You may have heard about it. You may even have installed it already. Windows 10 Technical preview. As a Windows fan, I wanted to install it, but of course, I needed to make sure that my data was safe and sound. So I backed up my data, made an image of my system drive en plunged into the installation.
Microsoft already warns: if you are not proficient with computer systems and you don’t have the knowledge to backup and restore your system, don’t install it. It takes an image to either reset your pc to the previous settings and OS version. If possible, create a new drive for a dual boot. You can find plenty of information about this on the internet as well. Microsoft provides some information on this as well: this is for Windows 7.
Still not scared? Great. You did take the precautions to prevent data loss? Wonderful. Now, it’s time to download the ISO-file. You can download the ISO-file here. It is a ZIP-file, so you have to take some actions to turn it into something you can start with. There are some ways to do that, like burning an ISO-dvd or create a bootable USB stick (this will delete all the files on it, so be sure you back these up as well). Some minimum of 4 GB but preferably 8 GB stick will be sufficient. When using a dvd, a normal 4.x GB will do.
I first decided to do an upgrade (laptop with a core i5 processor, 2 cores, Hyper-V enabled and supported, was running Windows 8.1). However, I discovered some flaws in it (which makes sense) and I decided to go back to Windows 8.1 and create a separate partition to do a clean install.
It did take some time tough, so make sure you have to do something while the installation is running. I watched some Bones episodes.
So after installing the OS, I just saw a good screen which said that “we” have to set up some last settings”. I was immediately connected with the internet through the home connection (no driver issue here), and my fingerprint recognition which I use to log on on my laptop did not give any problems as well.
The start menu
As I did miss the start button at all, it was added again, so all those who were whining about not having the start button in Windows 8 / 8.1 are served. In addition to the normal start menu, there is an option to add the Livetiles of your choice to the start menu (or remove them altogether).
If you were, like me, used to the new UI start menu, you can opt for using that instead of the start button. Since it was a bit hard for me to see where I could disable (or enable) the start menu, I looked it up.
Go to the desktop and right click somewhere in the taskbar. Choose ‘properties’ and go to the Start menu tab. Uncheck the option ‘Use the start menu instead of the start screen’. You will have to restart the computer before the changes take place. In this way, you can choose the look you want.
The Charms bar
I was charmed by the Charms bar, as well as the option to switch screen by selecting them from the left side of the screen. These options don’t work in the technical preview, and I hope there will be an opt-in when the RTM is released.
To be honest, I have never worked with multiple desktops. I don’t see the (dis)advantage of this. But then, I don’t have a screen that can host clear multiple desktops and I haven’t had the need for it until now. I will however check this feature later on.
Internet Explorer 11 comes with it. Since it is still a technical preview, I suppose there is no need to provide the options for other browsers yet and I am confident that Microsoft will make sure the browser choice is in the RTM. The new UI Internet Explorer isn’t there (yet), only the desktop version.
— The Hacker News (@TheHackersNews) 4 oktober 2014
— Lifehacker (@lifehacker) 6 oktober 2014
Again: you can make your own choice, but do not expect a completely free OS. Ever.
I am still testing some of the apps. While using the upgrade, I had some trouble with the Facebook app. I don’t know yet if these issues (not being able to post a message, for example) still occur with the clean install. I do like the mail app, which has some options hidden in the left top corner, options which were previously to be found in the charms bar.
I am very satisfied with the technical preview. I do not mind the privacy issues for now (of course, I would mind it when it is RTM and one has to pay for it). During the preview period, I will participate with the Insiders Program and provide feedback with the feedback app. I hope Microsoft will address the issues as they come up and I have good faith in the end product.
First update Oct. 4, 2014: I have gone back to Windows 8.1 for now. I realized I missed features that I didn’t want to miss. I will create a separate partition to install the technical preview, though.
Second update Oct. 4, 2014: I have created a new partition and did a clean install. This seemed to work out better.
Third update Oct. 6,2014: I have added a Lifehacker tweet.