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Windows 10's new keyboard shortcuts

The Windows 10 Technical Preview adds all sorts of nifty new features designed to appeal to PC power users, but it also includes some nifty newcomers that you can’t actually see—fresh keyboard shortcuts!
window 10 keyboard shortcut

The details come courtesy of Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft’s Blogging Windows blog. If you install the Windows Tech Preview this weekend be sure to check these out.
  • Snapping windowWindows key + Left or Right — LeBlanc says: "(Can be used with UP or DOWN to get into quadrants.)" Quadrants is the new Snap view mode that pins apps to the four quarters of the screen.
  • Switch to recent windowAlt + Tab – LeBlanc says: "Hold shows new Task View window view, let go and switches to app."
  • Task viewWindows + Tab – LeBlanc says: "New Task view opens up and stays open."
  • Create new virtual desktopWindows key + Ctrl + D
  • Close current virtual desktopWindows key + Ctrl + F4
  • Switch virtual desktop : Windows key + Ctrl + Left or Right

windows10 command prompt
The Command Prompt and its Experimental Properties tab in Windows 10.

If you want to start using Windows 10’s greatly enhanced Command Prompt hotkeys (copy-pasting via the keyboard, yesssss) then be sure to check out Scott Hanselman’s extensive post on the topic.
Windows 10’s newfound support for keyboard shortcuts in the Command Prompt isn’t enabled by default, however. To enable it, right-click the Command Prompt’s title bar and select Properties. Open the new-to-Windows-10 “Experimental” tab and check the box next to “Enable experimental console features.” Finally, check the boxes next to “Enable new Ctrl key shortcuts” and “Extended edit keys,” then click OK.

How to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview: Everything you need to know

Are you ready to walk on the wild side? Windows 10 is on the horizon, and even though it’s still roughly three-quarters of a year away from completion, Microsoft’s giving IT Pros and PC enthusiasts an early taste of what’s to come with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
window 10

This isn’t like Windows 8’s Consumer Preview; the Windows 10 Technical Preview is being released via a new “Windows Insider” program that asks for user feedback and even provides private forums for discussing trouble spots with Microsoft engineers. Lots of things are sure to change going forward, from features to basic elements of the operating system.
All that said, are you still curious? Can’t resist the lure of the bleeding edge? Just want to run away from Windows 8? Here’s how to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview right now.


Actually, you won’t be installing the Technical Preview for a few minutes yet. Didn’t you hear the part about this being a very early pre-release build? That means catastrophic errors are an all too real possibility.
Don’t take my word for it: Here’s part of the terms of service you agree to when you sign up for Windows Insider (emphasis Microsoft’s):
“The Program Services include experimental and early prerelease software. This means that you may experience occasional crashes and in rare cases data loss. To recover, you may have to reinstall your applications, the operating system, or re-flash your device. Using the Program Services on some devices may impact your warranty (check with your device provider). By participating, you agree to frequently backup your data.”
In case that didn’t make it clear enough, back up your data before you start. Dump your pictures in Dropbox, drag your documents to an external hard drive, whatever works! Just make sure your data is safe and secure in case something bad happens when you’re installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview. 

Windows 10 Technical Preview requirements

Windows10 logo
Before we get too involved, it’s worth noting that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is currently limited to PC and Windows tablets with x86 processors—there’s no version for Windows RT tablets and their ARM processors available. (Sorry, Surface RT owners.) If you’re unsure which version of Windows your tablet is running, right-click on the “This PC” icon in File Explorer and select Properties. Your Windows edition information will be at the top of the window that appears.
Here are Windows 10’s other hardware requirements, which are just as modest as Windows 8.1’s.
  • Processor : 1GHz or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
  • RAM : 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space : 16GB
  • Graphics card : Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Some additional notes: You’ll also need a Microsoft account and Internet access. And if you want to access the Windows Store or use Windows Apps, your monitor’s resolution will need to be at least 1024x768. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is available in English, Chinese Simplified, and Brazilian Portuguese.
windows insider
Still here? Now head over to and click the Get Started button. After registering for Windows Insider, you’ll be prompted to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Download the appropriate Technical Preview build for your machine—the “This PC” or “My Computer” Properties window can also tell you if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit processor under the “System type” field.
Jot down the product key for the Technical Preview, too, though I didn't need to use it to install the Technical Preview. Couldn't hurt to have it handy though.

Installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview

With all that done, it’s time to get the Tech Preview on your PC! But since it’s a very early pre-release build of the operating system, you probably don’t want to overwrite your PC’s operating system with Windows 10—especially since doing so renders Windows Media Player incapable of playing DVDs and removes Windows Media Center entirely from upgraded Windows 8.1 Pro installations.
If you have a superfluous computer lying around, sure, feel free to install the preview on that. (My colleague Mark Hachman did, overwriting Windows 8.1--but only after creating a recovery drive.) But most people will want to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview either in a virtual machine, or dual-boot the OS from its own hard drive partition.
In a virtual machine
Installing it on a virtual machine is the easiest option. Grab VirtualBox, Oracle’s stellar no-cost VM tool, and you’ll be ready to rock. Download the Windows 10 Preview and configure it in VirtualBox using mostly the same steps outlined in PCWorld’s guide to test-driving Windows 8 in a virtual machine. (When you're initially setting up the Windows 10 VM, select "Windows 8.1" as the operating system type.)
If your attempt to install the Windows 10 VM isn't successful, try tweaking these settings. Once you’ve completed the initial Windows 10 set up, open the VM's Settings > System. In the Motherboard tab, ensure the box next to “Enable EFI (Special OSes only)” is checked, as well as the “Enable PAE/NX” box under the Processor tab.
windows 10 virtualbox
Setting up the Windows 10 Technical Preview in VirtualBox.
It's worth noting that I encountered troubles installing the 64-bit version Windows 10 on VirtualBox—the installation hung right after the "Press any key to boot" screen, stuck forever on the Windows logo against a black background. Several others have been successful in getting it to work, however, and I was able to install the 32-bit version of Windows 10's Technical Preview in VirtualBox successfully. (I also successfully installed the 64-bit version to a hard drive partition, and another 64-bit instance overwriting Windows 8.1 on a laptop.)
Dual boot Windows 10 in a hard drive partition
Running operating systems in virtual machines also sacrifices some performance,  especially if you don’t have extra CPU cores or much RAM to dedicate to the task. If you want to experience the Windows 10 Technical Preview natively, you can create a new partition on your hard drive and install the preview there. (It’s best if you’re able to do this on a secondary PC, just to be safe.)
hdd partition
Creating hard drive partitions in Windows.
PCWorld’s guide to installing Windows 8 on a new partition can walk you through the process—the same basic steps apply to the Windows 10 Technical Preview, and Windows 8 handles hard drive partitioning the same way Windows 7 did. Note that Windows 8 includes native tools for burning a bootable ISO to a DVD, however—simply right-click on the Windows 10 ISO file and select Burn disc image. The Windows 7 USB/DVD tool can help you make a bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 ISO despite its name.

Living on the edge

windows10 virtualbox
There you have it. Enjoy the sweet, sweet desktop improvements and let Microsoft’s team know if you hit any rough spots. You'll find a feedback tool baked right into the Windows 10 Technical Preview. That’s why you joined the Windows Insider program after all. Right?

Windows 10 tips: Your first 30 minutes with the Tech Preview

Congratulations! You’ve signed up for Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, downloaded the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO file, and are just about ready to install it. Consider this your orientation for your new operating system.
window 10

Windows 10 installation: the final steps

windows 8 recovery drive MicrosoftMARK HACHMAN
Make sure you back up your PC via a recovery drive, and then separately copy your photos, documents, and other files to external media.

If you have a spare machine lying around, updating to Windows 10 is extremely simple, especially if you have a spare 8GB USB key at the ready. As Brad recommends, back up all of your spare files (photos, documents, saved games, etc.), preferably to an external hard drive or OneDrive, just to be safe. Then jump into your Start screen and type “create a recovery drive.” Click on the search result. In just a few steps, Windows will copy your PC’s recovery drive to the USB key, erasing whatever was stored on the USB drive in the process. This is important, as after you upgrade to Windows 10 there’s no going back.
After you’ve created your recovery key, make sure that the Windows 10 ISO file is copied to an external USB drive, DVD, or flash drive. From there, swipe right to access the Charms, select Settings, then Change PC Settings. Click on Update and Recovery, then Recovery. Clicking the “Restart Now” button under Advanced Startup will reboot your PC, and allow you to select the media on which you’ve stored the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO file.

windows 8 boot from external mediaMARK HACHMAN
Download the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO onto a flash drive or other external media, then use the “Advanced startup” option to restart your PC.

From there, installing the ISO should be relatively straightforward. Your PC may have to reboot several times over the next 10 minutes, but it can be left unattended. You’ll know it’s completed when your PC begins a Windows 8-style setup process: You’ll be asked for your Microsoft account; whether you want to sync your settings with another Windows machine; whether you agree to some legalese; and to input a verification code that Microsoft will email you. After that, Windows 10 will load your applications, ask you for your username and password, and dump you unceremoniously into the Windows 10 desktop. You’re done!
A couple of caveats before we continue: This build of Windows 10 will run on multiple monitors, but some of the snap features work best on a single monitor. And make sure you have a mouse—Windows 10 isn’t especially touch-friendly at the present. I never had any problems inserting a mouse, but plugging in headphones generated an error message.

Welcome to Windows 10

I’m not going to lie: Your first moments with Windows 10 are going to feel somewhat anticlimactic. If you’ve synced your settings with another machine, you’ll see the same desktop background as before. But wait, that toolbar looks different—there’s a search icon, and a weird icon to the right of that: It’s the task view, as you’ll find out later. 
Ah! There’s the Start button! Click it and you see...the Windows 8 Start page?! (Note: whether you see this option as the default may depend on whether you have a touch-enabled device.)
Yes, you do. And that’s the last time you’ll ever see it, if you so choose. Right-click the toolbar, select Properties, click the Start Menu tab, and click “Use the Start Menu instead of the Start screen.” Sayonara, Start Page. There’s only one odd caveat: Opting out of the Start screen for the Start menu requires you to log out and in again. I have no idea why.

windows 10 start menu optionsMARK HACHMAN
The Start Menu tab under the toolbar options allows you to configure the Start Menu over the Start page. Click the “Customize” button to tweak things further.

Now click the Start button one more time to bring up the Start menu. Yes, this is why you downloaded Windows 10, isn’t it?

How to tweak your Windows 10 Start Menu

With a little tweaking, the Start menu can be a powerful tool. Note that it, too, is a window. By hovering the mouse over the edges of the window, it can be dynamically resized. But leave it as it is for the moment.
On the left, the Start menu provides a list of applications and locations that you’ll access frequently: Documents, Pictures, PC Settings, and the File Explorer tool are all at the top right. If you go back into the toolbar settings menu, you can also click a series of checkboxes to specify which folders and locations are shown in the upper list. At the bottom of the menu are two important buttons: “All Apps” and a Search bar. We’ll come to back to Search later.
Clicking “All Apps” lists all of your apps, in alphabetical order. But it’s also a gateway to the Live Tiles to the right. 

Windows 10 Start menu MicrosoftMARK HACHMAN
The central hub of Windows 10 is the Start Menu, where you can quickly access all of the apps and folders you most often use. 

Now why are those Live Tiles there? Well, they can be shortcuts to frequently accessed apps, certainly. But they’re also live widgets that can dynamically update you on your mailbox, the weather, sports news, and more. You’ll see some Live Tiles already populated; feel free to right-click each and resize them, for example, or move them around. If you want to add more Live Tiles, open the “All Apps” list and drag one of the apps into the Live Tile region, then right-click it and turn the Live Tile capability either on or off. You can also tell the Live Tiles not to display personal information, via the Start menu preferences.
Finally, you can resize the Start menu, transforming it from a skinny skyscraper to a massive window that evokes the Start page. Adding Live Tiles at the edge can increase its size. You can also click and drag the top edge down. Use a mouse, though—this early build isn’t overly touch-friendly.

Making the most of search in Windows 10

Search worked fairly well on Windows 8. On Windows 10, entering a search term in the field suggests either a file on the local machine, a webpage, an app on the Windows Store, or a portal to the Bing underworld, where an HTML page opens up displaying results for, say, Fleetwood Mac. Clicking any search result then launches Internet Explorer.

Windows 10 Bing searchMARK HACHMAN
What’s this, then? Microsoft’s Bing quickly jumps at any opportunity to help you with searches.

There’s not much to tweak here, but some of the more innovative features—such as launching Xbox Music when a song is searched for, or rendering “hero pages” when searching for celebrities—aren’t connected yet. (Xbox Music does work, however.) With Windows 8, Microsoft attempted to remove search from the browser. With Windows 10, it’s just doing a better job of it.

How to snap apps to the four corners of Windows 10

As noted previously, you can run Windows 10 on multiple monitors; I hooked an external monitor up to my Surface. But one of the features that Windows 10 offers—four-corner snap—works best on a single screen.
It’s really quite simple: Drag a window to a corner of the screen, and it will snap to one-quarter of the display. Snap it to the right or left, and it will cover half the screen. Just like the Charms bar is somewhat problematic on multiple monitors, however, so too is four-corner snap on an extended display. (You can also use the Windows+arrow keys to snap windows, as well.) But there’s a problem: Some apps simply won’t play nice. The Weather app, for example, wanted too much space to snap neatly to a corner of my Windows 10 Surface tablet.

Microsoft windows 10 snapMARK HACHMAN
Some apps will dutifully snap to the four corners of a Windows 10 desktop, as they’re supposed to. Others, like this Weather app, won’t.

The Snap Assist feature isn’t bad; expect it to suggest other applications in windows you already have open. But in general, there’s a reason that Microsoft employees demoed Windows 10 on large, single-monitor setups: These seem to work best at the moment.

Managing Windows 10’s virtual desktops

Finally, we come back to the “task view” icon on the taskbar, and the virtual desktops they help create. 
Clicking the “task view” button brings up a collection of apps on top, as well as a slideshow view of different virtual desktops on the bottom. A virtual desktop is nothing more than a screenful of snapped apps. One Microsoft executive described it as a poor man’s multimonitor setup, with users switching back and forth between these virtual screens of collected apps. Clicking a virtual desktop navigates to it, or you can type CTRL+WIN+ the right or left arrow, where WIN stands for the Windows key. You can also click the application on top, and jump directly to that desktop, and that app.

windows10 task view virtual desktops
This is how virtual desktops should look under Windows 10: nice and neat. But they can grow out of control quickly, too.

Creating a desktop, however, is still somewhat frustrating. Filling a single screen is easy enough, as you can open up an Internet Explorer window, for example, snap it to the right, and open up Xbox Music next to it. 
But let’s say you go a little crazy, open up a number of windows, then want to organize them into virtual desktops afterward. Once a window is opened in one virtual desktop, there’s no way, apparently, to shift it to another. It seems like your best bet is open a second desktop, then try and open up another instance of the app inside that desktop. (To open a second, separate browser window, for example, right-click the Internet Explorer icon.) Update 10/2: Readers have pointed out that you can right-click an app window and select "Move to..." to shift between virtual desktops.
But swiping in from the left, which showed your recently opened apps in Windows 8, now shows all your open apps, not your most recent ones. That may annoy some of you.

How to send Windows 10 feedback to Microsoft

By now, you should have a pretty good handle on what’s new in the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Feel free to keep exploring.

\windows 10 feedback appMICROSOFT
Microsoft has made available a Windows 10 Windows Feedback app so users like you can report bugs and suggest improvements.

So far, I really haven’t seen much behavior that indicates that Microsoft is actively seeking feedback. I did see one popup that vanished before I could click on it, which may or may not have been a question. But if you do find something to complain or comment about, make sure you use the Windows Feedback app (Click the Windows button, then type “Windows Feedback” to access the app.)
I haven’t run into any showstopping bugs. I’ve loaded a few apps, connected an Xbox controller and played a game I downloaded from Steam. And, hey, Netflix works.
As Microsoft has said previously, this is a “build” of Windows 10. Microsoft still has nine months or so until the final release. Hopefully this gives you a sense of what works in Windows 10, and how to make it better. What’s next is up to you—explore Windows 10, discover how it works, and if you find some aspect you dislike, let Microsoft know. There’s still time to make Windows 10 what you want.

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The iPhone Simulator lets you test your app on your Mac

Iphone Development

The Simulator is a great tool for testing your apps quickly and for free. It doesn’t come with all of the applications that a real phone does, but for the most part it behaves the same way. When you first start the simulator you see the Springboard just like on a real iPhone, with iDecide installed (and a default
icon that you can change later). Xcode then opens the app and your code is running.

There are some differences between using the Simulator and your iPhone. For starters, shaking and rotating your Mac won’t accomplish anything. To approximate rotation and check landscape and portrait views, there are some commands under the Hardware menu.

The Simulator has limitations

 Memory, performance, camera, GPS, and other characteristics cannot be reliably tested using the Simulator. We’ll talk more about these later, but memory usage and performance are tough to test on the simulator simply because your Mac has so many more resources than the iPhone. To test these things, you need to install on an actual iPhone (which means joining one of the paid development programs). 

There are no dump questions ask

Q: Are there other things that don’t work on the Simulator?
A: The Simulator can only work with some gestures, network accessibility and core location are limited, and it doesn’t have an accelerometer or camera. For more information, reference Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 Library documentation, via the Help menu in the Simulator. The Simulator is great for getting started with your application, but at some point you have to move over to a real device. Also, be aware that the iPod Touch and the iPhone are two different devices with different capabilities. You really should test on both, which means you’ll need to join one of the paid programs.

Q: What’s with this whole nibs have a xib extension thing?
A: That’s an odd artifact showing the roots of OS X. Nibs date back to the NeXTStep days, before NeXT was acquired by Apple. In OS X Leopard, Apple released a new format for nib files based on an XML
Schema and changed the extension to xib. So, while the format is XML and they have a .xib extension, people still refer to them as nibs. You’ll see more NeXTStep heritage in library class names too—almost everything starts with “NS”, short for NeXTStep.

Q: Why didn’t anything happen when I clicked on the button in the Simulator?
A: It’s temping to expect that button to just work out of the gate, given how much XCode sets up for you. However, if you think about what we’ve done, there has been some XML created to load a framework
and draw a button, but we didn’t tell it to do anything with that button yet...