Microsoft is currently preparing an updated preview of Windows 10 to focus on the mainstream features of the next operating system. While the company plans to detail these improvements at a press event in January, a consumer version (9901) was leaked to the web today to provide an overview of the various changes Microsoft has made.
The biggest new thing since the recent tech preview is the addition of Cortana. A video demo was leaked earlier this month, but the version itself shows how Cortana sits at the top of the search interface for Windows 10, responding to text and voice commands. Everything is very similar to the Windows Phone version, as you might expect, with access to Notepad, Reminders, and Points of Interest. It’s not quite functional, but it’s a very early look at the digital assistant in Windows 10, so the final version will likely change significantly.
New Xbox app serves as gateway to Xbox Live
Elsewhere, there’s a new Xbox app as well. It appears to act as a gateway to the entire Xbox ecosystem, including access to Achievements, Friend Lists, Activity Streams, and the Store. Microsoft notes that this is a first look at the app, so it may include SmartGlass integration in the future. It’s also a first look at how the software maker designs its native Windows 10 apps, and the calculator app has been updated similarly.
Microsoft has also added new animations to the TaskView selector in Windows 10, and the company appears to be moving towards removing the traditional control panel by updating the settings app with a familiar view similar to the control panel. The settings button has also been removed from the charms bar, showing that Microsoft is clearly focused on improving access to settings with Windows 10.
Windows Store Now Includes Music, Movies, and TV Shows
The Windows Store in Windows 10 build 9901 has also been changed with a new built-in beta app. Unlike the current store, music and movie / TV shows are included alongside apps and games. This could mean Microsoft is closer to integrating its Xbox Music and Xbox Video stores into the main Windows Store to deliver all content in one place.