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Top 10 tips for Windows 10

Woody Leonhard | Oct. 7, 2014
You need to know these behind-the-scenes tricks to get the most out of the current Windows Technical Preview.

magician hat wand trick

If you've been using Windows 10 for more than a few days, it's time to reconnoiter a bit. If you haven't yet learned about tweaking the Start Menu, searching, snapping, or creating new desktops, Mark Hachman at PC World can take you on a whirlwind tour. That's beginner's stuff. But what about the things lurking under the covers?

Here's a quick list of deeper-dive tips and tricks that I've found useful.

Tip 1: Get the right version
Microsoft has steered the unwashed masses toward the Windows Technical Preview, plain vanilla edition. That edition includes capabilities that you might normally associated with a "Pro" version of Windows, including joining domains and group policy editor support.

If you're interested in more advanced Windows functions normally associated with an "Enterprise" version of Windows, you should be running Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise, which includes support for AppLocker, BranchCache, DirectAccess, and Windows to Go.

Tip 2: Update
Microsoft has promised rapid updates to Windows 10. So far, we've only seen one, KB 3001512, but (confusingly) the KB article for that update says it also includes KB 3002675 -- and I can't find any information about the second patch.

You can rely on Automatic Update (which is turned on for all Technical Preview users) to eventually get the latest versions installed on your machine, but it wouldn't hurt to prod manually as the bug you're experiencing may already be solved. To run a manual update, click or tap Start --> PC Settings (on the left side of the Start Menu, remember?) --> Windows Update and click or tap Check Now.

As best I can tell, Microsoft doesn't yet have a Windows 10 patch early warning system comparable to the KB 894199 warnings for Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services.

Tip 3: Download the Windows Technical Preview press kit
While it won't give you any particularly earth-shattering news (PDF), you might want to consider how well the Microsoft Party Line plays out in the real world. In this case, it does so surprisingly well, in my opinion.

Tip 4: Dive into Feedback
If you aren't yet giving Microsoft your opinions about every aspect of Windows 10, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. I can't recall Microsoft honestly asking real users for feedback on a Windows beta since, arguably, Windows 95. Here's your chance. Your contribution may be tiny or earth-shattering, but now's the time, and this is the place, to make your voice heard.

Click Start, then the Windows Feedback tile. Scroll on the left for the general category, then on the right for a specific item. Add your own feedback or -- more importantly -- give your "+1" to one of the hundreds of truly excellent proposals already up there.


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