Windows 10 Consumer Preview: features to expect in 2015

Windows 10 Start menu green with logo

While Windows Insiders already got their hands in the last release of Windows 10 for the year, Microsoft will resume the program in 2015. And early next year it’s also the time when we can expect the first Consumer Preview of Windows 10 to see the light.

The point of the Technical Preview was for Microsoft to show enterprises that they can still count on Windows as a viable platform. In the builds the company made available, we’ve seen a new Start menu, the return of apps to being apps again floating in the desktop, and many other features that make the operating system less confusing and more productive.

The Consumer Preview, which we’re now expecting in early 2015 will shift focus to consumers and the company is expected to start introducing new features as early as end of January and beginning of February time frame.

Windows 10 Consumer Preview features

Although, Microsoft is quiet about the features in the pipeline for Windows 10, here is what is likely to happen: According to a new report from WinBeta, the consumer version will showcase a new “unseen” Start screen, a working version of the new Continuum mode, the arrival of Cortana to the desktop (though it’s not clear if the digital assistant will make a public appearance before the final release), and many more features.

On the users-interface side, Microsoft is expected to continue updating the look and feel of Windows with new icons and possibly new transparency effects. In build 9879, we can already see some of the new icons, but by the time Windows 10 ships, we can expect Microsoft introducing a batch of new icons and perhaps we will not see the old icons anymore. About transparency, this is a feature that many users love, but it went away in Windows 8, now it seems that the company is considering adding some form of transparency to the UI.

Action Center (notifications) will also be more integrated in Windows 10 by the Consumer Preview time, we can also expect the new notification center to be touch-optimized too.

Long time ago we also heard about Gadgets returning in Windows 10, while this may not be the case, Microsoft is thinking on allowing Live Tiles to live in the desktop as well and we may see some of this development by BUILD time, in April 2015.

Live Tiles in Windows 10 desktop mockup

By the time Windows 10 releases in mid-2015, we can also expect Internet Explorer 12 with new features. Previous reports suggested that the new version of IE could introduce plugins and a new UI much like Chrome and Firefox. And perhaps this will also be the version where Microsoft will combine the desktop and modern version of Internet Explorer in favor of one unified browser (but these are just speculations).

Office for Windows 10 is also expected to arrive by the time the operating system ships and we already have confirmation from Microsoft about this.

Microsoft is also planning to introduce a new version of Windows Phone, which will be a merged version with Windows RT, and there is a chance Microsoft simply call it “Windows 10” as we’ve already seen the company calling it as such.

This is all Windows Insiders can expect in Windows 10 for 2015 and for the Consumer Preview. It’s worth noting that these aren’t all the features Microsoft have in the pipeline and some may not even make it to the final release. But be sure there will be a lot more features coming in the final release and even before the Windows 10 RTM. Just remember to keep sending your feedback to Microsoft to make Windows better.

What do you think of Windows 10 so far? Do you like the changes? What features do you like Windows 10 to have?

Source WinBeta