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Ahead of Build, Windows 10 Preview Gets an Update

A Windows 10 preview targeting "fast-ring" testers is released ahead of Microsoft's conference season.

Right before Microsoft gears up to hit the road, the company released a different kind of Windows 10 preview build that admittedly contains plenty of bugs.

That build is aimed at "fast-ring" testers, as described in this Microsoft announcement. For testers less tolerant of software flaws, Microsoft also has a Windows 10 "slow-ring" group of testers. Previews of Windows 10 can be obtained by signing up at Microsoft's Windows Insider Program. This latest build is notable for arriving before Microsoft's big events for developers, Microsoft Build, in San Francisco next week.

The most notable Windows 10 preview software flaw this time around seems to be that Win32 desktop apps can't be launched from the Start Menu in this build. Instead, users need to search for these apps and then pin them to the taskbar to launch them.

New additions to this build are Microsoft's new Mail and Calendar apps. These apps can use feeds from "Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, IMAP, POP and other popular accounts," according to Microsoft's announcement. However, the apps have "a known issue that causes every typed letter to appear twice." To address this issue, testers can download updated Mail and Calendar apps (builds 17.4016.42291.0) from the Window Store beta version. However, the newly installed Mail and Calendar apps require 15 minutes to update for things to work normally.

Testers also might also see "a black screen with only your mouse cursor during login/logout," Microsoft warned. A fix will be coming through the Windows Update service.

The good news is that Microsoft has addressed a problem from a previous build where testers could not use Hyper-V. Also, Microsoft made a number of improvements to the user interface with this build.

For instance, Microsoft improved the user interface of the Windows 10 "continuum" feature, which optimizes the interface for so-called "two-in-one" devices. A two-in-one device can switch from working like a tablet to being more like a laptop by swapping in a keyboard, and Microsoft's continuum feature senses when that happens. The continuum feature now better supports the tablet mode, Microsoft claimed. Button access is spaced out now to make it easier for touch interactions to happen.

As with all Windows 10 preview releases, Microsoft is now exercising its faster software development cycles. It hasn't been holding back on builds because of software flaws. If Microsoft's OEM partner AMD is to be believed, Windows 10 might start rolling out as early as the end of July, but perhaps just for hardware imaging purposes. If so, Microsoft seems to have lots of bugs to fix in just three months' time.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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