Windows 10 for small tablets get leaked, still needs work

We've seen Windows 10 for desktops and larger tablets as well as some sneak peeks at the version for smartphones. So it's about high time that we hear something about the middle ground of the two: small tablets, which Microsoft defines as tablets with screens smaller than 8 inches. WinBeta was able to get its hands on a (hopefully) very early build of this peculiar Windows 10 version and while things look promising this early, there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. Fortunately, Microsoft still has time.

As early as January, when it revealed the Consumer Preview of Windows 10, Microsoft made it clear that small tablets will be treated as a different device class from desktops, laptops, larger tablets, and smartphones. These smaller tablets, while they will be upgraded to Windows 10 as well, will not support the awaited "Continuum" feature. Meaning, it won't be getting the Desktop mode. This almost makes sense, considering how uncomfortable it would be for 7-inch tablets to cram all the desktop apps you might want to run on it.

Windows 10 for small tablets then practically takes the place of Windows RT when it comes to apps, sans the restriction of an ARM-based processor. What this means is that these tablets will be limited to running apps from Windows Store, and that might not be a bad thing entirely. For Windows 10, Microsoft is focusing on "Universal Apps", that is, apps that run on almost all supported Windows 10 size factors, be it desktop, tablet, or phone. This means that small tablets will have a closer affinity with Windows 10 for phones than for larger tablets.

That said, there will, of course, be some key differences, primarily with how apps will take advantage of the larger real estate. There is also practically no technical limits to what apps will be able to do, aside from getting access to a "desktop mode". So everything you can do with a Desktop Mode, like file management, system settings, and the like, are fair game, as long as they are written to be Universal Windows apps.

The screenshots here come from a March build of Windows 10 for small tablets, which would explain why some look rather raw and unfinished. Microsoft has been rather mum on this aspect of Windows 10 and this would be the first sighting of this version of the OS. Hopefully we will get to hear more and see a more polished build for small tablets by the time Redmond's BUILD conference rolls around later this month.

VIA: WinBeta