Win10 build 10074: What’s new, what’s unknown

Woody Leonhard

With the recent release of build 10074, Windows 10 Technical Preview should be nearing the feature-complete phase. But while there’s lots to see in the latest build, there’s also much that’s still unknown.

Here’s a look at what’s new, what’s been killed, what’s likely, and what’s still obscure.

Win10 Preview is starting to look like a product

If you’ve been staying up to date with the Windows Insider program, you should now be on build 10074. Microsoft brought everybody up to that level — either through Win10’s built-in Update& recovery tool or via ISO downloads — late last week. (Note: In most cases, the next build will appear only when all Win10 updates are applied.)

In broad strokes, this new build looks a lot like build 10041, which I talked about in the March 26 Top Story. But under the covers there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

The Start menu retains its now-familiar layout (Figure 1), with a Win7-like list of programs on the left and fancy live tiles on the right. Win8 users should recognize the tiles as Metro-style programs, but Vista and Win7 users will probably feel more comfortable thinking of them as glorified Windows gadgets.

Win10 Start menu

Figure 1. Win10 build 10074's Start menu looks relatively complete.

Microsoft is testing two see-through “glass” versions of the Start menu. Figure 1 shows the “blurry” form, which I greatly prefer. Although we won’t get Aero Glass back (dang!), it looks like the final versions of the Start menu, taskbar, and maybe the window borders will get some transparency.

Looking through the offered icons, you’ll note that the new Web browser is still labeled “Project Spartan.” But at last week’s Build conference, Microsoft announced that the IE replacement will be called “Microsoft Edge” (note: not Windows Edge). It’ll be the default browser in Windows 10. You’ll still be able to use IE 11 if you like, but it’ll be buried in the All apps/Windows apps list.

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Woody Leonhard

About Woody Leonhard

Woody Leonhard is a Windows Secrets senior editor and a senior contributing editor at InfoWorld. His latest book, the comprehensive 1,080-page Windows 8 All-In-One For Dummies, delves into all the Win8 nooks and crannies. His many writings tell it like it is — whether Microsoft likes it or not.