With Microsoft unable to provide even a single update to Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 users in over six weeks, Windows Insiders are feeling decidedly on the outside of the feedback loop for this release, and not for the first time. But there’s good news for those who are tired of waiting: Windows 10 build 10036 has leaked online. And it gives us an excellent idea of the progress Microsoft has made internally but refuses to share.
As you may know, I spent the past several days traveling and was unlucky enough to come down with my first cold of the winter just before leaving. This has impacted my output—sorry—but I was at least able to download build 10036 while I was away. I’m flying as I write this and haven’t had a chance to install the build yet, but I’ll provide a quick mile-high overview based on reports from sources I trust (primarily Neowin) and then dive into the build as soon as I get home tonight.
Here’s what’s happening. Surprisingly, it’s mostly subtle, small changes.
No Spartan. We were told previously that the second official Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 build we got would include Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new web browser. But it’s not included in this build, sadly.
Install and move apps to SD. Yep, it’s finally here. Just as with Windows Phone, you can now install apps to your SD card—a huge deal for those with low-end 16- and 32 GB devices—or later move apps from internal storage to SD.
Coming soon: P2P OS and app updates. A new Settings interface provides an option for downloading apps and OS updates “from multiple sources to get them more quickly,” as well as the ability to download these items from PCs on your local network and even PCs on the Internet. That’s an interesting combination of BranchCache functionality from Windows Server and P2P technology like torrent. But it won’t matter a whit if Microsoft never ships OS updates, which is the current schedule.
Tablet Mode finally works correctly. When Microsoft first showed off Tablet Mode (formerly codenamed Continuum) last October, I thought that requiring the user to OK a prompt when you removed or added a keyboard on a 2-in-1 type PC was a stupid extra step. Apparently, I wasn’t alone: now there is an option in Settings, System, Tablet Mode that determines what happens when you enable Tablet Mode, and one of the settings is “never prompt.” Nice.
Fit and finish work. As expected, the Start menu once again provides a transparency effect. There are some new icons, including a nice new Recycle Bin. Task View has been updated slightly, as previously noted, and now supports the ability to drag and drop applications and other windows between desktops.
Some things never change. Control Panel is still around, though I’m curious why anyone expects it to disappear. Internet Explorer hasn’t changed, nor have most of the desktop/Explorer-based UIs.
Wi-Fi network selection. Microsoft has improved the UI for selecting a Wi-Fi network, though the surrounding UI—Action Center—doesn’t appear to be much different.
And that’s about it, a least from my tired perch 20,000 feet in the air.
Well, there is one more thing.
In a stunning bit of irony, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul announced via Twitter Saturday that the firm had “just received [its] one millionth piece of feedback from the Feedback app.” Too bad it’s from a weeks-old build and that none of that feedback has found its way into improvements that individuals outside of Microsoft can see.
More soon. Despite the delays, I do expect Microsoft to finally deliver an official build sometime this century. Heck, maybe even this coming week. 🙂