Windows 10 Build 10041 Deep Dive Part 3

Windows 10 Build 10041 Header

Windows 10 Build 10041 Deep Dive Part 3:

Welcome to part 3 of our Windows 10 Build 10041 Deep Dive! So far in this series we have looked at what’s new or tweaked in build 10041. If you haven’t read Part One or Part Two, now would be a great time to review those first! Today we’re going to dive into the bumps that have been encountered in daily use of this particular build. Let’s dive in!

 

Resolution WoesWindows 10 Build 10041 Resolution Issue

My particular test laptop is a Dell E6410, which has a 1440 x 900 screen and therein lies the rub. There is a bug with the display on 1440 x 900 resolution which cuts off display elements (text and images) without pushing the content over to the next visible column. This pervades across all “Modern” applications that aggregate content (News, Sports, Health & Fitness, etc.). I’m not a heavy user of the Modern info apps, so it’s a minor gripe, and is certain to be addressed in the next build.

 

Mail | Calendar | People – Where are you?

One of the first things I noticed was that the Mail, Calendar, and People app tiles looked odd. So what is an inquisitive person to do with something that looks odd? Poke it, obviously! I attempted to fire up the Mail app and was greeted with an error. That will teach me not to thoroughly read the release notes, as Microsoft labeled this as a known issue and provided a fix for it as well.

Here’s to fix it:

1.) Run PowerShell as an administrator

2.) Run this script:

Get-appxprovisionedpackage -online | where-object {$_.packagename -like "*windowscommunicationsapps*"} | remove-appxprovisionedpackage -online

3.) Reinstall the Mail, Calendar and People App from the Old App Store (with the Green Tile), not the Beta Store (with the Grey Tile)

 

Beta App Store

As long as we’re on the topic of the Store: the Windows 10 app Store is still the Windows app Store; Build 10041 hasn’t changed that fact. Chances are, if you’ve used Windows 8 and 8.1, you know what I mean by that. The App Store still feels clunky and visually speaking it’s too “busy”. Often while browsing the Store I feel a bit uninformed about what certain apps do in “at a glance” viewing; which leaves me thinking “What does this app do and who made it?” This, from a consumer standpoint, is not a reassuring prospect. I’m certain there are folks out there who will install something just because it has a picture of a katana slicing a computer in half; I am not that person – and chances are, since you’re reading a deep-dive on this build of Windows 10, you aren’t either. (That does sound kind of awesome though, right?)

Points are to be awarded for the decision to abandon the atrocious horizontal navigation in favor of vertical navigation. That is a huge improvement. The organization and readability of the Store has improved rather significantly as well – but “Modern” apps just don’t have an ounce of draw for me on my non-touch devices. Perhaps that would change if I had a Surface or Lumia, I’m not sure.

I’m certainly not alone in my critique of the Store. Several of my friends and colleagues have Surface Pro tablets and say the same things. One stated flatly something akin to “I actually love the Windows 8 on my Surface, but the app Store is a disaster.” It does seem like big-name developers are signing on in increasing numbers in preparation for Windows 10 – and the beta Store on build 10041 is better overall than on Win 8 or prior builds of Win 10 – I’m hopeful they will continue to tweak and improve it.

 

“Modern” Skype

Why? Just… why? Why would I use built in “Modern” Skype app over the Skype for Desktop application?

Here’s a quick list of things I dislike about the “Modern Skype”

a) It advertizes to me, which the desktop version does not do

b) It’s less intuitive than the desktop version

c) Gives less meaningful information about my contacts than does the desktop version

d) Is less easily configurable than the desktop version

Modern Skype on Windows 10 Build 10041
I get it already, you want me to use Bing! Sheesh.

This is another non-Build 10041 specific thing, but it’s a baked-in application, so I consider it fair game. If I’m installing this OS on a device that is not touch-enabled, why not just install the desktop version of apps that have a “Modern” version and a “Classic” version? It would also be nice to have the option at install time. Something like “We noticed your device is not touch-enabled, would you like to install non-touch versions of the bundled applications?” would be simply fantastic. Give me options and I’ll be a happy camper!

 

Conclusion

This turned into a much larger topic than I anticipated, but I felt it better to break it up into easily digestible chunks. So far I’m pleased with the progress that the Windows team has made since the last build. People were getting antsy that it had been 50+ days without an update, but with the number of features and thoughtful tweaks that have been added in Build 10041, I’m glad they waited to release them in one fell swoop.

Windows 10 Build 10041 really is a major step forward for the OS as a whole. There are still rough edges and some “nice-to-haves” that are missing, but this really is the OS that Windows 8 should have been. My existing Windows 8.1 machines will be going to Windows 10 as soon as it is publicly available. In the meantime I’ll keep testing the builds and posting updates here!

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