Microsoft announced back in January that new devices below 8 inches would receive a new version of Windows 10, different from what Insiders are able to test today, and very similar to Windows 10 Phone. This new version of Windows 10 would be built off the Windows 10 Mobile side of things, meaning it won’t have a desktop and will run Windows Phone and Universal apps.
Up until now, we’ve not seen how this new tablet experience looks. The screenshots in which we provide today are from a build which is far from finished, therefore a number of UI elements may look a little funky. This is normal and will be rectified before RTM later this year.
I’ve had the chance to sit down and play with this new version of Windows, and from my first experiences it feels great. The new Windows 10 apps are designed to scale at almost all screen sizes. When running on Windows 10 tablets, this is no different. Apps like Calculator and Voice Recorder take advantage of the extra real estate, displaying the apps as if they were desktop apps instead of phone apps.
One thing the new Windows 10 apps do which I love is place the “three dotted” menu in the bottom right corner as seen below in the Messages app. It allows for super easy navigation to extra tasks just by using my right hand thumb. Kind of like the Charms, but a little more useful and contextual to the app you’re in.
Of course, there was no sign of the desktop, which is to be expected with this version of Windows 10. The Start Screen in this build is far from finished too, Microsoft will tweak and adjust the Start Screen to better operate on larger screen sizes so what you see in the screenshot at the top of this post does not represent the final product.
Interestingly, you can connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, allowing for navigation with a cursor and typing on a keyboard. This could be excellent for those who work on the go, and with the new Universal Office apps being compatible with Windows 10 for small tablets, you’ll have a capable editing suite wherever you are.
Hopefully Microsoft will show off a far more polished build of Windows 10 for small tablets at BUILD later this month, which will give us an even better idea of how these new small tablets will look and work.
Windows 10 for small tablets is designed for devices in which running a full version of Windows doesn’t make sense. These new small tablets will run be able to run the new universal Windows apps which run across phone and PC, not desktop apps (win32). Again, the screenshots seen above are from a super-early build of Windows 10 Mobile, so expect lots to change before a public debut.
You can check out the rest of the screenshots we have below.
And so nobody panics at how little time Microsoft has until BUILD, this build was compiled sometime in March. So the company has had plenty of time to improve upon things.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 10