The consumer version of Windows 10 was scheduled to be unveiled on January 21st, at Microsoft’s event at their home base of Redmond, unfortunately for Microsoft (although not so much the fans) a consumer build has been leaked.
The build, titled ‘Build 9901’, has appeared online, and looks to be the consumer preview of Windows 10.
The major new feature in the build is Cortana, the Windows Phone virtual assistant. Cortana will port all information from the user’s Windows Phone profile, and allow users to speak through a microphone on Windows 10 to get information about weather, local places, news and other updates.
Microsoft has updated the Store app, combining music, movies, apps and games together. The new market offers a less convoluted search, an issue users have struggled with in the past.
One of the more interesting features is the Xbox app, Microsoft advertises Xbox One video games to buy in the store which hints at the ability to play Xbox One exclusives on Windows 10. Although currently users are only able to watch their Xbox Live friends’ videos on the app.
Microsoft has added a Contact Support app on Windows 10, which allows users to directly contact support and possibly screen-share. Previously, users would have to go through a maze of options, before getting directed to support.
The Charms menu still features in Windows 10, but will not offer a settings button. The Charms menu was one of the features people did not like on Windows 8, but Microsoft seems confident it serves some purpose.
In general, Microsoft is updating every app with a new Metro-style interface, meaning this is another full revamp to the design of Windows, putting Metro on the desktop. Bringing a new interface, while offering the same amount of control and customisation for power users.
However it's unlikely that Microsoft is too concerned about the release due to the amount of work you'll need to do to get the release, and most of the new features don't yet work as intended. WinBeta has a full run-down of the features.