When powering on the XPS 10 we are presented with a setup wizard which will be familiar to those who have used Windows 8. We are walked through our localisation settings, connecting to wi-fi, appearance and account sign in before completion. We should note at this point that with Windows 8/RT and various apps Microsoft very much want us to use a Microsoft online account. We can sign in using a local account but will run into prompts throughout the OS asking for sign-ins.
After completing the set-up a very brief tutorial explains some of the basic OS navigation and we are then presented with the main user interface. Previously called Metro this UI follows a similar concept to other recent interfaces from Microsoft, including that used on Xbox and Windows Phone 8. This means we have a tile based layout with the option for these tiles to be live, presenting us with information, changing images etc. We can scroll left and right with a swipe from the right edge heading left bringing up the main options. These are search, share, start, devices and settings. Swiping in from the left edge switches us from one open app to the next. Then swiping from the top of the screen down or the bottom, up gives us a link to a full list of installed software.
The default software list for the XPS 10 on Windows RT is shown above. It includes the basics such as Internet Explorer, Mail and media hubs (Xbox Branded with online functionality) along with other software for chat, games and the like. Further options for more traditional windows features are also present such as calc, paint etc. Adding further applications/software occurs through the Store app.
Managements of updates to the tablet takes two forms. The first is app updates which are handled through the Store and then there is a familiar Windows Update process for the OS itself.
In terms of app use, we get two interfaces. The first is the full screen applications which are part of the OS, such as Internet Explorer which is shown above. Then we have access to a the likes of Microsoft Office which are handled in a more traditional method.
That traditional method is desktop mode where things are much more familiar, allowing us to browse the device as if it were a normal Windows system.
So what do Dell do to the default install? Well not much really (which is a bonus). We get a tutorial app which tells us about Windows RT and Skype is pre-installed as is access to some settings for the Dell dock. Nice and simple.