So yesterday Microsoft has finally released its second public Build Version for the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Build 9879. There are some cool new features now included what make the experience with Windows 10 now even nicer.
On the one hand Microsoft has again added some features participants of the Windows Insider Program all over the world have asked for but on the other hand they have also included new features wich they think are making the experience with Windows 10 a bit easier and better again.
Improvements based on the voice of users
To start off I want to mention the features which Microsoft has now implemented based on the feedback they have received in the Windows Insider Community. The Windows Insider Community is the key for users and Microsoft to leave feedback on the one hand and to know what the average user wants on the other hand.
- Serch & Task View Button: Now there have been made several changes considering the feedback and probably the most obvious one is the ability to hide or show the ‘Search and ‘Task View’ button in the task bar as you can see on the screenshot below:
- New Animations: With the previous Build version Microsoft has also introduced new animations for minimizing and open/cloding new windows. With Build 9879 they have overhauled those animations to that they seem now more mature and fit better in the system.
- Hamburger Menu: Another addition is the, as they call it, Hamburger Style Icon which is placed in the app bar at the top left of each app. Before the Update it has been displayed with 3 dots, something like this ‘…’ and now it is displayed as three vertical lines like this ‘≡’ and as you can see at the screenshot below.
- Bugfixes: Of course there have been also fixed a lot of bugs based on the user feedback which came during testing the Windows 10 Technical Preview. As for me there was only once a bug so far with my Internet Explorer when I was using the Technical Preview which I could forward to Microsoft and whatever it caused it is now hopefully fixed too.
New Features inspired by Microsoft
So now that I have told you the improvements which came thanks to the Windows Insider Program and the detailed feedback of these users, I will now come to the features which came directly from Microsoft. These are things like new Icons, a new OneDrive client and more.
Features for Touch Devices: Microsoft is not only concentrating on the classic desktop user but also on new touch gestures for Tablets and Convertibles with a touch screen for a even more intuitive control. Beside the snap assist which is especially helpful when you have more displays in use than one the have also brought some new 3 finger gestures.
- 3 finger up -> Task View
- 3 finger down -> Show Desktop
- 3 finger flick to left or right -> switches to previous app (go back 1)
- 3 finger move left or right -> Alt-Tab (Task View) pops up and you can select the app you want (remove fingers to select)
- 3 finger tap -> Search
New OneDrive Client: With this Build Microsoft is introducing a new OneDrive client which is syncing files a bit different from what you are probably used to. In earlier versions you had to choose if files should be available offline and online or if they should be just available online only. Online only meant that you can see the files in your OneDrive folder but if you wanted to open them you had to download them first in order to use or edit them. This was also visible by clicking on a file. Then you could see if the file is available offline or if it is available online only. The online only files where so called placeholders.
Now Microsoft claims that they have got a lot of feedback concerning the OneDrive client because people got confused which files are actually downloaded and which not. So they have introduced a new syncing method. As you can see on the screenshot below, it is now only possible to either sync everything which is stored in your OneDrive cloud, what basically means that everything is downloaded to your local hard drive or you can choose specific folders to sync. If you choose only specific folders to sync the other folder will not be displayed in your OneDrive Folder and you will not be able to access them via the OneDrive Desktop client.
In my case this means that 19GB are stored on my hard drive tough I have actually uploaded them to my OneDrive Cloud to save some space on my Surface and my Dektop PC. This change has been criticized already and I guess Microsoft will change there something soon. One of the feature of the previous version of the OneDrive client I valued the most was the ability to make files ‘available online only’. This meant that I had to download each file I wanted to use from OneDrive but at the same time it didn’t waste a single byte of my hard drive with a file which I do not have in use regularly.
A Smiley in Internet Explorer: Also the Internet Explorer team is working hard to bring new features and improvements with every new Build Version for Windows Insider participants. With this Build they are introducing a new interoperability focused Edge rendering which is currently enabled for 10% of all Windows Insider users. There is now also such a smiley visible in the top right corner of your Internet Explorer which is for giving feedback about this new feature. So if you are browsing the web with the Internet Explorer and notice a website which is not displayed correctly just click on the smiley and on ‘Send a frown’ to let Microsoft know which site is not displayed correctly with this new features. To get more information about that you can visit the MSDN Blog where this gets explained in detail.
MKV Support: Finally, the feature which has been brought to the Xbox One recently is now also available for Windows 10 users. What I am talking about is the popular file type MKV. It is now no longer necessary to download a video player for these type of video files you can now simply open them with Windows Media Player or the Video app which is pre installed.
- New Icons: Microsoft continues also to bring new Icons for Windows which fit better in the Modern UI Ecosystem, with the last Build version we have already seen some new Icons like for the ‘This PC’, the ‘Libraries’ and Network’ for example. Now Microsoft is continuing what they have began and adds new icons for folders as you can see at the screenshot below. It is now also easier to see what’s inside of a folder because you can see a more clear preview on the folder icon.
- Modern Dialogs: Along with some new Icons there is coming another UI Improvement what is very welcome, what I mean is the new designed look of Dialogs which pop up within Modern UI apps. It is now way more beautiful and it is especially more handy to work with on a desktop PC. While they are using a separate Modern UI design for simple pop up Windows in apps, the have chosen the UI we know from the regular file explorer if you want for example to export a file from an app or import something. You can see both designs at the screenshot below.
So these are most of the new features Microsoft has included in the Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9879, of course they have also done a lot what we can not actually see like some bug fixes and improvements in the background. There came some nice features yesterday which I am looking forward to have them in my everyday use, but there is also a downside. What I kind of hate in the new Build is the new version of the OneDrive Client I hope Microsoft will fix that soon. Apart from that I am very impressed by the new Build version and I hope Microsoft will keep coming such new features in early 2015 when they are going to release the next build version.
Download: Now if you want to finally download Windows 10 and test it by yourself you can do so by visiting this link here, there you can choose if you want to perform an in place upgrade or want to do a clean installation of Windows 10. The download provided there is the Build version which has been released yesterday. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is currently available in the following versions and languages:
English (United States), English (Great Britain), Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazil)
- Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise 32-bit ISO
- Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise 64-bit ISO
- Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise 62-bit ISO
- Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise 64-bit ISO
So there are some new nice features available for Window 10 with yesterdays released Build, let me know what you think of them below in comments. If you notice any other new features in the Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9879 give us a tip and we will include this in our article or write a separate article for it. Thanks for reading.