Microsoft had planned to release Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14342 to Fast Ring testers today, but the build was publicly published early by mistake. So Microsoft has explained what’s new in the build, which you should be able to get by the end of the day.
“Some Windows Insiders have reported getting PC build 14342,” Microsoft’s Gabe Aul tweeted last night. “We were staging this for tomorrow and looks like it published too far.”
Since we didn’t get a new build last week, I’m sure few will complain about this case of, um, premature publication. So here’s what you can expect from build 14342, starting with a mini-bombshell: Microsoft is removing the Wi-Fi Sense feature from Windows 10, starting with this build.
Mr. Aul reports that Microsoft has removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature in this build. “Wi-Fi Sense allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts,” he explains of the little-used (or understood) feature. “The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing.”
This seems like a big deal to me, so I’ll be looking at this more closely soon and, I expect, writing about what I found out.
Extensions in Microsoft Edge are updated. When Microsoft first implemented extensions in pre-release form a few builds ago, the system it used was temporary. Now, Microsoft is changing to the intended design, where available extensions will be downloaded directly from the Windows Store. So any extensions you previously installed will be removed, and you’ll have to reinstall them from the Store. Obviously, extensions will be automatically re-downloaded and installed with new builds going forward.
New extensions for Microsoft Edge. In tandem with this build, Microsoft is also adding new extensions to the Store, including AdBlock and Adblock Plus (which were previously available if you had the direct links), Pin It Button, Mouse Gestures, Reddit Enhancement Suite, Microsoft Translator, and OneNote Web Clipper.
Real-time web notifications added to Microsoft Edge. Our little web browser is growing up: Web sites can now trigger real-time notifications in Edge, and these notifications will be logged in Action Center if you miss them, just like real app notifications.
Swipe navigation added to Microsoft Edge. If you were a Windows phone user, you may recall that Internet Explorer supported a neat swipe-based navigation scheme, where you could swipe left to go back and right to go forward. Well, swipe navigation is coming back, starting with this build for PC. (It’s coming back to Windows 10 Mobile in the next build for that platform as well.) Actually, I think Internet Explorer Modern did this in Windows 8/RT, right?
Bash on Ubuntu on Windows is improved. Yes, you read that right: “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.” Ugh, right? Anyway, the Windows Subsystem for Linux now supports symlinks in mounted Windows directories, and users with non-Latin Windows usernames are now able to install Bash on Ubuntu on Windows.
Skype UWP Preview is updated. You can now set a dark theme in the Skype UWP Preview app and can switch between different Skype accounts. (The Windows 10 Mobile version of this app will be released “in the next few weeks,” Microsoft says.)
Windows Ink Workspace icon is updated. Yes, the icon. It’s described as “a more expressive ink stroke,” and is more consistent with other icons in the notification area, Microsoft says.
User Account Control dialog visuals are updated … again. You may recall that the UAC dialogs were recently updated with a new flat look that is more consistent with the Windows 10 visual style. Well now they support a dark theme too, and the header has been switched from scary yellow to cool and collected light blue.
Middle-click dismiss is added to Action Center. Now, you can middle-click (with your mouse) on a notification in the Action Center to dismiss it. In other words, yes, you can now give notifications the middle finger.
The ability to redirect let web sites open with an app instead is … coming soon. At Build 2016, Microsoft revealed that it will allow web sites to trigger an app launch. That ability is not available in build 14342, but Microsoft has added a new page in App Settings (Settings, System, Apps) in preparation for this change.
Feedback Hub is improved. The Feedback Hub now suggests categories and subcategories based on the title and description you used when creating new feedback. This will help you categorize your feedback correctly so that the right team at Microsoft can respond more quickly.
Microsoft fixed a number of issues in this build, including the blocking issue that prevented Project Centennial apps from installing, the DRM bug that prevented content from services like Groove Music, Microsoft Movies & TV, Netflix, or Amazon Instant Video from playing correctly, and much more. Check out Microsoft’s blog post for the complete list.
Nothing major here, but a few issues of note: The Feedback Hub needs a 20-30 minute timeout after you install the build before it will fully work, Symantec products (Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security) are triggering blue screens, and a few other minor issues.
Whew. Lots of stuff, as you can see. Enjoy!