Windows 10 Consumer Preview leak: Modern Taskbar, plus Cortana and Xbox integration
A teaser of the Windows 10 Consumer Preview has surfaced on the web this weekend and the signs are positive. See also: Windows 10 release date and features round-up.
We’ve already seen an early glimpse of the OS via the Technical Preview, but the leaked release adds much more flesh to the bones.
On the visual side of things, Microsoft has added new animations to the TaskView switcher, and added a new view to the Settings menu that’s similar to the old Control Panel. This could signal that the company is about to remove the traditional, Windows 7-style control panel in Windows 10.
The leaked build also features several new added features, including a fully integrated version of Cortana, and a new Xbox app.
Windows 10 Consumer Preview leak: the aesthetics
Install the 9901 build (leak) and you’ll also notice that Microsoft has also done a spot of gardening with its existing Modern UI apps, bringing the design and look in line with the new Windows 10 style.
Apps such as Camera, Calculator, Photos, Settings and the Windows Store feel improved thanks to their new design; handily they can all be accessed from the redesigned Start Menu, too.
Windows 10 Consumer Preview leak: Xbox
The inclusion of a new Xbox app in the Windows ecosystem is an interesting and exciting one. Previously, Windows 8 has included several Xbox apps, yet this new app appears to be an updated version of SmartGlass.
Little more is known about exactly how Xbox will interact with Windows 10, but the inclusion of Phil Spencer (Xbox boss) in the lineup of speakers at the upcoming Microsoft event “The Next Chapter”, taking place on 21 January, has commentators across the web speculating it will be something big.
Microsoft’s recent $2.5 purchase of Minecraft maker Mojang is yet further evidence that suggests gaming will be a big part of its future plans.
Windows 10 Consumer Preview leak: Cortana
Another major update to the new OS is the inclusion of the voice-controlled assistant, Cortana, in the Taskbar as well as several native apps.
Despite Cortana’s presence in the leaked 9901 build, however, it doesn’t appear to be working yet. And exactly how useful the voice assistant will be to traditional desktop users of Windows is yet to be seen. However, its prominent positioning suggests Microsoft has major plans for it.
Windows 10 leak: verdict
It’s clear that the leaked 9901 build is far from a finished product, but the signs are encouraging for Windows 10.
The further integration of Xbox and Cortana will win a lot of fans, and it’s good to see that Microsoft is continuing to refine the design.
Windows 10 leak: video
Below is a video from WinBeta.org detailing what’s new in the Windows 10 January Consumer Preview.
Screenshots courtesy of thecollectionbook.info