None of this will be surprising to anyone who has been following the various leaks over the past few months, but Microsoft has provided a handy list of updates and improvements we can look for in the new build. Let’s take a quick look.
Start. The Start experience now supports transparency, and Microsoft says it’s fixed issues with the All Apps list, including making the All Apps button easier to use with touch. You can now drag and drop apps from All Apps or your most used apps list to Start to pin them as well, a top user request.
Virtual desktops. You can now drag a window to a virtual desktop. (Previously, you had to right-click and use a context menu.) You can also drag a window to the “+” icon to virtual desktop and move the window to it in single step.
Taskbar. If you’re using virtual desktops, the taskbar will be filtered to show only the running windows in that desktop. Windows Flip (Alt+Tab) has likewise been filtered so you only see the windows on the current desktop.
Cortana. In this release, Cortana expands into markets on the desktop, including China, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain (in addition to the U.S.).
New network flyout. Based on the complaints that Microsoft got about the Settings window in previous release, it has changed to a new network fly-out. So when you click on the network icon for quick access to your network settings, you’ll see a smaller windows that will let you connect to wireless networks.
Photos app. The app has been updated to support OneDrive-based photos on the live tile, with better performance and reliability, support for RAW format files, and an initial set of keyboard shortcuts. More are on the way.
New handwriting input panel in Windows 10. Handwriting panel recognition has been optimized for short text entry.
Lock screen. Microsoft says it is experimenting with the Lock screen as a place to share some “did you knows” as well as tips and tricks to help people learn Windows 10. So your Lock screen may look different than other people’s, as it rotates through a variety of different content. (You can still change your Lock screen background to any photo of your choice, of course.)
Windows Feedback app. This app can now filter your feedback as well as suggestions versus problems. “Me too” functionality now shows up in search results so you can quickly add your “Me too” to items directly from the search results view. And there are some performance improvements.
Insider Hub app. The “Your Progress” page has been updated to track how many missions you’ve completed, how often you’ve responded to requests for feedback, how much feedback you’ve submitted, and the number of up-votes your feedback has received.
In addition to these updates, Microsoft has also documented some things that aren’t working properly in this build. You can check out its blog post for a complete list.
Sorry for the repeat images. Still installing the build as I write this….