When it comes to Windows 10, there are the official builds—the latest being 10122, which was provided to Fast Ring testers last week—and then there are the leaked builds. Windows 10125 falls into the latter category, and given where we are in the development cycle of this new OS, it won’t surprise you to discover that there are only minor differences between this build and the latest official build.
Indeed, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul promised as much.
“From here on out you’ll see fewer big feature changes from build to build, and more tuning, tweaking, stabilizing, and polishing,” he wrote in the blog posted announcing the release of build 10122. “The Insider Previews continue to be aimed at very technical people who want to play with pre-released code, but I think you’ll feel more and more comfortable using this build and future builds on your day to day systems.”
That wasn’t my experience with build 10122 at all, to be honest. Despite some obvious polish and improvements, Windows 10 remains too buggy for daily use. But what about build 10125? Is it worth braving the torrent world to attempt such an upgrade?
No. And as always, my advice is to hold off for the official builds. I do this because I have to, because this is what I do for a living. And while I’m happy to share what I’ve discovered, you won’t have long to wait before we get a truly usable Insider Preview build. And let’s face it, we’re less than two months from the expected release of Windows 10. This thing is going to have to mature pretty quickly.
In the meantime, Windows 10 build 10125 is out there if you’re curious. Here’s what I’ve seen so far.
Minor changes to Setup. There are some changes to the descriptive language used in Setup. Nothing major, but you get the feeling that Microsoft really wants to make people feel comfortable with the express setup choice. And I like that PIN setup is part of Setup now.
Universal back button. I believe this is the first build to actually include the promised universal Back button in the taskbar. You need to be in Tablet Mode to see this button and, as expected, it works like the Back button in Windows Phone, with its own back stack. (That said, you can’t press and hold on it as with Windows Phone.)
Improved Start experience. And speaking of Start, the Start experience gets a nice update when used in Tablet Mode, including a new Menu (“hamburger”) in the top left.
Icons, updated yet again. After the furor over the curiously bright and contrasty File Explorer icons in the previous several builds, you won’t be surprised to discover that Microsoft has relented and returned to more demure, less colorful icons that, frankly, look a lot like the icons in Windows 8. I normally don’t care about this sort of thing too much, but the previous icon set was indeed a bit much. So this is a small but welcome change.
Improved All Apps experience. The All Apps view in Start now displays a grid of letter icons—similar to the quick navigation feature in the All Apps view on Windows Phone—when you click a number or letter header so you can jump quickly to the app you’re looking for. There’s also a “new” label next to newly installed apps, and next to All Apps when there’s something new.
New look jump lists. If you’re using a dark theme, the jump list on taskbar-based buttons and Start-based desktop applications will be dark to match the theme. A subtle but nice touch.
A few other notes.
Windows Hello is not new to this build, as suggested by some other reports: I’ve been using Windows Hello with the fingerprint scanner on my ThinkPad X1 Carbon since at least build 10114, if not earlier. I guess they’re just noting some a new UI button in Settings for using this feature with a camera.
None of the other Settings improvements are really worth calling out. As you might expect of such a build there are minor fit and finish improvements and other changes throughout, and some things are just in a state of transition.
I’ve installed build 10125 on my ThinkPad—upgrading it from a previous leaked build, 10114—and in a virtual machine and will keep looking around to see whether there’s anything else of note.