Windows 10’s Latest Build Brings Timeline, Fluent Design, Privacy Improvements

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 46 Comments

It’s finally here. After multiple delays, Microsoft just shipped a new Windows 10 Redstone 4 build right before the holidays. The last Windows 10 Insider Preview was released nearly a month ago, so the wait has been quite long for Insiders.

As one would expect, the latest Windows 10 build, 17063, is enormous in terms of new features and changes. It has some big additions and a ton of other minor improvements. Here’s a list of all the big things you need to know:

  • Timeline: The new Timeline experience in Windows 10 is now available to Windows Insiders. Windows 10’s Timeline feature replaces the Task View and makes it possible to effectively jump back in time by keeping track of your apps, documents, websites, files, and more from the last 30 days. Make sure to read in more detail about Timeline here.
  • Sets: Windows 10’s new tabbed experience for windows is available to some Insiders as part of a “controlled study”
  • A revamped Settings: Microsoft is slightly tweaking the look of the modern Settings app in the OS. The revamped Settings app, as you may have already guessed, brings Fluent Design to the setting pages. The layout of the homepage with shortcuts has also been tweaked with the latest build. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the new Acrylic effect from fluent Design as it frankly looks quite ugly in some cases. Other changes include improvements to the Add a Language experience, and minor design changes to the Windows Update section.
  • Fluent Design improvements: Some core elements of Fluent Design are also being tweaked with today’s build. First up, the Reveal effect of Fluent Design is now visible to users with the default light theme on the OS, although it certainly needs a little bit of polish. And second, Fluent Design’s Acrylic effect is coming to more places – this includes the Taskbar, My People, Share dialog, Microsoft Edge’s address bar, and other general system flyouts.
  • Microsoft Edge: The Edge team is making some interesting changes to the design of the browser. Icons in the interface are now smaller which looks a bit refreshing – whether the change will remain in the final release of Redstone 4 remains to be seen, however. And as I mentioned earlier, Edge’s address bar now includes the Reveal effect.
  • Cortana: Cortana’s Collections feature (now called Cortana’s Lists) is getting updated with an improved interface. When the feature launched a few months ago, it looked more of a prototype product, so it’s nice to see things getting polished out. Microsoft is also rolling out the new Notebook design to everyone.
  • Privacy improvements: Microsoft’s making some improvements to the privacy features in Windows 10. There’s now a global option for each privacy-related setting like microphone, camera, location access which lets you completely disable apps and Windows from accessing these features on your device. As usual, you can continue to allow specific apps to access these features if you’d like.
  • Enterprise features: For enterprise users, Microsoft is making some major changes to the Windows Defender Application Guard, make sure to checkout Brad’s post here on some of the newest enterprise features coming with Redstone 4 4.

Here are some screenshots of all the new things:

 

This build is huge, and there’s a lot of other minor things so make sure to checkout the full changelog if you want to find out about all the minor new additions.

Build 17063 is probably going to be the last ever Windows 10 build of 2017, by the way. Happy holidays.

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Comments (49)

49 responses to “Windows 10’s Latest Build Brings Timeline, Fluent Design, Privacy Improvements”

  1. SmithPM

    The Fluent Design changes sound a bit like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

  2. VancouverNinja

    This is a very nice upgrade. The feel of the system is increasingly looking very polished.


    Really happy to see this.


  3. navarac

    It would be good after waiting so long, if it at least installed rather than Green Screened and reverted to the previous build. End of year report "Not Good" !

  4. Waethorn

    The acrylic effect is trash.


    It's just translucency with noise.

  5. jaredschraub

    The link to read more about the time line feature just takes me to the same page.


    read in more detail about Timeline here.

  6. dfeifer

    Would be nice to see the changes, unfortunately I now have two systems, Lenovo T530 and surfacebook, that no longer have workable network. Neither WiFi or wired connections work after upgrading from the previous build to 17063. Currently in the process of resetting both devices. General failure on all network connections if you try to ping anything.

  7. rmac

    There are so many compelling aspects of this UI that I just love it, except for one thing. The start menu still looks like lipstick on a pig. I wish MS would make it a solid part of the desktop (UWP side bar?), use shades of a colour and have tiles that expanded from icons to full blown apps - not just big boxes full of nothingness.


  8. Byron Adams

    Mahedi Hassan, You made an error and scared me. You said, "Timeline feature replaces the Task View".  That is not true. Microsoft says it enhances TaskView.

  9. dhallman

    It looks like I got sets in the latest build. Great since I was in the control group for most of last year. 'Great' since the feature is misguided. For example, I can now open a new tab from the Mail app (the plus box looks like a bad bitmap). But it defaults to Edge. I do not see a way to select other apps. But then again why would I do any of this? If I want edge it is on my task bar. If I want to collect apps for a project I have desktops. What is the point of this?

  10. CompUser

    For Dan1986ist over on the Premium side: First, do what Svenj says, and write your passwords and security questions down, and keep them in a safe place. You should do this anyway if you have a wife or significant other who may need access to your computer if something medically happens to you. Second, in case you ever change the password or your security questions, and forget to update your written record, download Offline NT Password & Registry Editor (www.pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd), and create a boot disk/thumb drive. Then, if you forget your password or security questions, you can boot to it and just follow the simple instructions. (Basically press enter until you get to the list of local accounts, then select the one you want.) It won't tell you what the current password is, but you can reset or blank out any local account password. (Just an FYI, it actually works best to just blank the password out rather than reset it.) I've been using this since Windows 7, and it has always worked great for me.
  11. Rob_Wade

    Merciful heaven, is there a way to disable Timeline? When I bring up the task list I ONLY want to see my active apps. I don't care what's been run an hour ago, a day ago, a month ago. I ONLY need to see currently active programs. Is there a registry entry or something?

  12. Dan1986ist

    So local account users, as of 17063, will be able to set security questions in case one happens to forget their login credentials. But what happens if one forgets their login credentials and the answers to their security questions?

    • SvenJ

      In reply to Dan1986ist: Then box up your PC and take it back where you got it. You aren't ready for technology. Seriously, write this stuff down. Don't keep in the bag with your laptop, or sticky note on your monitor. Stick it where you keep other important papers, passport, birth certificate. Maybe a fire box or lingerie drawer.
      But what if I lose the key to my fire box or forgot where I put it? Sheesh.


      • Dan1986ist

        In reply to SvenJ:

        "Security questions for local accounts: With the Fall Creators Update, we started working on self help solutions for password recovery from the Lock screen. Today, we’re adding this functionality to local accounts as well, through the newly available use of security questions for local accounts. If you already have a local account, you can add security questions by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options > “Update your security questions”. If you’re installing a new PC using a local account, setup will walk you through adding these questions and answers right there in the workflow. Once your security questions are set up, if you find yourself unable to remember your password on the lock screen, you will see a link to reset your password, whereupon clicking you’ll be prompted to enter the answers to your security questions."


        This is what I'm talking about, by the way. There is no way on the lock screen to reset security question answers, if one has forgotten those answers. If one types in an incorrect answer to any of their security questions, it just goes back to the login prompt on the lockscreen.


  13. kevin rose

    I'd like to think I speak for the Silent Majority on Windows 10. The improvements I would like to see are


    1.the ability to easily turn off telemetry

    2.the ability to disable edge

    3.the ability to disable cortana

    4.the ability to control how updates are delivered

    4.the ability to uninstall the bloatware such as mind craft (easily)


    Other than that I'm not bothered about Microsoft doing anything else





  14. GeekWithKids

    I'm not convinced about how useful Sets, I've installed Groupy and just don't use it.


    I'm so used to switching between windows with Alt-Tab and haven't figured out a keyboard short-cut for switching tabs as easily.


  15. Fuller1754

    Wow, given some of the comments, I feel compelled to speak up for Fluent Design. The acrylic effect can be implemented poorly or overused, as can animation, but when used well, I think it looks great, giving a polished and progressive feel to the UI. For instance, I really like how it works in Groove and OneNote and in the action center and start menu. The taskbar needed it too and now it's getting it. It's important that Fluent Design (not necessarily acrylic specifically) be applied to the Windows shell across the board (everything from the chrome in File Explorer, Disk Manager, and all other utilities, to context and file menus everywhere). Acrylic should definitely be applied to all title bars, even on non-UWP programs. I think it's also important for legacy utilities to be replaced by modern versions, as was Calculator. In sum: the more Fluent, the better. It's beautiful.

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