Windows 10 Preview

The Windows 10 preview edition has been out for a while now, and its performance is important because Windows 10 will rapidly become the dominant Windows OS - because Microsoft is giving it away to Windows 7 (and higher) consumers! So, let's see where it's at right now...

On the whole, the upgrade process was seamless and automatic, with only a few prompts about wireless networks and the like. Once booted up, I found a few features not working - in the UK at least:

  • Cortana It wasn't available out of the box, and the addition of a feature called "Speech recognition and Cortana for English (GB)" didn't fix it either.
  • Store The MS Store requires you to link with an online Microsoft account - and that doesn't seem to be live yet. April 2015 update: The app store is now accessible, but appears to be buggy with app updates.
  • Search Even web search (from the start menu on the desktop) doesn't appear to function!
  • Location services These appear to be inactive for the UK region, for the time being.

With the exception of MS account support, I think that all of the above features are "new" in Windows 10, and the core Windows functionality seems to have survived intact. Still, I would not recommend doing this upgrade (yet) on a machine that you'd need on a day-to-day basis. I am trying out this preview OS on a spare laptop PC, so any loss of functionality is of little concern.

Resource usage

On my 4GB i7 laptop, Windows 10 seems to spend a lot of time accessing the hard disk - actually creating lag in the core UI. A quick peek at Task Manager and Resource Meter reveals that this isn't due to "swapping" (when we've run out of RAM and are using the hard disk as virtual RAM), but instead seems to be just OS-related activities.

Things that work

I generally run a pretty generic configuration, but can happily report that the Garmin Communicator plugin for Firefox (Strava uploads) works just fine!


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