I have been running Windows 10 on my pro 3 since the preview was first available. Truth being told there have been at least two occasions where taking it off seemed to be the best option but in both cases updates fixed the problem.
Being a developer I don’t always think before upgrading to new technology but in general it works out well as it has in this case.
To lay my stall out I like Windows 8, the concepts of live tiles, applications exposing search APIs etc. was/is a genuine change for the better, having taught developers the ins and outs of Windows 8 more and more I realise how good the concepts are. Windows 8 is a step change, unfortunately the press who slam Microsoft for not changing and when they do slam again seem to be winning out.
But Windows 10 is keeping most of the key features and hopefully integrated application search will come back.
Updates So Far
Updates have been coming roughly every month with a break for December.
Build 9841 – Initial Release
A change, Windows 8 applications on the desktop, An enhanced start menu showing the Windows 8 tiles, a great snap feature for windows and virtual desktops. The app commands is now an icon on the title bar.
There is also experimental updates for cmd allowing ctrl- options ( select properties and experimental to try )
Build 9860 – The Broken Release
The dreaded broken release with thousands of fixes, the ability to choose the speed of updates you receive. crucially a fault in the XAML renderer (guess) caused most Windows 8 applications not to start. Notification centre is in but not working to any level.
Build 9879 – The Ah that’s Better Release
Most importantly XAML works
The app command bar has turned into a 3 bar icon (hamburger!!!!) in the top left of the window and now works very well
The notification centre now works like a dream and in very useful.
There is a significant update to OneDrive which once finished works well, but the update is not good and involves recaching everything, you can now choose which directorys to cache but not until the cache has been updated (oops)
The User experience has improved considerably, in window dialogs,
A new feature is gestures on touchpads
- 3 finger up -> Task View
- 3 finger down -> Show Desktop
- 3 finger flick to left or right -> switches to previous app (go back 1)
- 3 finger move left or right -> Alt-Tab pops up and you can select the app you want (remove fingers to select)
- 3 finger tap -> Search
It looks like an emergency update for build 9879 will be out shortly
The Pain in the Ass Features
As each drop is in effect a new version of windows, 7-8-8.1-etc you are more often than not presented with the “you don’t know how to use windows” helpful hints.
So How is the Surface Pro 3 coping?
Well after 9879 it really has sprung into life and it works well, I had a few problems with the surface pen on the 9860 drop but all is ok now.
There has been a firmware fix as well for the surface, as both arrived at the same time as build 9879 (ish) it is hard to determine which had the bigger effect.
The main issues are the great UX metaphors from windows 8 are being down played., but I expect to see this fixed in the new year releases.
What am I looking forward to??
Integrated Application search (no promises) and integrated outlook search
Continuum, due to the nature of the Surface 3, setting either windows 8 mode or start screen exclusively is not helpful, but with continuum we should get windows 8 becoming more adaptive to use i.e. if it is tablet mode we see one view, with a keyboard another.
The big ticket item which will be a while is the true universal applications across desktop/phone/xbox one
Windows 10 is the step change that Windows 8 needs, it is missing as ever good guides on use and in the new year after the next drop I will endeavour to get some written
for most users I would wait until end of April 2015 (post Build), but if you are a dev or IT pro with enough experience it is most definitely worth the effort