Two weeks after it delivered its biggest-ever Windows 10 Insider Preview build, Microsoft is back with another impressive update. Build 16226 adds another impressive list of new features to what will become the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
So let’s see what’s new.
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
For the second time in a row, Edge gets a lot of attention.
Improved tabs. Now, the Close Tab (“X”) will always be available, even when the tab is displaying a dialog box. (Likewise, the option to close all tabs—e.g. close Edge—is always available.)
Improved browser migration. While the Creators Update already dramatically improved Edge browser migration functionality, this build adds cookie and settings migration.
Improved EPUB support. New to this build: “Ask Cortana” is available when select text and then right-click, Ink Notes capabilities, and e-book roaming (reading progress, notes, and bookmarks are now synced between PCs).
Improved Favorites. When you add a new Favorite, you’ll see an expandable and collapsible tree of your Favorites folders so you can put it in the right place more easily. You can also edit the URL for any Favorite, and IT admins can configure Favorites via Group Policy or MDM.
Microsoft has added support for the latest Unicode updates, “including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs, and even fantasy characters like genies, fairie, and zombies.” It has also updated some of the original emoji designs, and improved the hardware keyboard’s Emoji Panel to support search and a dark theme.
As you may remember, Microsoft released OneDrive Files on Demand last week. It’s not clear from Microsoft’s announcement if this feature is now just included in the new build, but I’d imagine that will happen eventually if not.
In any event, OneDrive has been updated to prompt you when an app is downloading an online-only file. That way, you can cancel the download if you wish.
Microsoft has made a long list of improvements to the Touch keyboard, which now supports shape writing and text prediction for more languages, support for new East Asian languages, a one-handed curve-flick touch keyboard for Japanese, and more.
Pen scrolling now supports Win32 desktop applications including File Explorer.
Microsoft introduced Windows Sonic in the Windows 10 Creators Update, but now it’s even easier to enable. Just plug in a pair of headphones, right-click the sound icon in the notification area, and select Spatial sound to choose your preferred format.
There’s a new Xbox Networking section in Settings > Gaming that will help you troubleshooting game chat and multiplayer game issues. More impressive, Task Manager has been updated to include GPU performance over time.
Microsoft has made tons of improvements and additions to Settings. You can delete a previous Windows version directly from Storage Sense, access a new Remote Desktop settings interface, and get more information when an update fails.
The Reveal Highlight UX effect has been enabled by default on all list view (and related) controls in UWP apps. And File Explorer has been updated with a new Share option in the right-click context menu.
There are a ton of other updates. My People gets some polish, Calculator picks up a currency conversion feature, there are many accessibility improvements, and even IT pros gets some love for a change: Windows 10 is beginning its transition away from the out-of-date and insecure SMB1 protocol, and Hyper-V’s Virtual Machine Manager now supports virtual machine (VM) sharing. Also, there have been various Mixed Reality improvements that only some developers will care about at the moment. Be sure to check Microsoft’s blog post for a complete list of improvements, plus some known issues as well.
<p>I just wanted to say I am surprised at how surprised you are at Windows 10 getting lots of new features. Is this not what Microsoft promised when they first released 10? Continuous improvement with new releases. Its just that the past few releases have been duds mostly, not that much new stuff that stands out to users (not saying there was not new stuff, just that on release it did not feel like lots of killer new features). </p><p><br></p><p>I think what has actually happened is that we users get beta features…all the time every feature is a beta version, which is why it needs continuous improvement. Whereas when Microsoft released operating systems every 2-4 years, they would not have that many new new features, but the ones they did would be much more complete in and of themselves.</p>