Microsoft is doing good at this new Fast Ring release cadence. It may not continue at this pace after RTM but I can only hope. This will be the final "consumer" observations I make here for a while and I'm mostly disapointed in where the first party apps are, but the overall OS is solid, interface is great and I'm thrilled with what's on the horizon. Here are a few observations in this build:
- Post setup "We're getting this ready for you" experience went much faster than previous builds. They are definitely getting things trimmed up.
- Still serious rough edges in the Store - nagging 'white screen' that has been around since 10030 still there.
- All Apps off of the start menu is still rough - been whining about this for a while - the button is in the wrong place and it is too hard to work with things in there.
- Insider Hub - why not just stick the thing in the Store - why make it so hard to go get it inside optional features? Besides, the only thing in optional features besides the Hub is all the language packs and .Net.
- Groove Music (which is just awful) is still pretty awful. Among the many MANY failings here, the most obvious is still the inability to sort columns in my playlists, no radio streams or human curiated playlists and the catalog is lacking. Get what you pay for though (got the pass for XMas).
- Movies and TV is okay - I know why they took purchasing of music, TV and movies out of their respective apps and into the store but I still don't have to like it.
- Calendar and Mail - pretty good - pretty usable. Good consistency.
- People App - bleh - it's a contact list and the consistency of the interface is lacking (the settings button for instance is under the elipses instead of along the left like in Mail/Calendar.
- Photos - it doesn't do much but is functional and pulls in OneDrive photos nicely. The "Albums" feature though only works with local files.
- OneDrive - about to lose faith. Had it nailed in Windows 8.1 (despite the technical snafoos with 3rd party apps) and now, it's just not worth it. Missing so many key things.
- The freebie Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) are really great. Looking forward to how things progress here. Would be really great if "Mail" was a Universal version of "Outlook" :)
- Would be great if the OS itself didn't require all 3GB to download when going B2B. That's a lot of GBs - gimmie just the updated bits (I know, that's probably impossible).
- Skype - took away the Universal app (which made my awesome little WinRT device that could go belly up as it was my little phone device) and the main desktop Skype is as bleh as ever.
- The MSN apps seem to be hanging in there - thankful they appear to have nixed the ads. The News app is my primary news tool throughout my day on both Windows and iOS.
That about wraps it up - sorry if I sounds miffed by the apps, they have come a long ways but some still just aren't cutting it. Coming up in the following many MANY posts - something special that I've been working on.