Windows 10's "Technical Preview" (read: beta) is off to a good start, with more than one million signups for the program, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, revealed in a lengthy Windows blog post recently.
Feedback is pouring in, with more than 200,000 pieces of user feedback submitted via the Windows Feedback app. That doesn't count what Microsoft must be getting from background telemetry and crash reports, and Belfiore encouraged people to keep providing more feedback.
Users have three options to provide feedback: they can use the Windows Feedback app built into the Tech Preview software, the Windows Technical Preview Program forum, and a new feature, the Windows Suggestion Box on UserVoice, which is open to anyone who wants to send Microsoft ideas and suggestions for Windows without installing Windows 10 or signing up as an Insider.
Like I said, they are listening this time.
Readers of Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows have provided him with considerable feedback as well, enough to form a list of the top ten requests they want for Windows 10. They cover both features in Windows 10 and features not in the OS people would like. I really would like to see a tabbed version of the File Explorer, but I don't know if Microsoft has the time to implement this. Plus, what would that do to resources? It's shocking how much memory Firefox takes up when you have a lot of tabs open, and this feature is similar to that.
Getting back to Windows, Belfiore also noted that 36% of installations of the Windows 10 Technical Preview are in virtual machines, while the other 64% were standard installations. "This makes us confident that a lot of the feedback is based on 'medium-term' use and not just a few minutes of experimentation," he wrote.
True, but then again, Microsoft did say Win 10 wasn't meant for daily use machines in the first place. This is the first version of Windows where desktop VMs were really an option to begin with. They were emerging at the time of Windows 8 but are now in full bloom, with VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, Virtual Box, Desktop Hyper-V, KVM for Linux, and Parallels for Macs.
Belfiore shared another interesting batch of stats on application use. People don't appear to be just loading Windows 10 and fiddling a little, they are using a lot of apps, which can only yield good results. Microsoft said 68% of people are launching more than seven apps a day, about 25% of devices are launching more than 26 apps per day, and 5% are launching 68 apps per day. So people are definitely putting Windows 10 through its paces and looking for app compatibility.
This gives me a lot of optimism in many aspects. It shows that people are actively involved and still care. I'd be a little freaked out if they weren't getting heavy amounts of feedback. In this instance, I am not using the beta. To truly test it requires putting it on your work machine and using it in your daily work so you can give real feedback, not on a test bed that you use for 10 minutes. And Windows 10 isn't stable enough yet to be usable. It's not as solid as the Windows 7 beta was in 2009.
However, Belfiore has said that there is a new build coming soon, so we'll see if it solidifies enough to be used on a main machine.