Oh my, look how Windows 10 grew! With Windows 10 already available for about 190 countries, I felt like it was time for me to show a few screenshots of what Microsoft went through in the past few Technical Previews of Windows 10.
I must admit, I enjoyed being part of the preview. I got to see how Windows 10 grew and how it changed based on people’s input/opinions. It was fun even though I never got to actually develop software like applications for the OS myself (yet).
Let’s break down changes over the time via screenshots. You can see how graphical instances have changed, etc. Like all images on this blog, click the images to view their full resolution (mostly 1920x1080 PNG).
I will go on ahead and apologize in the fact that more than half of these screenshots are in Japanese, not English. The reason is because I participated in the Japanese Windows Preview only. The purpose of this post, though, is to show what changed. If text matters that much, find an ISO of an early build in English and see it yourself… unless it expired by now (Which is likely).
Windows 10 was pretty fun to install. It was free and all Microsoft Developers got the ISO pretty much at the start of the program if they opted for the Windows Insider Program.
Amongst another things though, the things that a user sees when they first boot Windows 10 is obviously the log-in screen. That has gotten a revamp in the recent builds. The changes are polished very well and honestly I like the change done to it.
Back in the early builds, you had the choice of the Windows 8 Start Menu or a Windows 7 styled start menu with Windows 8 App Tiles. It was nice and worked. Here are four screenshots that show the general history of how Windows 10’s Start Menu changed over the past year or so...
As you may have noticed, from Build 10130 and beyond, the start menu had the “Aero Blur” effect from Windows 7! This was a well requested feature from many Windows 7 fans. I am happy that it was added to Windows 10. However, Aero Blur was only enabled for roughly half the users in the Windows Insider Program. Luckily, you could force it on via a registry hack.
The Start Menu from Build 9926 and forward allowed a user to change it to a “Full Screen” mode. This mode was pretty buggy at first. You could change the colours of it and etc. However, when it was transparent, it would only show the user’s desktop background rather than fancy blur effects I expected. That was kind of a downer.
Oh and also if you clicked the top-left of the screen, your start options would appear:
If there was one thing about Windows 8 that REALLY annoyed me, it was the lack of a Notification Center. The reason is because a notification would only appear for a few seconds and then disappear forever. Thankfully, Microsoft finally added this in. It was very buggy in early builds but I am happy about how it progressed over time. Also in Build 10162, it got the Aero Blur effect which made it look beautiful. Sometime in-between Build 9926 and Build 10162, “Notifications” was changed to “ACTION CENTER” (In my case, 「アクション センター」).
Windows 7 nailed settings and other configurations with the Control Panel. Microsoft was smart and kept it in Windows 8, but they also had their own Settings App. There were a few kinks where things crashed and also I couldn’t configure everything. Thankfully the Control Panel is still in Windows 10, but I have a few screenshots on how the settings app in Windows 10 changed.
In early builds, such as 9841, the Settings App was the exact same as the Windows 8 Settings App, with the addition of checking for a newer preview. Beyond that, They modified the interface of the entire app completely. Here is what it looked like (And still looks like):
A pretty cool twist of things was when Windows 10’s early builds featured the ability to run Windows 8 apps in windows of their own rather than full screen apps. In builds such as 9841, where all of the apps included were strictly from Windows 8, I personally felt comfortable with it. As builds went by, they remade the apps (and completely destroying the People app). However, they are now more polished and functional than the Windows 8 ones ever were. The OneDrive app was completely obliterated in the newer builds, by the way. Now it behaves like the Windows 7 (aka Desktop) version.
Experiencing a new operating system is something that I had an interest in for a while now. I have installed Operating Systems like Debian, Ubuntu, Windows, etc. However, the last time I did something with Windows was the Windows Developer and Consumer Previews for Windows 8. They were not that exciting to me (nor stable enough) compared to Windows 10’s Technical Preview (The final product, Windows 8, wasn’t bad though). I look forward to using an Operating System like this for future development or just casual tasks.