Latest Windows 10 Preview download available featuring Cortana and new apps

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 23, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Are you following the development of windows 10? If so, you know that Microsoft mentioned two days ago that it would release a new preview build of the operating system next week.

In a surprising move, updates and downloads are already available. If you have installed Windows 10 already you can run a check for updates in the PC Settings to download and install the new build.

All installed programs and most modifications are carried over to the new build which means there is nothing to worry about in this regard.

New users who have not installed Windows 10 yet or cannot run the update for whatever reason can download the preview ISO image from the Microsoft website.

This is ideal for use in virtual machines but can also be used to upgrade existing versions of Windows. Depending on which version you have installed, you may lose customizations and installed programs though.

Since this is a preview release, it is not recommended to update Windows in work environments.

The update should not take too long and after initial a restart and initial configuration phase the new version becomes available.

Below is a quick overview of some of the new features and programs that Microsoft integrated into the build.


The first thing you will notice right away is that Cortana is now integrated into the operating system. If you want to use Cortana, you need to initialize the assistant first before you can do so. You tell her your name and can make interest adjustments right away.

If you are not interested in finance for example, you can remove it from the list of routines and interests. You may also notice that Cortana is currently only available in English.

You can use the personal assistant either by typing or by voice. Voice works by clicking on the voice icon on the right side of the search bar and speaking commands or sentences (you can enable voice activation as well in the settings).

Cortana understood requests quite well during tests even though she did not return results for all of them. Some requests worked just fine (open yahoo dot com) while others returned unexpected results (Load Steam did not load Steam but open a Bing Search for Load Steam).

It is still possible to disable the feature with a right-click on the taskbar and the selection of Search > Disabled.


windows store

The new Windows Store looks different from the current one. It opens in a window on the desktop (I'm using Windows 10 on a desktop which is probably why) and displays a vertically scrolling window on start.

If you have used the store before you know that it was horizontally scrolling which feels awkward on the desktop as you are not used to that at all.

windows store Beta

What I like about it are the new app pages that highlight details about an app that you are interested in especially since you can scroll vertically here as well.

Microsoft seems to have removed several of the filters that you could use in store. It is not possible anymore to sort a category by new entries for example which makes it much harder to discover new apps or games.

Photos and Xbox


Several apps have been updated. The Photos app looks completely different than before but does not support all features yet.

It displays photos sorted by date by default on launch and a menu on the left that you can use to switch to albums or folders (both of which are not available yet).

I'm not able to test the Xbox app as it requires an account. You find screenshots of the photos and maps app below.





The new Settings window that Microsoft showcased during its presentation is also available. It is not a combination of PC Settings and the Control Panel though, but only an updated version of PC Settings.

It is called Settings now only and looks like this.

Start Menu

new start menu

The start menu looks different as well. You find places and most used on the left, and live tiles on the right.

It scrolls vertically, and it is still possible to remove items from it so that they are not shown anymore.

One feature that I find highly annoying is that it does not appear possible anymore to turn off live tiles at least for some apps (photo app) which means that you have dynamically changing content in the start menu all the time.

The only solution for now seems to be to unpin those apps from the start menu.

Microsoft seems to have removed the All Apps page completely. While you can still display all apps on the start screen, it is merely a list now displayed on the left of the start screen and not a new page that gets loaded.

This means that you cannot filter by installation age anymore for example as those options seem all gone.

File Explorer and taskbar

file explorer

You find new icons in the file explorer but mostly the same layout as before. Open programs are highlighted with an underline in the taskbar now, and you will notice that everything seems to use a flat design now.

Closing Words

Some of the new features look promising while others require quite some fine tuning to get them right before release.

I don't like the new store layout as it makes new app and game discovery impossible. This is actually the same issue that I have with Google's Chrome Web Store as you cannot sort by newest extensions in it as well.

That's one reason why I'm not reviewing many Chrome extensions.

It is unfortunate that you still have to juggle with two settings location in Windows 10.

As far as Cortana is concerned, I'd give it a shot if it would let me perform tasks such as opening programs and support dictation on the desktop.

Now You: Have you tried the new build yet?

Latest Windows 10 Preview download available featuring Cortana and new apps
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Latest Windows 10 Preview download available featuring Cortana and new apps
A quick look at new and updated features of the January 2015 preview build of Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 10.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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