Microsoft Releases New Windows 10 Insider Build to the Dev Channel

Posted on September 2, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 13 Comments

Windows 10 build 20206 is available for Windows Insiders in the Dev channel and it actually contains a few new features. Just not for everybody.

Here’s what’s new:

Emoji Picker improvements. Microsoft says it has revamped the Emoji Picker with a new experience that provides a Fluent design, an inline search box, support for animated GIFs, and integration with the previously-separate Clipboard history. The bad news? Right, they’re A/B testing this feature, so not everyone will see it.

Voice Typing. This new feature will replace Windows Dictation and enable you to type with your voice wherever there’s a text field in Windows, Microsoft says. It features a modern design that’s optimized touch keyboards, auto-punctuation, and an updated back end for more reliable performance. Type WINKEY + H to get started. The bad news? Right, they’re A/B testing this feature, so not everyone will see it.

Touch keyboard improvements. A new touch keyboard design includes “a fresh aesthetic and many other small tweaks,” Microsoft says, including updated key sizes and layouts for improved typing comfort and accuracy. The bad news? Right, they’re A/B testing this feature, so not everyone will see it.

Cursor movement with the space bar. Arguably another Touch keyboard improvement, this feature lets you change the cursor position using the gestures on the space bar on the Touch keyboard. “All you need to do is place a finger on the space bar and slide your finger left, right, up, or down,” Microsoft writes. “As your finger moves, so will the cursor – one character or line at a time.” The bad news? Right, they’re A/B testing this feature, so not everyone will see it.

Spin that roulette wheel and see which improvements you get! Have fun.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft Releases New Windows 10 Insider Build to the Dev Channel”

  1. bob25

    Loved your write-up using "the bad news?" to point out this very annoying feature of Microsoft's Insiders Ring testing.

    • mikegalos

      In reply to Bob25:

      Yes, that's how they decide if the new feature is actually used more than the one it's replacing rather than relying on people talking up the new feature out of "Cool, it's new so although I don't use it I'll say it's great" or talking it down out of "I don't like new things even though I'm using it more".

      It came, by the way, from Amazon years ago and they use it in production and not just with beta testers who are supposed to be interested in trying new things.

    • navarac

      In reply to Bob25:

      I gave up on Insider Builds. Spent an hour each week downloading a new build, only to find I was Z testing. Always got the version without the new bits. Total waste of my time and energy. Only one Windows machine now (for gaming) the rest gone to Linux. Less F'ing about.

    • Paul Thurrott

      :) These people are ridiculous.
  2. cjmarotta

    For me, I believe the Insider Build (20206) installed the old Windows 10 Update readiness app and ran it. The app that ran on Windows 7/8 to perform the upgrade to Windows 10!

  3. navarac

    Top of the list? Emoji Picker changes! WTF

  4. jimchamplin

    The A/B testing is absurd. The entire idea is to see how people like the new features and make sure they work. What insight will they get from not delivering them to all testers? Aren’t non-Insiders the control group already?

    At least Rafael has mach2 to fix their crass mistakes.

  5. mattbg

    Oh right... I'd forgotten that people still use touch with Windows :)

  6. buzzmodo

    Using our app, i.e. ActiveWords with voice is a randomly requested feature update. We have played around with the idea, but never got much support from Microsoft. Maybe this upgrade will provide meaningful hooks for us to connect to. I keep thinking about voice in the context of work. And have previously believed that because people worked in environments with other people and ambient noise that voice wouldn't ever work quite right. But maybe now that we are all working from home with quieter environments, better mics, etc. that this idea will get some traction.

  7. benisaacs

    I think it's telling that yet another "new" feature in Windows 10 is getting re-done. Wasn't dictation a new feature that debuted 2017/2018? It joins the long list of other features that haven't panned out and have been walked back on - the People bar is another example. Perhaps if they spent more time thinking and listening to actual feedback there'd be less do-overs in the product. Saying that, as Paul has said many times, people are only rewarded for doing something new.

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