• Stuclark

    Microsoft have anounced that the Windows 10 Creators Update will start rolling out to all and sundry on 11th April 2017.

    This edition of Windows 10 has already reached RTM, with Windows Insiders getting the RTM build last week. In a change from previous releases, Microsoft didn't tell insiders that they were testing an RTM candidate build, they've just kinda admitted it by letting world and dog now know that build 15063 is indeed RTM.
    Microsoft's full release notes are online, but they've got and muddied the water by including info on Surface Book and Surface Studio (both nice bits of kit, if MS want to lend me a couple) but they have mentioned a few of the highlights in Creators Edition. Oddly though, (and in their words it will be "because there are so many awesome updates") they've missed out, or glossed over some of the changes which will matter most in the real world.
    Without further ado, the changes I think we need care about are:
    VASTLY improved scaled application redering - this is especially important for those pesky apps like Adobe Photoshop, which until now have been fairly un-useable on a high res laptop display Improved OOBE experience, particularly centred around metered or walled-garden style wireless connections. It might not sound like much, but I bet a whole raft of people benefit from this without even realising Loads of Windows Ink improvements; again they sound small, but when you use Ink a lot (or even a little) they make a huge difference Gaming Mode - this is massive for Microsoft; it's a whole bunch of updates and technologies to tie Windows 10 and X-box even more tightly together. You can now "cast" or broadcast / video share a game as you're playing it, and you can interact with people watching your cast in real time. MS are really wooing game developers with this release, and these features show that off in spaded Edge: Yep, as far as Microsoft are concerned, Edge is *the* browser that we should all be using. In the release notes (linked above) they make repeated and multi-asterixed claims about how Edge is now better than Chrome* (they don't pick a fight with Firefox... interesting...) and how it reneders more quickly, detects more phishing sites and upholds your battery better. I have to say that other than a few glaring omissions, I can actually now use Edge as my main browser, and I only swear at it occassionaly! ... there are loads and loads of other little things, like being able to have folders in the start menu. No, not the Applications list, like we've been able to do since Windows 95, this time we're talking about the tiled bit. Personally I don't know why you'd ever want to do this, especially not on a desktop, but I guess it makes sense in Tablet and Phone modes.
    Here's a fuller list of changes I stole from another site (thanks ElReg)
    Action center shows download progress for apps Auto Numlock when typing a PIN Beam Streaming: new FTL streaming protocol, start broadcasts from Game Bar Braille support (in Ease of Access settings) Compact Overlay mode ("Picture in Picture") for UWP applications Cortana "pick up where you left off" feature Custom color accents in color settings Download Windows 10 themes from Store Dynamic lock: lock PC automatically when paired phone is not connected Edge browser: many new features Epub support in Edge and Book section in Windows Store Game Bar (Windows + G) – quickly record, broadcast or snaphot images from current game Game Mode – optimize PC for gaming Gaming section in Windows settings Improved Hyper-V admin client with zoom and auto-resize options Mono audio (in Ease of Access settings) More touchpad gestures, eg create or remove virtual desktops Narrator improved with form field navigation (Ease of Access) New icons for Windows Update and Share New inking features including left-handed option Night Light option in Display settings Option to install apps from Store only Paint 3D application Photos app: many new features PowerShell more prominent eg in Windows-X menu Protractor tool in Sketchpad app Redesigned camera app RegEdit has new Address Bar, for easier navigation Separate process for each Windows Service on PCs with enough RAM Start menu: show or hide app list Storage Sense setting automatically frees space Toast notifications support progress bars Troubleshooting option in Modern settings USB Audio 2.0 native support Virtual touchpad for external displays Windows Defender new notification icon and security center Windows Services for Linux improved, Ubuntu Xenial by default Windows update no longer reinstalls removed applications

  • Stuclark

    Another day, another build... they're coming thick and fast now - late yesterday evening (UK time) Microsoft released Insider Preview build 15063 to the fast ring.

    As is to be expected at this point in the release cycle (very close to a final Creators Update build), there's no new features in this build, just some more bug fixes. The fixes themselves are fairly boring, but one of the "known issues" from this build caught my eye:
    So, Microsoft, your internal testing has started on the upgrade process from the last public build .... well, well, well, you clearly feel very close to release. Unfortunately, the upgrade path for Windows Mobile isn't working quite as well yet:
    As ever, the full release notes are here for your perusal.

  • Stuclark

    Phew, it's getting a bit busy around here ... scorching a trail in the wheel tracks of 15060, Microsoft have now released build 15061 to insiders in the fast ring.

    I can't recall any other time during the entire Windows 10 development cycle when we've been given two different builds on the same day, but Microsoft obviously felt it necessary this time around, as we're getting a build that's one up from the previous one, but with an extra four bug fixes (not, interestingly, any of the one which were "known issues" in 15060) - here's the full release notes.
    Oh, and the bloody build identifier is back ... I wish Microsoft would just make their mind up about whether it is or isn't visible on all insider builds.

  • Stuclark

    Builds are coming thick and fast this week, but the actual "jumps" in build ID are slowing... this can only mean one thing (that's that we're getting close to a release candidate build)... Microsoft duly presents Windows Insider Preview build 15060

    The full release notes are here, but to summarise, this build is about more bug fixes ... not an awful lot this time round (only 7 listed, of which only 1 could be described as a major "issue", and even then it was easy to mitigate), and um... that's about it.
    There's 6 outstanding "known issues" with this build, which is actually the same as the last build, because Microsoft have gone and added 3 new issues to counter the one's they've fixed, but overall, I'd say this build is pretty good (as have been the last couple, actually).
    It can't be long now... Spring is (almost, definitely) upon us soon..

  • Stuclark

    Hot on the heals of 15055, late yesterday Microsoft released Windows 10 insider build 15058 to the fast ring.

    Sometimes, Microsoft like to keep us on our toes; this has been the case with the latest build, 15058, which comes only a few days after 15055 (and only 3 builds newer; that has to tell us something...)
    Full release notes are hosted here, as is usual, but for those who don't want to fall asleep reading them, the highlights are a few regression fixes; anothe bunch of updates for Edge, and that the build identifier has disappeared once again. This, coupled with being only 3 builds newer than 15055, indicate Microsoft are focusing on polishing Windows for the release of th Creators Update.

  • Stuclark

    Last Friday, Microsoft released build 15055 to insiders in the fast ring. Once again, this build is mostly about bug fixes in the run in to releasing the Creators Update later this spring.

    As such, there aren't a great number of new features or things to get overly excited about; however one thing which is interesting in this build is that not only is the build identifier back, but ... it's been changed. It no longer says "Insider Preview" but rather just "Windows 10 ..." - that's a sure sign Microsoft feel they're getting close (yes, I know I said that on the one build where the build identifier was missing, but hey ho).

    As usual, the full release notes are available here.

  • Stuclark

    Microsoft yesterday released *yet-another* Windows 10 build, number 15048.

    It's becoming quite hard to keep up with all these releases, which can mean only one thing - the Creators Update can't be far away!
    This build is mostly bug fixes again, but there is one interesting thing to report in this build ... the build tag is back on the desktop. It's been absent in the last two builds, but is showing up in this one... I'm not quite sure that we can take anything from that, other than maybe this build has not gone through the same release candidate testing or production process as the previous two.
    As usual, the release notes are here.

  • Stuclark

    Yesterday evening, Microsoft pushed Windows 10 build 15046 into the wild. This is the second of the almost-release-candidate builds for the upcoming Creators Update version of Windows 10.

    As usual, most of the changes revolve around Edge, but this time they're bug fixes rather than changes; and infact most of the release notes are taken up with bug fixes rather than new features.
    One notable new feature though is that it is now possible to restrict application installation , with three new options of "install from anywhere"; "warn before installing apps from outside the store" and "install apps only from the store". These settings might be useful to admins in large organisations, (but generally in that case they'd actually need another "do not allow random store apps" option) but I can't see how most home users are going to give a fig about this option - there's simply not enough fully fledged apps in the store to make it viable to be the only installation choice yet.


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