Todd Klindt Cool Things Ive Learned About Windows 10 Preview

Man I talk a lot. But anyone who listens to my weekly podcasts already knows that.

For those of you who don't know me, I've been a professional computer nerd about 15 years. I've focused on SharePoint about the past eight.

My weekly SharePoint Podcasts air Mondays at 8:30 PM CT. They're brought to you by the folks at Rackspace.

You can find out about all the great SharePoint things we do at Rackspace, which happens to be my employer, by going to

Anyway, I work from my home in Ames, Iowa, and I don't get a lot of adult interaction during the day. So I've made friends with some of the other tech nerds here in town. Once in a while, we go out and have lunch.

A month or so ago we're all having lunch and one of the guys starts talking about how I should get transcripts for my podcasts. And I'm like, "That's not valuable at all for anybody."

Bla, Bla, Bla

I was thinking that it would cost me a bunch time or money or both. And I just didn't think there would be much need for it. So I asked him, "What makes you think that it would be valuable to anybody if there was a transcript of my podcasts?"

And he said, "Have ever been on a conference call or something and came across a link to an article, clicked it and found it was only video? And you cursed it because you couldn't read just the text?"

And I said, "Oh my God that happens all the time. I hate when that happens… Ohhhh, I see what you did there."

I guess having a transcript — or at least excerpts or summaries of portions of my podcasts, might be a useful thing after all. So here we are.

On last week's podcast technology writer and speaker Mark Minasi talked about Office 365 and how it's gotten him excited lately. It was a good show, even though I forgot to turn the auto white balance off on my camera and looked jaundiced.

Anyway, I had a few things to talk about last week. But Mark came on, and all of his stuff was more exciting than the crap I was gonna talk about. So now we're doing just a little bit of catch up.

Fast or Slow?

The first thing I want to talk about is the Windows 10 preview for tablets and computers. By now probably everybody has Build No. 10,041.

Last week when I was gonna talk about this it was only for folks in the fast ring. But now I think they are trickling it out to the slow ring folks also.

So let's talk about the rings before we go on. With the Windows 10 preview, Microsoft is allowing you to pick how aggressively you get the updates. And this is a really great idea.

If you like being on the cutting edge and seeing all the greatest stuff immediately, you can put yourself in the fast ring. Or if you like things stable, because you just don't want to fuss with things much, you can put yourself in the slow ring.

Those in the fast ring are the first members of the public to get updates. People in the fast ring get a lot of updates and get them very quickly.

After the fast ring has tried the updates for a while and provided some feedback, if the build is good, then it gets rolled out to the slow ring. And in theory, only good solid builds are pushed out to the slow ring.

Speed Check

If you're running Windows 10 preview and you want to see which ring you are in, go into settings, update and recovery. Then in update and recovery, there is a drop-down box under the advanced options (Settings > Update & recovery > Advanced). Click that. You'll see "How quickly do I want to receive updates?" From there, select fast ring or slow ring.

You can always change it. You're not committed one way or another.

But if you're in the fast ring, you'll get these first. And all these updates are coming down as Windows updates. So if you make a change to that setting — if you go from the slow to the fast ring and then go in and do a Windows update, then you'll get all the other Windows updates as well as the latest Windows 10 Preview update.

So that's pretty cool. I think upgrading the preview via Windows update is an amazing idea. It just goes to show how far Windows update has come in the 15 to 20 years we've been using it. It's pretty cool.

By now, the ISOs might be out. That's an option if you want to do a fresh install as opposed to upgrade build 10,041.

New Stuff

There are a few changes, nothing huge — a bunch of bug fixes, obviously. In addition, Microsoft changed the start screen.

I'm not sure I'm a fan of that. But one of the complaints people had with Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 was that from the desktop to the start screen, it was jarring …this whole big change.

Going from 8 to 8.1, one of the things that they did to make it less jarring was give you the ability to put your desktop background behind the start screen.

It just looked like the tiles came up and that helped a little bit.

But apparently Microsoft got more complaints about the jarring-ness of the start screen (That start screen just can't get any respect!).

So with Windows 10, what they did was make the start screen transparent. So when it pops up you can still see the background — you know, your desktop or whatever is running when you get the start screen. I find it kind of annoying.

I find it kind of tough to see where the start screen stuff is. If I choose start screen over the start menu, then I want the start screen to be the start screen. I want to see my live tiles, all that sort of stuff.

Tell 'Em What You Think

Another change they made was to the networking.

One of the problems I had with the previous build — 9,481 or whatever it was — was my machines wouldn't auto connect to one of my Wi-Fi access points.

And so I would have to go and hit the thing and then a whole big metro screen would come up. And I'd have to pick my wireless network and connect. Starting in Build 10,041, the wireless thing is now a fly out. It comes in the notification thing. So now I can just get that notification and hit it. That's kind of nice. I like that.

They made some changes to the Windows Insider app. And that's where you give them feedback.

Please leave Microsoft feedback about Windows 10, good or bad. Let the team know what you like or don't like.

It's part of the agreement. Part of the contract of playing with the preview build is that you'll give feedback and help make the product better. So check out the new Windows Insider Hub and leave some feedback.

One other sad note with Build 10,041: I got my very first blue screen of death with Windows 10.

And in the vein of Windows being friendlier, it actually gives you a little sideways frowny face. It doesn't give you the core dump anymore.

Win 10? Not On My Tablets

As we all know, I have a love for Windows tablets. I have many of them. They keep me company on the cold winter Iowa nights.

And my favorite is this guy here, my Dell Venue 8 Pro. I have windows 10 running on several boxes — I have it running on a laptop, on a little infected HDMI stick, on a little guy that's hooked up to a TV.

But I don't have it on any my tablets, for the simple reason that I haven't seen anything in Windows 10 yet that makes me think it would be any better on small devices than Windows 8.1.

So I've not put it on any of these devices yet. And I wouldn't recommend that anybody else do it either.

A bunch of my tablets have 16 gig C drives.

Windows 8.1 uses this thing called WIMBoot, where Windows 8 actually boots off the recovery partition to save space.

And I think it worked pretty well. But I've been reading some stuff and it doesn't look like Windows 10 is going to keep WIMBoot going forward.

They're going to do a thing with compressing system files and things like that. So if I put Windows 10 on my tablets, they would be very full.

If you've updated yours — in spite of my warning — let me know. I'd love to hear about it.

Another thing that was broke with Build 10,041 is that I can't get to any of the properties of any of my network adapters. If I go into network adapters and right click properties, I get unknown error. That came up because I need to change the IP address of one of my adapters.

It's just the UI that's broken. I was able to do a PowerShell. And then I was talking to some folks, and they were able to do a netsh (or network shell) because they aren't as cool as I am.

Bottom line: If you're using this build and can't get to the properties of your adapter, it's a good time to get familiar with get network adapter and all those PowerShell cmdlets.

I Want It!

If you want Windows 10, and gosh I don't know why you wouldn't, it's a two-step process.

First you need to go to and sign up as a Windows insider. It feels very exclusive, by the way. But anybody can sign up. You don't need to do anything special.

Sign up for windows insider and then I think, on your Windows 8 thing, you have to install a hotfix, you have to install a patch. And then run Windows update and you will get the Windows 10 preview as part of the Windows update and it will update your Windows 8 or Windows 7 box right to Windows 10.

So that's kinda cool.

Or once you get the Windows Insider, you can go download the ISOs and do a fresh install. So that's how you get that.

Again, a few things Microsoft has said. Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 will all upgrade to Windows 10 preview and the preview will upgrade to Windows 10 RTM. So don't be afraid of installing the preview on a machine you use all the time and think you will have to do another install when Microsoft releases the final build.

Ok ... Enough words? Even the longest conference call should be over by now. So grab your favorite beverage, get comfortable and watch SharePoint Podcast #241, in its entirety, in Technicolor and all that. There's a lot more where this came from.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by zingpix.