Windows 10 Shines in the Latest Build

Patience and endurance is beginning to pay off for me with this Windows 10 build process. Some builds have been just plain bad, while some have been clunky and others, like the latest one which was released to fast ring testers late yesterday afternoon prove that Windows 10 truly has the potential to be the best version of Windows yet. And it better because if there is a repeat of the Windows 8 disaster I am not sure what Microsoft will do. I believe that there is little chance of another disaster and at the end of the day Windows 8 will look like the beta operating system that it was.

Microsoft’s release of Windows 10 Build 10158 to Insiders late yesterday afternoon keeps us on track for at least one more build, possibly a Release Candidate level build before the official July 29th release is scheduled to his the street.

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I of course stopped what I was doing yesterday evening and immediately installed the most recent build of Windows 10.

One cool features that has survived the past couple of builds is the theming around the Bing wallpaper of the day. I really like this because it keeps your PC looking fresh every day. Now onto some new stuff with this latest build.

By far the biggest addition in this build is the fully branded Microsoft Edge internet browser and finally goodbye to “Project Spartan” and even “Internet Explorer”. Edge brings with it a very big list of new features:

  • One of the top pieces of feedback we’ve heard from Windows Insiders is that many of you really wanted a “home” button for Microsoft Edge. In this build, we’ve provided an option for you to add it via Settings > Advanced Settings and turn on “Show the home button”.
  • We’ve added the ability for you to import favorites/bookmarks from other browsers into Microsoft Edge.
  • There are new options for changing what you see when you first start Microsoft Edge.
  • There are new customizations for the New Tab page. You can choose to either see top sites and suggested content – or just top sites.
  • We’ve added password and form-fill support. Microsoft Edge now lets you manage your passwords for your favorite websites.
  • Audio from Microsoft Edge plays while the app is minimized or in the background – another top request from Windows Insiders.
  • You can drag and drop tabs to a new window.
  • Another top request: we now have a dark theme!

Among the improved user experience are much needed fixes for Continuum and Tablet Mode both including better handling of Windows 8.1 and Win32 apps. A new gesture has also been added that allows you to open the All Apps list with a swipe up from the left side of the screen.

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Taskbar icons that are trying to get your attention will now flash orange and downloads are once again green and animate horizontally instead of vertically.

Cortana has received some updates with her Notebook now being final and has a combined Profile and Settings area along with the consolidated sidebar menu.  She has joined other areas of the OS and received her own dark theme as well. For Office 365 users on a company opted into the First Release for Office 365 Cortana is now integrated with Office 365.I have not seen this yet but being a Office 365 Enterprise user I hope to shortly.

There is an update for the Photos app on Windows 10 in the Windows Store Beta that adds new features including support for GIF files – anther top Insider request.

The improved Snipping Tool is also in this build and adds a delay option to make it easier to grab images of context and pop-up menus.

I am also happy to see that Surface Pro 3 users finally have fixes in this build to improve battery life.

You can see that Microsoft is very close to the finished product because there are no known issues with this build. The first time since the Windows Insider Program began.

Riding the fast ring of beta testers has been quite an experience and dare I say it but I will miss the ups and downs during the past you with Windows 10. Microsoft shiny new operating system is just about ready to step into the light.

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