I’ve been running the Windows 10 Technical Preview (Win10TP, as I abbreviate it in my blog post title) for about two weeks now, and I’m feeling better about the environment and the experience of running this latest desktop OS from Microsoft than I expected to be. In fact, I’m more than just a little bit impressed with the new environment’s ease of use, stability, and its willingness to accommodate a production system’s hardware and software components. So far, the only program that has flat-out refused to install on Win10TP is Franck Delattre’s excellent and informative CPU-Z utility (currently at version 1.71, which raises an incompatibility flag for build 9860, despite the Web site’s assertion that CPU-Z 1.71 “…adds the support of Windows 10,” which probably applies to build 9841 but does not yet extend as far as 9860).
Sergey Tkachenko’s WEI runs fine in Build 9860, despite issues with 9841, to report basic system performance ratings.
From an install and setup perspective, Win10TP follows very much in Windows 8’s entirely respectable footsteps: installation is quick, painless, and pretty easy. Applying updates ditto, though I’ve been spoiled by using Start8 on Windows 8 sufficiently that I’ve had to retrain myself to key search text in straight at the start menu/start window without jumping right into menu navigation.
Frankly, I was amazed to see Win10TP get 99% of the drivers right on the first boot-up into the OS following the initial install. It did miss a couple of devices (which showed up as “Unknown” in Device Manager) from the MSI Z87-G45 motherboard in my primary test machine, and like Windows 8, Win10TP doesn’t recognize Killer/Atheros Ethernet devices, either. Thanks to the StarTech ASIX GbE USB 3 NIC I keep around for tablets and notebooks devoid of wired interfaces, I was able to plug that bad boy into the test machine, and gain network access with which to obtain updates and download missing drivers lickety-split. DriverAgent (my driver analysis and access tool of choice) runs fine on Win10TP, and I was able to use it to grab the elements that I needed to bring that machine up to snuff.
It took me less than 15 minute — a new “personal best” — to bring all the Win10TP drivers up-to-date after a clean install. Amazing!
I’m still in the process of re-creating a typical production environment on my test machine, beavering away in my spare time. So far I’ve installed the following items successfully, reading from the “All Apps” menu on that PC: 7-Zip, 8GadgetPack (Core Temp even works with the CPU Usage gadget), CCleaner, Chrome, Intel Management Engine Interface and the great new Driver Update Utility v2.0, Logitech SetPoint, Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center, NVidia 3D Vision center and so forth, SlimImage, and WinDirStat. All appear to work correctly. I’ll be moving onto MS Office 2013 next, as soon as time permits.