What Windows 10 Means for Testers


Microsoft today unveiled their latest operating system, Windows 10. We quickly put a list of top features that could be essential to testing applications operating on this new version.

One Platform Across All Devices

The Windows 10 operating system works across multiple platforms i.e. Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Test Cases that are easier to reuse could really help reduce time while testing across these multiple devices.

Project Spartan

Microsoft announced new web browser for Windows 10 “Project Spartan”. The browser has all-new rendering engine, which essentially means it will be critical to test existing websites against the new browser. Just like Office, the browser allows for note taking and adding annotations. Additionally, the reading mode in Project Spartan removes the clutter from the page and makes the experience like reading an eBook. Users can even save the page for reading in offline mode. In order to complement what quite possibly could become a popular browser, websites containing blogs, articles, or newsletters definitely need to support this new feature and ensure they are able to sync the saved reading list across multiple devices (PC and phone) that are using the new browser.

Continuum Mode

Windows 10 allows users to switch between a regular desktop and a notebook, announced today as “Continuum Mode”. Users just need to detach keyboard from the desktop and then use gestures to interact with the touchscreen as if it were a notebook. Apps, which are built for the Windows 10, need to therefore ensure that user interface remains consistent when a switch is made between these modes (notebook-tablet). Additionally, apps built for Windows 10 need to handle, not just mouse controls, but touchscreen movements effectively. Automated testing solutions therefore need to be able to record repeatable and consistent gestures and replay these gestures on multiple devices in the exact same manner every time.

The Cortana API

Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana API is now integrated with PC. This means the end user can now more effectively leverage voice commands to interact with desktop applications out of the box. During the demo, Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP at Microsoft, demonstrated how Cortana could be used to draft emails, check flights, or even track the weather. With the addition to Cortana, from Windows Phone to Windows PC, desktop applications need to be tested for interactive voice commands. Cortana will also integrate with Project Spartan, allowing users to search and use voice to get quick results on your desktop web applications. Along with Cortana, Microsoft is also releasing a huge number of other APIs such as DirectX 12 graphics API. Testing APIs for correct response and behavior is therefore going to be essential for applications working on Windows 10 operating system.

We commend Microsoft’s Windows 10 as a meaningful attempt to minimize fragmentation in the mobile and PC device market, while also bringing further improvements to accessibility. However, testers need to be better prepared to reduce additional effort that might be required to test new and old applications on Windows 10.


  1. Francois Roux says:

    We have quite a bit of legacy (VB6) code still being used, so I wonder to what extent COM will still be supported. At this stage, having run some of the projects on Windows 10, there doesn’t seem to be any issues as yet, but looking on the internet this is apparently a bit of a hit and miss, especially since Windows 10 is still in preview.
    So the main concern is just COM based code, especially where they are integrated with .Net, and whether the functional testing will be enough.

    As for web testing, we do not have a lot of web projects, but from what I have read, Spartan will load the IE11 engine to display older sites, and the new engine to display the new sites.
    Assuming this is a seamless process, will the testing software need to be modified in order to run tests through Spartan as well as IE?

    Neither are probably big issues, but still curious.

  2. As a manger of testers, I believe we’ll have lot’s of migration issues and UI rendering for our web apps (crm, etc’).

  3. I am concerned about the new browser created by Microsoft. It is going to require a lot of testing with our plugins.

  4. Denis Goodwin says:

    very interested to see the performance characteristics of IE and Spartan running on a new Windows base. Lots of balls in the air.

  5. E-commerce testing just got harder as IE becomes ‘Project Spartan’, yet another browser for QA teams to include in their test plans.

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