Microsoft have just made a new build of Windows 10 Technical Preview available online, for those signed up to its Windows Insider Program. This is the first build released this year, with the last build released in December of 2014. It contains a couple of new features over the last build, with a redesigned start menu, Continuum for 2-in-1 PCs and the digital assistant Cortana as well as much more.
This build, number 9926, is only available to Windows Insiders, who now number well over 1.6 million, but signing up only take a minute and you will then be able to test the latest version of Windows 10, for free. Keep in mind that this should not be used on your main computer and it is not really ready for everyday use, this really is a preview of what’s to come and your feedback can help define the next version of Windows.
There are several new features in this build, that could really make a difference to how some of us use Windows. Not least of which is the inclusion of Cortana, who is coming over from Windows Phone, as an integrated part of the desktop in Windows 10, right next to the start button. Cortana is a personalised gateway to search for anything, be it on your local computer, on Onedrive online storage or out on the internet. From cute photos of your cat, to cat facts, all available by typing, pressing the microphone button and speaking or just saying “Hey Cortana, …” from anywhere.[yframe url=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9phebKc_DOs’]
Secondly the Start menu has been redesigned from earlier builds, it’s now transparent, and perhaps most importantly supports a feature called “Continuum” that will be very useful for those of us with tablets or 2-in-1 PCs. When you disconnect your keyboard, you will get a message asking if you want to switch to the touch screen optimised full screen mode (like Windows 8), then when you connect your keyboard again you will get another prompt asking if you would like to go back to desktop mode with a smaller Start menu (more like Windows 7).
Also in this build we have a new settings application , modernising the control panel and making it far easier to find the settings you need, new Photos and Maps apps, the beta of the new Windows Store and finally the new Xbox app. This Xbox app will allow streaming of Xbox One games to your PC, and DVR recording of Windows games. Matt talked about it a bit here.
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KitGuru Says: Well, I’m off to install the new build and test out the new features. Cortana for instance is, I think, going to be a real game changer and I cannot wait to try it out after using it on my phone for the last year. What new features are you looking forward to testing?
Source: Windows Blog