The past 29th of July at Microsoft we celebrated the availability of Windows 10 organizing parties all over the world with our fans.
I had the opportunity to be in the party organized in Madrid, Spain. It was very cool to share this milestone with some of the Spanish fans. We had people coming just for the party from all Spain, people who arrived 2 hours before to be the first to enter… but in my opinion the best was that all kind of people was celebrating with us: students, professionals… consumers, developers…boys, girls… young, elders… we had a wide sample of Windows fans, which shows how Windows is part of the life of many different people.
With the availability of Windows 10 we started the #upgradeyourworld campaign. We have identified nine global nonprofits, and now everyone can help choosing the 10th. Based on the votes, a 10th nonprofit will receive $500.000 as well as Microsoft technology and services – part of $10 million Microsoft is investing in organizations that are upgrading the world.
The first 24 hours of Windows 10 have been overwhelming with 14 millions computers already upgraded, there are tons of positive feedback and comments, so we are super grateful to see the response to Windows 10.
When you launch a new product with new features and you have an installed base of 1.5 Billion Windows users, I guess it is normal that the product gets under the microscope and that some of the new features can be confusing or create concerns. In particular, there are two new features that, in the first days, are arising some doubts on how they work:
- WI-FI Sense
- How to configure default apps
In both cases the doubts are somehow related with the express installation of Windows. When you decide to install the default settings for Windows, we try you can get what we think is the best user experience of the OS and its related apps/features, so we apply some default settings. Of course, during the installation you can customize your settings and, if after you install everything you prefer to change default apps or default settings, you can just do it according to your preferences.
WI-FI sense is a feature that users of Windows Phone 8.1 already enjoyed for a while. This feature allows you to share your WI-FI connection with your contacts, so they can automatically connect to the network without sharing the password.
I’ve read several misconceptions about it:
- Your contacts can have access to your WI-FI password if WI-FI Sense is enabled: This is false. WI-FI Sense sends the password over an encrypted connection and stores it in an encrypted file on a Microsoft server, then it is sent back over a secure connection to your contacts if they also use WI-FI Sense and they are in the range of the WI-FI network you have explicitly shared. So your contacts will not be able to access the password, and neither you will be able to see theirs.
- WI-FI Sense is enabled by default and it shares your WI-FI connection by default: This is false. WI-FI Sense does enable by default with the Windows Express installation, but your networks will NOT be shared unless you explicitly decide to share them. When you decide to share a network you will need to re-enter the password of that network again. Remember that during Windows installation, you can select a custom install and do not enable WI-FI sense at all.
- WI-FI Sense allows to access the devices of your network once enabled: This is false. Even if you share your network with WI-FI Sense, that’s all it does. It will not allow to discover devices and files in your network, this is managed based on a well-known feature called Network Access Protection
- WI-FI Sense doesn’t allow to share to individual contacts: This is true. Once you decided to share a network it does for the entire group you have selected (Outlook, Skype or Facebook contacts).
So, with that said, WI-FI Sense is a very cool feature I have been using with my Windows Phone for a while, it allows me to share internet connections without having to reveal my password. At home it might be very handy for instance when you have your family or friends coming in or when you do a party.
If sharing is not your thing, it’s easy you don’t have to do anything. You shared once and now you regret? It’s easy stop sharing.
You can read how it work with the WI-FI Sense FAQ online and you can see some additional details in the article published in ZDNet: “No, Windows 10 WI-FI Sense feature is not a security risk”
Configure default Apps
This has all been started by the open letter that Chris Beard has written to Satya Nadella, where he criticizes that the default installation of Windows 10 overwrites some default apps and/or settings.
This letter has been applauded by some and also rejected by some others like Benjamin Kerensa with his article “Unnecessary Finger Pointing” or Dave Altavilla in his post at Forbes Tech “Microsoft Windows 10 Users 14 Million Strong and Counting”
The reality is that it is true that when you perform a default installation of Windows, we set up the default features for Windows, so in some cases we might overwrite some preferences previously selected by a user. Probably this shouldn’t be a surprise, default means default for Windows and we were open about how Windows 10 would handle default apps back in May during the Windows previews.
In any case, I can understand that some users do not like that we override some of their settings, so in order to avoid it, the only thing you need to do is to perform a custom installation/upgrade of Windows 10 instead of just selecting all by default.
If it is too late for you and you already installed/upgraded Windows 10 and the installation has overridden some of your settings, there is no need to worry. You can configure back your Windows as you want, you can decide what are you default apps like your Mail, Calendar, Video Player, Music Player, Maps, Photo Editor, Browser… and also different settings for them like the default home page, default search provider…
You can get to the protocol level detail, so you could for instance decide to open .htm files with Chrome and .html files with Microsoft Edge.
You can reach the settings in different ways, one of them is as easy as typing “Default” in Cortana’s box, Cortana will do its magic and suggest the different options.
Remember that you, and only you, are in control of the default apps and settings.
At Microsoft we invite you to try Windows as we have designed it, because we think it is going to be the best experience, but if you do not agree with us just change it and customize it as you like it better. That’s the beauty of Windows.