Windows 10 is not due to come out until the middle of next year but Microsoft has released a Technical Preview for anyone who is interested to have a look at and hopefully provide feedback to them on. As an early preview it is unstable and nearly everything in it is subject to change at any point but it is worth looking at. We’ve downloaded it and are running it in a virtual machine, experimenting with it.
Once loaded we looked for accessibility options and found the traditional control panel has vanished into a PC settings menu, similar to the Metro style section of Windows 8. This menu has a number of sub settings most notably Ease of Access. Inside Ease of Access are six sub menus that cover accessibility.
- Narrator – audible feedback,
- Magnifier, screen sizing and colours,
- High contrast – themes and colours
- Keyboard – on screen keyboard and toggle keys
- Mouse – mouse speed and cursor colours
- Other – animations, backgrounds and cursor
So far these look promising and are more extensive than in Windows 7 or 8. It should be remembered that this is an early build and subject to change but it does give an idea of Microsoft’s direction and let us know that they are considering this.
Otherwise Windows 10 seems to be exactly what Microsoft promised – Windows 7 with a little Windows 8 added as well as some new minor features. We’re running it on a virtual machine and have had a few problems, particularly with mice, that can be blamed on that but otherwise have found it smooth and sensibly designed. We will keep playing with it as the Preview updates and report back anything of particular interest we find. So far so good.