Last I had been testing Windows 10, was with build 10130, which I found not to be quite stable – I had issues with the start menu not showing up, Cortana not working, getting the “Critical Error” that needs signing out to repair. All of these issues made me go back to Windows 7 Home Premium.

After hearing Microsoft had released 3 builds in a week, and people were praising build 10162, I decided it is time I upgrade my main laptop to Windows 10 – I would have done a clean installation, but that would mean I would lose my entire Android SDK installation – which is about 34GB. I been using Windows 10 for a few hours, and build 10162 has brought back that spark I would feel using the new Operating System. I am loving the new improved Cortana, the Notification Center and the Store app looking so fresh!

The only issue I have had so far, was with upgrading – when upgrading, using the ISO file, setup tells me I will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home Insider Preview. I asked about this on the MyBroadband Forums and this issue supposedly has to do with the fact my laptop (Dell XPS L502X) came with Windows 7 Home Premium installed. Nevertheless, I used the Insider Preview key on the Microsoft Insider’s website, and was able to upgrade to Pro 🙂

Windows 10 Home Insider Preview upgrade message, on Windows 7 Home Preview
Windows 10 Home Insider Preview upgrade message, on Windows 7 Home Preview

Improved Cortana

When I first played around with Cortana, she was able to do the basics – and by this I mean performing calculations, telling me something I did not know, as well as answer some “odd” questions. With build 10162, I was pleased to see Cortana is now able to do actions like opening up programs. Cortana is able to present the user with a list of options, should there be more than one program to open. This makes things a lot nicer… now I can just tell Cortana what I want to do!

Cortana opening Visual Studio 2013. She also presents a list of options should there be more than one
Cortana opening Visual Studio 2013. She also presents a list of options should there be more than one

Microsoft Edge! So fast, So Clean

I know Microsoft Edge (“Project Spartan”) has been out for a while and it made its debut in build 10130… it is only now I am getting to using the browser. I love how fast, and clean this browser is. I love how this browser eliminates the need of having the traditional “pen and paper” handy, for note making, by providing its own features around this… I was able to make marks on my web page, I could even type little “balloon” notes at some places. The best thing about note taking is that you can save your notes, and do whatever you want with them – print them, or email them to a friend, the choice is up to you. I would love to see the guys who developed Free Download Manager to make a plugin for this browser. I really think I am going to drop Mozilla Firefox for Microsoft Edge – Mozilla Firefox is slow!!

The phrase “Internet Explorer, the best browser to download another browser” will be flying out the window at this rate.

Love how fast and clean Microsoft Edge is! - Microsoft Edge with Reading Mode Activated
Love how fast and clean Microsoft Edge is! – Microsoft Edge with Reading Mode Activated

Drivers… So Far, So Good

In build 10130, I had major issues with the sound. The Windows 7 sound driver worked perfectly with Windows 10, until Windows update happens, and it updates my driver to the newest sound driver. Dell Audio by Realtek would stop working, the sound would be terrible – there would be no bass, and if I put my laptop speakers to maximum volume, it would sound like it is doing damage to my speakers (I can’t describe the experience, in words).

I am pleased to see everything is working nicely so far – getting drivers for my laptop was easy! Just connect to my Wi-Fi connection, let Windows Update run, restart my computer the next morning, and bam, everything is working! The Intel HD Graphics driver, as well as my Nvidia GeForce GT525M driver got downloaded through Windows update 🙂

I had a minor issue with my Nvidia graphics card and my 32″ JVC Full HD TV – I know that my TV doesn’t play nice with my computer… If the resolution is set to 1920 x 1080, then some parts of the display gets chopped off. Luckily, the Nvidia Control Panel has a tool where one can resize their display. This tool was not working, until I reinstalled the Windows 10 Nvidia driver 🙂

Improvements with Windows Apps and Others

It is nice to see some of the Windows apps looking fresher and cleaner, than last time I had seen them (Either in Windows 8.1 or some earlier build of Windows 10). I love how the Store app now organizes its catalog, much neater than in Windows 8 / 8.1.

The Mail is looking more useful now, the Settings pane pops up if you press the settings tab – here you can add more accounts, set a background picture, search for emails, resync your emails, and more. I have hooked up my personal email address and I am liking what I am seeing so far.

The Store app is looking like a proper Store now – Music, Video, TV Series has been integrated to the Store app. I was surprised when I saw Anime is also included in the Store (a big win for me). Getting things done (checking download history, searching for apps, updating apps) is easier and clearer now, with the Store app.

Another improvement I am enjoying is being able to move your grouped tiles around the start menu / screen. I hope Microsoft adds the ability to move multiple tiles (selecting them first then moving them)… this feature was available in Windows 8.1, don’t know why they took it out here.

New Sign-in Screen and Options

Love the new background to the sign-in screen. Sign-in by pin is so quick!
Love the new background to the sign-in screen. Sign-in by pin is so quick!

I love the new background they have applied to the sign-in screen – that plain, one-colored sign-in screen has long passed its expiry date.

I am not too sure when signing in with a pin was introduced, but I am loving the feature… I find this better and quicker than signing in with a picture or signing in with your Microsoft Account password, or signing in with your local account password. My PIN is 5 digits… I don’t need to hit the enter key, or click some sign-in button.

Overall Impression

I am glad this build has run smoothly on my main computer (Dell XPS L502x). Windows 10 is fast, cleaner and it accommodates for both the touch screen and traditional desktop / mobile users. I see build 10166 has released, so hopefully I will get my hands on that.

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