New Insider Build Offers a Few Changes

Posted on September 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 15 Comments

Windows 10 Insider Preview build 20211 is now available to Windows Insiders in the Dev channel, and it actually has a few new features.

Two, in fact:

Linux disk support. If you’re using Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.0, you can now attach an external disk drive to your PC that is formatted using a file system that Windows 10 doesn’t natively understand, but Linux does—like ext2—and it will work normally, both from within WSL 2.0 and with File Explorer. This also works with internal disks, so it can help those who dual-boot between Windows 10 and Linux. You can learn more about this feature here.

Default apps improvements. Way the F back in April, Microsoft released a Fast ring (now Dev channel) build that added the ability to search when setting a default in Settings > Apps > Default apps > Choose default apps by file type/Choose default apps by protocol/Set defaults by app. The problem is that this feature, like way too many features, was A/B tested until now. So now it’s available to everyone, and it only took 6 months! I don’t even know why I complain about this stuff.

And that’s about it.

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (20)

20 responses to “New Insider Build Offers a Few Changes”

  1. hrlngrv

    About @#$%&*! time Windows supported ext# and maybe other file system formats. I need to check whether that includes Apple's HFS, which Linux also supports.

    Actually, academic. From the linked site: At this time, it’s not possible to attach a single partition. Other than a few small thumb drives, I don't have any drives in which the entire drive is a single partition.

    • reefer2

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Actually, if you read the article you would have known its WSL2 that gets support for ext filesystem, not Windows per se. And no, it makes no sense at all for Microsoft to natively support negligible filesystems in Windows that almost no one uses.

    • proftheory

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      That is one of the features that I have been waiting 20+ years for! I hope besides ext2 it supports ext3, & ext4. ext2 is like FAT32 nothing much still uses it. My old NAS (RIP) used ext4 (kinda).

      Paul you know why you complain about it and that is called a steady paycheck.

      • Paul Thurrott

        Do I know why I complain about A/B testing? Yes. Because it's unfair to the people who signed up for the most aggressive Windows Insider builds from a schedule and quality perspective only to have to guess whether they can actually test anything new. It's just just stupid and wrong, it's disrespectful to Insiders who are there trying to help Microsoft make Windows 10 better. Not sure why you mean by the paycheck.
        • HoloLensman

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          I get vanilla and you get chocolate; how is that not fair? Later, everyone gets vanilla, or chocolate, or neither, or both, or strawberry. It's all good! You complain because you prefer Neapolitan ice cream. :)

          • michael_goff

            In reply to HoloLensman:

            Even being the most lenient with your bad analogy, you wouldn't go to a restaurant where you asked for vanilla and got chocolate.

          • Paul Thurrott

            That's stupid. But let's run with it. You go to the ice cream counter and order chocolate. What do you get? Nothing. You don't get chocolate, and you don't even get vanilla, strawberry, or Neapolitan. You get nothing. Why? Because you got A/B tested out of the thing you signed up for. You don't get something else. You get nothing.
            • HoloLensman

              In reply to paul-thurrott:

              It's not stupid at all. I didn't order vanilla and you didn't order chocolate, we ordered ice cream. I got plain vanilla--the "nothing" as you put it--and you got chocolate. It's all ice cream. Maybe next time I'll get a sundae and you will get a Neapolitan. :)

            • janssen

              In reply to paul-thurrott:

              I think it's actually more nuanced than that. I'm not in the Fast ring, but if I understand it correctly, they are not telling you whether you got the chocolate.  

              It's more like there is a new chocolate (along with the old) and that is what you order, but they give you the old chocolate without telling you. Now, to take the analogy a step further, say you have been designated by your friends (your company) to taste the new chocolate and render an opinion. You are still tasting the old chocolate, thinking it is the new, and say it's great. But when the new chocolate actually comes out, it is horrible and now no one has faith in your judgement.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to proftheory:

        There used to be a 3rd party file manager for accessing ext# partitions from Windows. I can't remember the name, but it was available back around 2008. That it's taken a dozen years after that for MSFT to get around to being able to mount ENTIRE DISKS but not partitions . . . is so MSFT.

  2. michael_goff

    I will never understand why Microsoft A/B tests OS features.

    Make a choice and have everyone test that choice. If only they had a system where a group of dedicated enthusiasts could go and test out new features. If only. Maybe some day they'll sort this mess out, right after they sort out the mess of getting feature updates out to all of their users in a reasonable amount of time.


  3. mattbg

    re: "Default apps improvements". I remembered reading about that a long time ago and went to see if it had been implemented in 2004 and it had not. No idea why stuff like that needs to be A/B tested or takes so long to be implemented. It's pretty hard to make that UI any worse than it is - adding search can only help (and, in fact, a search of sorts existed in the control panel equivalent that it replaced, where you could at least use the usual "type to jump" that you can do with any standard Windows list but does not work on the modern UI).

  4. IanYates82

    "way the f back in April...." haha, love it

  5. rmlounsbury

    I'm guessing the drop in new features is potentially related to Microsoft focusing more on Windows 10X with a possible Q1 or Q2 release in 2021?

  6. Greg Green

    I understand the concept of control groups in testing, but shouldn’t the pre introduction period be the A (control) group? To use the ice cream analogy from earlier, everyone’s eating vanilla, and MS measures how productive they are. Then they introduce chocolate, give it to everyone and see if productivity increases or decreases. Pre intro is the A (control) group and post intro is the B group. But instead pre intro is the A group, and some of post intro is also the A group.

Leave a Reply