. 
  • Do Windows Update. Mine was so bad that I could barely navigate the menus to get to windows update, and if I couldn't make it, I would've probably just restarted every hour to see if it got an