That indicates the final release of the consumer version of Microsoft’s new OS is drawing closer — it’s expected sometime this summer. Windows 10 will also be the last numbered generation of Windows, as future upgrades and updates will be rolled out on an ongoing basis, according to Microsoft.
For now, though, Microsoft acknowledges there are still some bugs that need to be squashed. One, for instance, is causing speech problems for the virtual digital assistant Cortana, which apparently does not want to listen or talk to a number of early testers.
‘More Stable and Polished’
Build 10122 of Microsoft’s OS was released Wednesday to Windows Insiders in the company’s “fast” ring, which provides Microsoft-approved community members with the first version of a new build after it clears internal validation.
“I think you’ll see that this build is a bit more stable and polished than the last one, which is to be expected as we begin to stabilize for the public release this summer,” Engineering General Manager for the Operating Systems Group Gabe Aul noted on the official Windows blog. “From here on out you’ll see fewer big feature changes from build to build, and more tuning, tweaking, stabilizing, and polishing.”
He added, “The Insider Previews continue to be aimed at very technical people who want to play with pre-released code, but I think you’ll feel more and more comfortable using this build and future builds on your day-to-day systems.”
Less Default-Prompt ‘Noise’
Among the bugs known to be remaining in this latest build are Cortana’s speech troubles, frequent crashes for users with AMD GPUs and occasional failures to upgrade that cause users’ PCs to roll back to the previously installed build. Microsoft is suggesting a few potential fixes to its Insiders, and is also working with AMD on new drivers to prevent future crashes.
Other noticeable changes in the new build include an altered visual layout for the Start Menu, which for better symmetry, now features “File Explorer” and “Settings” at the bottom-left next to “Power” and “All Apps,” Aul said. Microsoft has also moved the Start Menu/Start Screen toggle option to the new “Start” settings page under “Personalization,” because it expects most users to simply choose the appropriate screen size when first starting — depending on the device being used — and stick with that from then on.
Microsoft Edge, still referred to as “Project Spartan” in this build, features a “New Tab Page” with a redesigned layout and content from MSN. “It’s designed to get you to your next destination on the Web as quickly as possible,” Aul noted.
Finally, the latest Windows 10 build shows a change in how users will handle default apps. Rather than delivering multiple prompts while installing and launching new apps, the OS will do so only “in context when it matters,” Aul said. “You remain in full control of your default experiences, while reducing some of the unwanted noise that multiple prompts can bring.”
Users who eventually upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, will be able to upgrade all their defaults during initial setup, which should reduce the number of prompts they subsequently encounter, he added.