Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 — Cortana, Continuum, and more

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

On Wednesday, January 21st, Microsoft showcased Windows 10 for consumers. Simply put, Microsoft wants you to “love Windows and love computing.” The Redmond giant showcased a particular build of Windows 10, demonstrating Cortana and giving us a peek at the new Spartan browser.

After the two hour event concluded, we were given some hands-on time with Windows 10 build 9924. In this particular build, Cortana was functional, along with Continuum and the Action Center. The new Spartan browser was not available for testing.

With Cortana on Windows 10, you have a personal assistant right on your desktop (as well as mobile). Cortana allows you to keep on top of the information that matters the most to you. Cortana was quite functional in build 9924 and worked as expected. You can ask about the weather or celebrities and get the answers you want quickly. She can even do things for you, like “send an email,” which dictates an email for you!

The modern interface looks much better than before, and the Start Screen looks much more polished. This is what Windows 8 should have been! You will see in the photos below. Continuum, for those that did not know, makes it easier for users to switch between touch and non-touch environments. The Start screen will adjust itself to work better on touch environments, thanks to Continuum. We have high hopes for Continuum, which works quite well in build 9924.

To conclude the Windows 10 event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stage to talk about the company’s commitment to making Windows the go-to operating system that people need and want. “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows and loving Windows. That is our bold goal with Windows,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated during the private press event on Wednesday, which WinBeta was a part of.

We’ve attached several photos of our hands-on time with Windows 10 build 9924, which you can see below. However, stay tuned for our hands-on video of the next Technical Preview build once it becomes available (we’re hearing it might be 9926) — our very own Zac Bowden will ‘wow’ you with a showcase of all the new features. The January Preview is expected to roll out to Windows Insiders starting next week (we’ll let you know when it becomes available).

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

As you can see, Cortana is available right next to the Start button. Some of you might feel uneasy with your apps being pushed further to the right on the taskbar, but it makes sense to have the ability to turn off the Cortana feature on your taskbar and opt for a search button instead.

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

This is pretty neat. You have the power button located at the top-right of the Start Screen, as well as a Start Screen “resizer” that can take you back down to the new Start menu. 

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

This is what the Start Menu looks like. If you click the button on the top-right, next to the power button, you can enter the full-screen Start Screen mode. You can also label your apps and have the label appear within the Start Menu (eg: Personal).

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

In the picture above, you can see Cortana being useful — helping you find anything on your computer or on the internet.

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

As you can see, Internet Explorer will remain in Windows 10 for backwards compatibility. The new Spartan browser will also be included. You can use either one.

Hands-on with Windows 10 build 9924 during the January 21st consumer preview event

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