Build 18277, the latest Windows Insider preview build, came out in early November. As with every Preview build, it brought with it changes and exciting new features to preview builds of Windows 10 for Insiders in the Fast ring to play around with.
The purpose of the Windows Insider programme is to give Microsoft the chance to test out the changes they want to make to Windows 10, and solicit feedback from power users (who are aware the software might still contain bugs) about what’s working, what isn’t, and what else might be needed before those changes are rolled into a Windows Update that goes out to everyone.
We thought we’d take a look at some of these changes and let our readers know what they can expect when the update goes live.
Evolving Focus Assist
Being able to block out all distractions while working on a big task has long been a handy feature in Windows 10, and in this release, it’s even better: any time you do anything fullscreen, Focus Assist is activated automatically.
Fortunately, you can still let certain notifications pop even if you’re in fullscreen mode, in case you’re worried you might miss something.
A better Action Center
When this update goes live, you’ll be able to customise your Action Center to your liking by moving the tiles around.
This is a welcome change to the otherwise-static existing Action Center, and we’re sure many users will appreciate being able to rearrange everything so the order suits their particular needs.
But even more importantly, the Brightness setting will no longer be a button, it’ll be a slider! Finally!
Coming in this next update: more emojis! This release will bring a selection of new icons for use all over Windows. See below for a few examples:
Better High-DPI Scaling for Desktop Apps
This one’s quite important for any of you who are running screens with resolutions beyond 1080p. Some older applications don’t like non-standard resolutions like 2560×1440, 3440×1440, and 3840×2160, and if they even run they can look blurry. The changes being made in this next build mean those older apps could potentially scale properly, so they look as normal as possible, even on displays with strange resolutions.
This was first added to build 17063 with a setting under the Display category labelled as Advanced scaling settings – Fix scaling for apps, and this new build sees some under-the-hood tweaks to the feature that will do an even better job of making those Win32 apps look as good as possible.
Other changes coming include updates to the Japanese typing experience, new settings for Edge’s Windows Defender Application Guard setting (a Windows 10 Pro feature), new options for storage management, and a variety of general fixes.
Taken verbatim from Microsoft’s blog, those general fixes are:
- We fixed the issue causing WSL to not work in Build 18272. Thanks for your patience.
- We fixed an issue resulting in text not rendering on the screen if you had a large number of OTF fonts, or had OTF fonts that support the extended East Asian character set.
- We fixed a recent issue where Task View failed to show the + button under New Desktop after creating 2 Virtual Desktops.
- We fixed an issue resulting in Timeline crashing explorer.exe if you pressed ALT+F4 while it was visible.
- We fixed an issue significantly impacting Start menu reliability in recent builds when pinning, unpinning, or uninstalling apps.
- We fixed an issue where the expected context menu wouldn’t appear after right-clicking on a folder in File Explorer from a network location.
- Some Insiders may notice small differences in File Explorer over the coming flights – we’ll have more to share later about this later.
- We fixed an issue resulting in the home page of Settings having no visible scrollbar in recent flights if the window was small enough to need one.
- We’re updating the icon used to identify the Region page in Settings.
- We fixed an issue resulting in Settings crashing sometimes in recent flights when going to Sign-in Settings.
- We fixed an issue where Settings would crash if you were typing in the search box with the embedded handwriting panel and went to switch languages within the panel.
- We fixed an issue where playing videos might unexpectedly show a few frames in the wrong orientation when maximizing the window after changing the orientation of your screen.
- We fixed an issue impacting Emoji Panel reliability in recent flights.
- The touch keyboard’s feature to input a period after two quick taps on the spacebar was recently also accidentally enabled when typing with the hardware keyboard and has now been disabled.
- We’ve made some adjustments to improve the performance of WIN+Shift+S bringing up snipping.
- Some Insiders may notice changes to our snipping experiences, as we explore ideas for the future – we’ll have more details to share later.
- We fixed an issue that caused Far Manager to have a significant pause during a long running command like ‘dir’ (see Microsoft/console#279).
- We fixed an issue that caused Windows applications running from WSL through interop and applications using the *PseudoConsole APIs to redraw the top left corner excessively (see Microsoft/console#235).
- We fixed an issue resulting in running “start .” from Command Prompt failing in the previous flight with an access denied error.
- We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing bug checks (green screens) with the error KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED on the previous flight.
- We fixed an issue where certain devices might hit a bug check (GSOD) when shutting down or when switching from a Microsoft account to a local admin account.
- We fixed an issue resulting in wuaueng.dll repeatedly crashing in the background for some Insiders in the last few flights.
Once it’s been thoroughly tested, this update will arrive via Windows Update for existing Windows users, most likely sometime before the end of November. But don’t quote us on that – there is no set date yet.
It’s good to know that Microsoft is so committed to making Windows 10 the best Windows ever, and we look forward to seeing these and other future changes coming soon to the world’s favourite operating system.
[Source: The Windows Blog]