Windows 10 is coming…

First Impressions: Windows 10 Technical Preview

It’s fair to say Windows 8 isn’t the most popular incarnation of Windows there has ever been. Its removal of the Start Menu and embracing of a touchscreen-centric design was a bit of a kludge and left desktop users seriously wanting.

Well, Microsoft has listened, and Windows 10 sees the return of the Start Menu plus the addition of virtual desktops, among other things. Is that enough to right the wrongs of Windows 8 and finally provide the upgrade Windows 7 users have been waiting for? We had a play with the Windows 10 Technical Preview to find out.

Windows 10 Preview: The Start Menu Returns

The most obvious thing about Windows 10 is that, yes, the Start Menu is back, and it’s just as welcome as you might expect. The Start Screen was a UI design fail of epic proportions and being able to go back to the familiar pop-up menu is so much more efficient.

Of course, it isn’t just that the Start Menu is back. It has also changed. Now the Live Tiles of the Start Screen are embedded within the Start Menu, providing yet another area for shortcuts (along with the taskbar, normal menu items and desktop) to opening your apps. Those Tiles that are actually Live will also show previews of app information, such as a message notification or the day’s weather.

It’s quite a nice addition both visually and because there is the potential there to provide a useful snapshot of your other apps. We’re not quite at the stage of finding it useful yet, but we can see the possibilities.