Microsoft Delivers Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC

Posted on December 7, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 11 Comments

Microsoft Delivers Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC

Tonight, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. This new build features the longest list of new features we’ve seen in a Redstone 2-era release yet.

“Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring,” Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar writes in a new post to the Windows Experience blog, noting that this build features “a big ole pile o’ features.”

That, as it turns out, is an understatement. So let’s dive right in. Here’s what’s new.

New Cortana functionality. Build 14986 features a long list of Cortana improvements, including the new voice commands for turning off your PC and changing the volume, support for new music apps (iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio) with a new “What’s playing?” voice query, music recognition support for China, full-screen support when your PC is unlocked and idle, and Azure Active Directory (AAD) sign-in support. Whew.

Enterprise cloud printing. A new Enterprise Cloud Printers discovery UI found in Settings, Devices, Printers & Scanners will help corporate users find company printers when signed into AAD. But because the back-end services aren’t yet available, this feature won’t show up yet.

Windows Game Bar improvements. The Windows Game Bar (WINKEY + G) has been updated to support 19 additional games in full-screen mode, including ARMA 3, Battlefield 1, Civilization V, Dark Souls III, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Mad Max, Mafia 2, NBA 2K16, Overwatch, Star Wars: The Old Republic, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, The Binding of Isaac, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Terraria, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Total War: WARHAMMER, Warframe, and World of Tanks. (This is in addition to the first ten games that were supported with the Anniversary Update.)

Windows Ink improvements. The Screen Sketch app now supports the ability to resume previous sketches so you don’t lose any work, new previews for the pen, pencil and highlighter flyouts in all Windows Ink apps, and finer ruler controls. And now the mouse cursor will disappear when you’re inking for a more realistic feel.

New Edge extensions. This remains a weak spot for both Edge and Windows 10, but Microsoft is forging ahead. You can now get three new extensions: Ebates, Intel TrueKey, and Read & Write.

UWP app rendering changes. The rendering engine used by most Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps has been changed, so it’s possible you’ll see occasional visual glitches.

Narrator improvements. This build includes a number of improvements to Narrator, including keyboard shortcuts to hear additional information about fonts, colors, line spacing, margins and more; Context Awareness changes; a new keyboard shortcut for getting advanced information about the selected item (CAPS LOCK + 0, used to be CAPS LOCK + FN), and various fixes.

Windows Defender Dashboard. A new Windows Defender Dashboard debuts in this build, providing a friendlier front-end to Windows 10’s security and health features. Dona warns that the Dashboard is “a work-in-progress and not fully functional just yet.”

Registry Editor improvements. Microsoft has added standard File Explorer keyboard shortcuts to the Registry Editor so it’s easier to navigate with the keyboard. You can use ALT + UP ARROW to go up, ALT + LEFT ARROW to go back, and ALT + RIGHT ARROW to go forwards. You can also customize the font used by the Registry Editor now.

A temporary change to the USB Audio 2 Class Driver. Microsoft introduced the new USB Audio 2 Class Driver in a previous build, but Windows 10 would use a third-party driver instead if one was available. For testing purposes, the built-in USB Audio 2 Class Driver will now be used regardless, but this will change over time to the normal behavior.

Improved update experience. This is unrelated to the UUP “pause” last week, but this build does include two improvements to updating. First, if Windows Update is unable to find a good time to restart your machine to apply the latest updates, you will now get be prompted to “Restart now”, “Schedule” a time that works for you, or simply “Remind me later” which will not apply the update but offer you these options again, Dona says. Second, there’s now a simplified process for freeing up disk space if needed for upgrading.

Improvements for Asia. Perhaps inspired by this week’s WinHEC show in China, this build also includes several updates tied to Asia and Asian languages.

There are many other smaller fixes, and some known issues too, of course. Be sure to check out the original Microsoft blog post for a complete rundown of each.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Delivers Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC”

  1. 442

    I'd really like to see the "Game Bar" recording ability extended for use on anything, not just games.  This ability should be doable on any video types these days, not just high end video cards.

    Also, glad to see Defender improvements.  While Defender was still in Windows 10, it was hard to convince people as they almost completely hid it from being able to use freely and openly for a normal user.

  2. 2983

    My laptop goes to a black screen when resuming from being locked in this new build.

  3. 766

    Every time I try to update to this new build from 14971 it goes to reboot and goes to a blue screen and then nothing. This is on an Intel NUC Skull Trail. This is the first beta release to give me any trouble on installation. Waiting a few days and see if there becomes a fix. I've tried unplugging and removing all unneeded hardware and software to see if that was an issue. No good. 

  4. 689

    Lots of Insiders are getting the update error 0x80240031. The usual fixes are not working, clearing the distribution folders, rebooting, running the update repair tool, etc. I have a Lenovo laptop running Enterprise build 14971 that has been on Fast Insider updates since the beginning. Usually it updates flawlessly, this time I have tried everything suggested, no success. It would be a long time wish come true if MS would explain their errors more clearly instead of a trial and error cycle, hopefully they come up with a fix... :-(

  5. 2414

    Try disabling UUP.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00






  6. 3385

    In all the years that I have been running the Fast Ring builds of Windows10 I have never had so much problem installing a build as I have with this one. It consistently attempts to install it and consistently fails to install and it backs it out. Running the recommended Windows Update trouble shooter does nothing to fix the issue. It seems that people have been able to get the installation to work after setting two registry keys related to UUP from 1 back to 0. 

    I sure the heck hope that this update issue is not an indication of what we can expect from using UUP.

  7. 3385

    The disabling of UUP did not help me. After trying for a period of 12 hours going to forget about installing this build unless Microsoft actually comes out with a fix for these issues. 

  8. 9001

    Can anyone confirm what the Cortana voice command is to shutdown my PC? I've upgraded to this build but "Hey Cortana...shutdown PC" or "...shutdown this PC" or "...shutdown my PC" just make Cortana reply "This is how to shutdown your PC...".

    Or do these new commands only work with the EN-US locale? (I'm using EN-GB locale).

  9. 5539

    Loaded up just fine on my Surface 3. No problems at all. Jut a data point.

  10. 1377

    For me, without a doubt the WORST Insider build to date. I run it in a VM, and I only got around to installing it today. It's already crashed 6 times in just a bit more than an hour. Might as well label 14986 Windows 10 POS.