Thursday, January 14, 2016

All about Windows 10 Mobile OS official release, latest build and comaptibility with your Smartphone

We have been using Windows 10 Mobile OS technical preview builds for the last 6 months. And we are very much impressed with the hard work done by Microsoft. Windows phones have been there in the market for years but were not produced by Microsoft before their acquisition of Nokia. However observing what has changed from Windows 8 through Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, we certainly can state with confidence that many things have changed. And positively at that.

ECOSYSTEMS


If you are a customer who has just come out of Blackberry (original non-Android ones) ecosystem and immediately switch to Windows ecosystem, you'll be greatly impressed. The Windows 8.1 stole the show with very fluid, stylish and simple design.

One might argue that iOS and Android are better ecosystems than what Windows is today. But purely from the OS point of view, the compatibility and flexibility points of view, we can say that Windows outperforms both Android and iOS in the sense that Microsoft has truly made, or at least is continuously showing its commitment to unify, both desktop and mobile devices platforms into a single Windows 10.



WINDOWS 10 MOBILE ISSUES AND DEVICE RECOVERY


Windows 10 mobile started off with lot of bugs and hits and misses, but that is how any development work happens. The difference is that Microsoft chose to provide these builds for public use if they join the 'Windows Insider' program. Other competitors also do this but Microsoft doing it is very nice!

Microsoft was also intelligent in providing the 'Windows Insiders' a good tool in the form of 'Windows Phone Recovery Tool' or 'Windows Device Recovery Tool' over the last few months to let them switch back to stable OS versions like the Windows 8.1 if they experience any problems like bricked phones, non-responsive phones or simply if they don't like that particular version of Windows 10 build.

This particular software got its name changed many times. At first it was being called Nokia Phone Recovery tool, then it became Windows Phone Recovery tool and the last change to its name was Windows Device Recovery Tool. It is very simple to use. You just need a USB cable to connect your smartphone with your computer.

For more information about 'Windows Device Recovery Tool' read this post Hard reset and Windows Device Recovery Tool options for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 8.1

ADVANTAGE MICROSOFT AND WINDOWS 10 MOBILE


The beauty of Windows 10 is that even the cheapest Lumia 435 and the next comparatively better and bigger Lumia 535 are straight away compatible with it. You are at an advantage if you have an eligible Smartphone fit for running Windows 10 Mobile. 

As Microsoft has the goal of installing Windows 10 on at least 1 billion devices and so for not leaving out in the cold all the existing Windows phone users, learning from their past mistake of leaving out users like that and losing customers to competitors like Android and iOS, they would surely attempt to check and confirm the other devices' compatibility to get upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile.

That may take sometime because they first concentrate on the confirmed models according to this official list by Microsoft. Read more here List of eligible Smartphones for Windows 10 upgrade

Compare this budget versions of Android phones from various manufacturers which have too many customized Android versions by the respective OEMs and the recent builds of Android never make their way to those phones. The only alternative is to go with Nexus series of smartphones which are similar to Apple's iPhones in premium segment.

Not every Smartphone user wants a premium phone to spend more than $400 for 3 years period.

That is where Microsoft is playing big. It is controlling the OS from unnecessary customization by the OEMs, and then keeps the Smartphones to a minimum number thereby having better differentiation similar to Apple.

And unlike Apple, Microsoft also provides the possibility for the end-user to have the greatest and latest OS like Windows 10 Mobile also for an affordable Smartphone.

With Universal apps system, if Microsoft accelerates the app portability there by making Windows Store on par with Google Play and Apple Store, then Microsoft can also create a big advantage soon that can easily convince why it is a win/win situation for a prospective smartphone buyer to go with Microsoft.

You have the latest OS (not all Android phones have) for a budget Smartphone (Apple has no budget Smartphones) and the 'Universal Apps' that run on all Windows devices like the traditional desktops, laptops, tablets, Smartphones, Hololens, Xbox, etc.

WINDOWS 10 BUILDS STABILITY AND PERFORMANCE


The Windows 10 preview builds starting from the build 10.0.10536 have acquired more stability due to the continuous iterative improvement process by Microsoft and due to the important feedback sharing done by the 'Windows Insiders'.

Once or twice we have changed back to Windows 8.1 using Windows Device Recovery Tool whenever we encountered few bugs, some lags in performance of the phones. But we couldn't resist coming back to using Windows 10 preview builds again by reinstalling 'Windows Insider' app from Microsoft store.

You are always assured of having the option to return to Windows 8.1 using the method stated above.

We think that this speaks clearly why we like Windows 10 Mobile.

NEW FEATURES WITH WINDOWS 10 MOBILE


In the background many things might have changed technically. But to an average user the changes to the interface and simplicity are more relevant. We are no average users, but still the new features added to Windows 10 like transparent backgrounds, many notifications with expanded views at the top of the phone screen, clearly organized settings, great improvements to 'Mail and Calendar' app, Cortana, and few other features were so interesting and so exciting to use that we couldn't go back to Windows 8.1.

And considering that Windows 10 got released officially for the PCs in July 2015 and later on, the compatibility with the Smartphone as well as the PC got greatly improved, and the Apps were the same across the devices, there was no question of going back to Windows 8.1.

We tested the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL two months ago, the first thing we did was start the phone, once the initial set up was done we were quick to cancel all other app downloads, straight away installed 'Windows Insider' app and installed Windows 10 technical preview build at that time.

To sum up, Windows 10 Mobile is going to be a success just looking at how good the operating system is, for PC, Smartphone, tablets and any other Windows device. App-gap still haunts Microsoft mobility business but those issues don't take away the credit from Windows 10's versatility.

OFFICIAL RELEASE OF WINDOWS 10 MOBILE


If Windows 10 mobile reached 1 million users that means there are first so many insiders, and those insiders have installed Windows 10 builds despite knowing the fact they compromise on some security and their phones are 'vulnerable' to risks as claimed by some 'seemingly anti-Microsoft' blogs. But for us such risks are yet to be encountered. For daily use, the current Windows 10 builds for smartphones are already better.

We can comfortably wait for the 'best' build but for the moment, we are quite impressed with the latest build. Windows 10 Mobile is almost ready but not official. So let us try latest build 10586.63. Read more about what you can do with 10586.63 build here Trying the latest and stable Windows 10 build 10586.63

Starting from 14th January 2016, some reports are coming up stating that few network operators have started rolling out Windows 10 Mobile for their users. Let us wait and see if this picks up momentum in this week.

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