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Microsoft tests Windows 10 installation from the cloud

If you’ve ever found yourself scrambling to source a sizeable USB thumb drive to reinstall Windows 10 in a hurry, then you may be interested in the latest improvement coming to the OS in Insiders Preview Build 18970.

We’ve heard feedback that some of you would prefer to use your high-speed internet connection to speed up this process by just downloading Windows,” write Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc in the Windows blog.”

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Note that this isn’t the same as rolling back to the fresh-as-a-daisy launch Windows 10, so isn’t an option if you’re having compatibility problems with a new version. “The cloud download option will reinstall the same build, version, and edition, that is currently installed on your device,” the blogpost reads.

Also quite an important point: as this is essentially a reformat without you needing a Windows thumb drive or DVD (remember those?), all of your apps will be wiped at the same time. “This is a recovery operation and will remove apps you have installed,” the post continues. “Additionally, if the ‘Remove everything’ option is selected, user data will also be deleted.”

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Also coming in Preview Build 18970: a “new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs”. This means that when you pop out the keyboard from your 2-in-1 PC, you’ll no longer see the giant touch-friendly icons you’re used to. Instead, you’ll see a subtle readjustment of the regular desktop where Taskbar icons are spaced and certain larger buttons are collapsed. 

View from top of black TaoTronics Soundsurge 90 headphones resting on a conrete floor

For now, the old tablet mode is still usable, but if this is the way Microsoft is thinking, that may not be true for too long. If the company is rethinking the core principles of touchscreens, then the upcoming Surface event – where the company is widely tipped to unveil a dual-screen laptop – will be even more interesting.

Are you happy to entrust a Windows reinstall to your internet connection, or will you stick to thumb drives? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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