As if Microsoft has not had enough Windows news today, they have also released a new build of Windows 10 into the pipeline. Unlike the last build, this one is also available to the Slow Ring so people will be able to download the ISO for this version. Also, Windows 10 has now been changed (in name only) from Technical Preview to Insider Preview. Hopefully this change in name is more than just a name change. The move to drop this new build onto the Slow ring as well will hopefully mean that it is a more stable version.

Some of what is new was demonstrated during the keynote today at Microsoft’s Build conference. There is a new animation on the Start Menu for the live tiles. It is subtle, but it is a nice effect. There are some changes to some other UIs as well, but none of these are particularly news worthy at this point in time.

What is news is something that has been a long time coming. Multi-monitor setups are very common, and even devices like Microsoft’s Surface line encourage use with a second display. However with the huge DPI differences between a tablet and a monitor, this can cause issues with scaling despite the work done in Windows 8.1 to enable per display DPI scaling. This build is not a cure-all for everything, but the core UI components should now scale correctly regardless of DPI. Hopefully there is a lot more coming here this has always been a bit of an annoyance when running a Surface Pro 3 with an external monitor (as an example) and of course there are plenty of apps that don’t scale at all. I’m still waiting for an outright solution to these apps. The ultimate solution is to move apps into the Windows Universal App model and have them in the store, since that part of Windows is fantastic at scaling based on DPI and display size already. There was a lot of info today at the keynote about putting more apps in the store so that should help some of this, but regardless, with Windows there are going to be apps that ignore the scaling so really there needs to be a fix for these.

Continuum gets some improvements as well. Until recently I have not had much of a chance to try Continuum since I was running Windows 10 on my desktop but I have some 2-in-1 hardware now that I hope to get running with this to see how well it’s working. The keynote demos today showed some nice changes though and the start screen layout now flows a lot better between display sizes and orientation.

Cortana continues to get some tweaks as well. The UI has changed a bit and there is now a menu bar for Cortana on the left side of the search window. This is small but should help make it a lot more usable. There are also going to be Instant Answers now with Cortana where it attempts to answer your question before you are even done typing it. This should only get better over time.

Also mentioned in the keynote was some changes to the experience to help promote app discovery. These changes will be coming in this build, and offer things like Apps showing up on the lock screen if Cortana thinks you might like them. If you launch an app through Cortana, it also may suggest a similar app. The example today was if you like to play Star Wars: Commander, it might suggest the recently launched Star Wars Rebels game. This can be turned off if you don’t like it, so fret not.

I’ll be installing this build when I get home from San Francisco. The previous build completely broke my desktop to the point where I can’t even launch the start menu, so it’s good to see that there are ISOs available. Remember this is beta software! If you are interested in giving this a go, check out insiders.windows.com to sign up, and if you are already on Windows 10 just check for updates and the new build should be available now.

Source: Windows Blog

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  • basroil - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    One of my points got cut off and I couldn't edit it:
    "-Pressing resize when in tablet mode (is supposed to disappear but doesn't all the time)"
    Should be:
    "-Pressing resize when in tablet mode (is supposed to disappear but doesn't all the time), causes start menu, right click, and touch to stop responding (tabbing into an open program fixes it, but not all touch devices have physical keyboards)"
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    "Unlike the last build, this one is also available to the Slow Ring so people will be able to download the ISO for this version"

    They seem to have misunderstood the concept of fast vs slow distribution tiers. They're meant to push stuff to fast first, and then push it to slow after it has proven itself. Not just push to fast and slow simultaneously, for builds that are destined for slow.
    Reply
  • SirPerro - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    "offer things like Apps showing up on the lock screen if Cortana thinks you might like them"

    Or Microsoft thinks the developer paid enough
    Reply
  • PCMerlin - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    Opened "Project Spartan" after the update and got a splash screen welcoming me to "Edge"... haven't seen it since though. Perhaps a hint at the release name for the browser? Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    They announced the name as Edge yesterday, so not really a hint :-p Reply
  • PCMerlin - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    Ah, I missed that - thanks :) Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    I'm hoping for a October release for 10. I'm dreading that we may get a July early release of 10 and then have to put up with a 10.1 update release fixing everything 6 months later. This strategy sucks when 99% of domestic laptops and PCs come with set recovery partitions that then require a full 4GB 'update' after rebuilding to be up to date.

    Let's just go back to 900MB service packs guys.
    Reply
  • Schnydz - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    The strategy that has been teased so far is frequent updates to Win10 even immediately after RTM. In fact, I believe there is a rumor floating out there of the first "service pack" if you want to call it that, coming out this fall. So, the question is if it is stable for the majority of insiders using it than why not release it to mfr's and update it frequently through out the year? What difference would it make? Reply
  • hrmes - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    Stability isn't that good but at least they are trying to fix the UI that so many people hated in Windows 8.
    The new start menu doesn't look that good though. Live tiles are useless for me and the first thing I would do with Windows 10 would be to install a 3rd party start menu replacement.
    Reply
  • Nuno Simões - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - link

    You can disable live tiles or even remove em altogether. That's a non-issue. Reply

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