Another Week, Another Windows 10 Build for Insiders … But Bad News for Mobile

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0

Another Week, Another Windows 10 Build for Insiders ... But Bad News for Mobile

Well, they did promise a more rapid release schedule. And today, just 6 days after its previous release, Microsoft has delivered a new build of Windows 10 for PCs for Windows Insiders on the Fast ring. It also explained what’s going on with Mobile.

Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14251 for PCs doesn’t have any notable new features, Microsoft says. In fact, the biggest change is that build number: You may recall that last week’s build was 11102. How did Microsoft jump over 3000 (!) build numbers to get to this week’s build?

“Historically, the codebase for mobile had a different OS version than the codebase for PC because they were developed by different teams on different schedules,” Microsoft’s Gabe Aul explains. “With Windows 10, we became one Windows team and brought these two codebases together. We started by changing the version string displayed in the UI to be consistent, which is why you saw similarly labeled builds over the past year for both Mobile and PC, but the underlying binary version numbers were still different. As part of our work getting the common codebase ready for the next release, we decided to complete that work and sync the build numbers between mobile and PC. Because the mobile codebase used higher build numbers than PC, we needed to jump ahead a bunch of build numbers to ensure updates to future builds will continue to work. So that’s why build numbers went from 11105, 11106, and 11107 to 14251.”

A few notes about this build.

Cortana. This build includes the Cortana changes outlined in [Cortana is Being Updated to Help With Your Schedule](Cortana is Being Updated to Help With Your Schedule).

Xbox Beta app. The changes coming in the January release of the Xbox Beta app, described in Microsoft Reveals the First Set of New Xbox One Features for 2016, are now available. (But you have to grab that app from the store.)

Bug fixes. Microsoft says it fixed a number of bug fixes, including an issue where some PC games would crash switching from windowed mode to full screen, upon game resolution change, or upon launch; an issue where applications such as Narrator, Magnifier, and third-party assistive technologies could experience intermittent issues or crashes; and an issue where File Explorer would crash frequently when DPI settings were at 175%.

More bugs are introduced. As you should expect of the faster delivery schedule, this build will no doubt include its own bugs, and those bugs may not be fixed for a few more builds. That’s life on the edge, and if you don’t like that, consider the Slow ring. A few examples include a WSClient.dll error dialog on sign-in, no Connect button in Action Center, and periodic app crashes and other app errors related to memory bugs. So be prepared to reboot a lot.

Windows 10 Mobile. In a rare bout of attempted transparency, Microsoft said that it is “still on track to release Windows 10 as an upgrade to existing devices early this year as we planned,” but that is actually a delay as that was supposed to happen late last year. But this is bad too: Coming Windows 10 Mobile builds will only be made available to “devices that shipped with Windows 10 – the 950, 950XL, and 550”, and then Microsoft will “expand from there as we release Windows 10 to other devices.” Yegh.

Xbox One, Holo Lens… This is interesting, if vague. “We’ve also been working on our shared core which spans across PC, Mobile, Xbox, HoloLens, and more – which we call OneCore,” Gabe writes. “Our build systems produce new builds daily for all of these editions.” So … not much to say there.


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