Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15002, rolling out to PCs in the Fast ring is the first release of the new year and that brings a plethora of new features and improvments, including enhancements to the Edge browser, and new Settings options, such as Theme Management and blue light adjustment.
In an effort to more easily distinguish Windows Insider reports vs the reports of those on production builds, the team has rechristened BSOD to now GSOD. However, released versions will continue to have classic blue, including the final release of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
The Windows Insider Program website updates with new content, with the landing page getting the update first.
The new features for Microsoft Edge including web payments, jump list support and more are included:
- New Tab preview bar provide at a glance visual preview of open tabs without leaving a page, and you can scroll through the list with touch, mouse wheel, or a touchpad. Just click the chevron icon next to your tabs to get started.
- Set these tabs aside with the two new buttons next to tabs help you quickly manage all your tabs without losing your flow.
- Simply right-click or swipe up on the Edge icon in the Taskbar, and tou can now launch a new window or new InPrivate window.
- A new UWP architecture for Microsoft Edge’s multi-process model, including a new visual tree and new input model.
- Edge will now block untrusted Flash content by default until the user explicitly chooses to play it.
- Preview support for the new Web Payment Request API, allows sites to make checkout easier using the payment and shipping preferences stored in Microsoft Wallet.
You will now be able to group Start tiles into folders by drag and dropping a tile on top of another tile in Start to create a folder.
Now, a new Windows Share experience pops-up a list of apps to share through the new share flyout within the app you’re sharing from. Note, WIN + H hotkey, has been removed.
Capture to clipboard a region of screen borrowed from OneNote 2016 can be done using Win + Shift + S.
Improved high-DPI support for desktop apps—much like Microsoft Management Console (MMC), can now be enable for GDi-based apps such as Performance Monitor (Perfmon). “Just find the application’s .exe file, right-click on it, and select Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab, and turn on System (Enhanced) DPI scaling, and click OK,” explains Microsoft.
You can now smoothly resize GDI-based desktop apps such as File Explorer, Task Manager, and Notepad, and UWP apps such as Groove Music and Outlook Mail. In addition, when rapidly resizing UWP apps, “window frame background will be transparent as the app adjusts,” rather than a flat base color.
Desktop icon placement and scaling improvements adjusts to the layout, now when a multi-monitor configuration, dock/undock a device, display projection, add or remove monitors, happens.
Simplified and faster VPN access from within the updated Network flyout rather thatn opening up VPN Settings.
Improved sign-in dialog shows available Microsoft, Work, or School accounts and gives you the ability to add new accounts to Windows.
Lunar Calendar support is added to the taskbar calendar to quickly check lunar date alongside current Gregorian date. Just go to Settings -> Time & Language -> Date & Time to pick an additional calendar.
App developers can now create custom subgroups for notifications in Action Center, as well as an ability to override notification timestamp.
Windows Ink pen, pencil and highlighter control now visually indicate selected color. In addition, point erase to Ink Workspace’s Sketchpad and Screen Sketch is added as well as Ink Workspace icon now displays the taskbar of every monitor.
In addition, Ink now support a rich color range experience when a device is uded in high contrast.
Cortana improvements include:
- A bubble now suggest app-specific commands as you type the app name in Cortana. Clicking a particular suggestion launches the app with that command or simply saying it to Cortana. Additionally, check out Store collection: Better with Cortana app.
- More recurrence options for Cortana Reminders for “Every Month” or “Every Year.”
- Keyboard shortcut for invoking Cortana is changed to WIN + C, while WIN + Shift + C will be used to open App Charms menu, seen in the title bar of Windows 8 apps.
- Windows Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE) team bring some more accessibility improvements—the hotkeys to launch Windows Narrator is now changed to WIN + Enter to Ctrl + WIN + Enter. “This new experience is still a work in progress, so there are some places that still include the older OOBE pages and Cortana is unable to help you get your PC fully set up,” the team said. For languages that don’t support Cortana, you will still get the new experience without the speech capabilities.
Narrator support for WinPE and WinRE for installing Windows as well as troubleshooting options. With the ISO available next week, “you’ll be able to build a bootable USB drive or other media and using the ISO files. After booting into WinPE, wait 15-20 seconds and then use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + WIN + Enter to launch Narrator. You will need to restart Narrator to use it after any reboot during the install process,” the team explained.
USB headsets are the recommended option for audio, since the full Windows audio drivers for the PC are not available in WinPE/WinRE. Narrator Touch isn’t supported during OS install.
Braille support in Windows is available through a new button via Settings -> Ease of Access -> Narrator.
You can now navigate to Narrator to headings of a specific level by typing the number of the heading level. Add shift for the previous heading. In addition, in Scan Mode, you can press Home and End to move to start and end of a line of text respectively, as well as press Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End to move to the start or end of the web page or other content.
Improved legibility for UWP apps in high contrast mode include: XAML framework update now display an opaque layer behind the text and coerce semi-transparent UI to be fully opaque on build 15002 and higher.
Windows Defender improvements in this build include: “New options to run quick, advanced, or full scans, Device performance and health scans give you a report on your PC’s health, Family options has visual improvements and links you to great content/applications on the web to set up a family or view device information, Settings pages to change configuration on the app or learn more about it.”
Additionally, a new Refresh Windows on-demand option in Defender, starts fresh by reinstalling and updating Windows, to recover from slowness or crashes.
- Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom providing links to support, feedback, and any other related settings if available.
- App related settings moved out of System into a new category called Apps.
- Landing page of each Settings category will now stay in place as you pan the page.
Updated device settings experience now combines the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages.
New Display Settings options including now being able to change resolution straight from the main Display Settings page.
A new option to lower the blue light emitted from PC at night can be set up to turn on or off and use a local sunset and sunrise or custom schedule are in Settings -> System -> Display. For a quick override the schedule or always want manual control, you can enable this quick action in Settings->Notifications & actions.
New per app Surface Dial settings can be setup with the keyboard shortcuts most meaningful for specific apps – like Ctrl + Delete in Word 2016, or CTRL + Tab in Sticky Notes. Head to Settings -> Devices -> Wheel. Also, the custom tool creator now enable to set keyboard shortcuts that include a number of common symbols.
Windows Personalization now supports recent colors section to Settings > Personalization > Colors, so you can easily pick between the colors you’ve decided on in the past.
Windows Theme Management can be found under Settings -> Personalization.
Improved cross-device experiences settings can be enable or disable via Settings -> System, called “Cross-device experiences., Also a new dropdown allow to switch between My Devices or Everyone is added.
“Set as metered connection” option to Ethernet (LAN) connections in Settings -> Network & Internet -> Ethernet, gives more control over how data is used over the Ethernet connection.
When three or four-finger swipes are assigned to control volume, “the volume control UI will appear as changing the volume. Also gesture now takes less swipes to adjust volume.
Polishing the Touchpad Settings page including creating two new groups for three and four finger swipes, search terms are now more discoverable, more flexibility to control taps.
Hyper-V Manager now has a new page for quick virtual machines creation. A new virtual machine Quick Create experience (work in progress). More aggressive memory allocation for starting virtual machines. This is especially useful for anyone using emulators in Visual Studio or static memory virtual machines.
In improvement to Windows Update, a new option to pause updates for up to 35 days is added via Advanced options page of Windows Update Settings. This capability will be available on Professional, Education, and Enterprise editions of Windows.
On Professional, Education, and Enterprise editions, a new option to include or defer driver updates when you update Windows.
A new icon on Windows Update Settings page make it easier to see update status at a glance. This update status and experience is consistent with the experience you’ll find in the new Windows Defender dashboard.
Better detection of PC’s display, wheather it is actively being used for something, such as projecting, and avoid attempting to restart.
Windows Insiders of the Home edition will now be able to leverage increased 18 hour max window for Active Hours.
Now a prompt let you choose, to save Windows Information Protection (WIP) encrypted files on removable drives.
The prompt now ask if you want to keep your files as Work, convert them to Personal, or cancel the copy operation, or save to a different location.
A warning message displays when opening WIP work files in un-allowed applications, “now inform the customer that the file is a work file and cannot be converted to personal in un-allowed applications.”
Microsoft reveals that a a small set of Insider devices evaluating an upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update feature which helps improve Windows battery life. Depending on the experiment configuration, “you may see one or more applications reported as “throttled” in the task manager.”
The team also improved access to Microsoft Pinyin IME settings icon now directly open IME settings.
The revamped page is now divided into 5 categories including candidate window switch keys configuration, Chinese/English punctuation switch, default punctuation mode, Full/half width switch, default full/half width mode, Simplified/Traditional Chinese output switch and 2nd/3rd candidate submission.
Also a new hot key Ctrl + Shift + B, to open the emoji panel is added as well as making it easier to find the emoji, kaomoji and symbols.
Roaming self-learned phrases between all of your MSA connected PCs.
Also a new section ‘Stickers’ will appear for apps that support sticker input. In addition, a bubble will suggest emoji and stickers.
Making it easier to type complex input faster with two new modes: U-mode and V-mode. “U-mode can now be used for advanced input features, like inputting complex characters, and V-mode can be used to input content which normally is not easy/quick to type.” Once you start typing “u” or “v” with the IME on, a tip will appear displaying all the available options.
Name input mode can be disabled or enabled in the Microsoft Pinyin settings page. “When you enter name input mode, instead of normal candidate predictions, all candidates will be from a dictionary of names, thus making it more likely you’ll find the one you want. Press the “;” key (in double pinyin mode, press “Shift +;” key combination) and then press the “r” key to enter the name input mode.”
Custom double pinyin schemes can now be add, edit, or delete via IME -> General settings, and switch the pinyin style from Full to Double. You will then be presented with options for setting up the scheme of your choice.
Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) improvements such as “a large indication of current mode in the center of the screen.”
Other changes include:
- We’ve changed the length of the composition string to now show 3 predictive candidates by default. This will not impact those who have previously adjusted the length. If you’d like to change the length, there is an option to do so on the IME’s Advanced Settings > Predictive Input page.
- We’ve changed the logic to show English words more frequently as predictive candidates so that IME users can input English words more easily if they choose to leave the IME on.
Here is a full changelog:
Other changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
- The 3D Builder app has been moved to the “Windows Accessories” folder on Start.
- We fixed an issue where the display brightness keys on some devices weren’t working as expected.
- We fixed an issue where the display may stay black after resuming from sleep if a USB display is connected.
- We fixed an issue where opening an app that uses the camera, such as the Camera app, would sometimes result in a bugcheck.
- We fixed a crash in the RPCSS service which in turn was resulting in some Insiders experiencing CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED bugchecks on recent builds.
- We fixed an issue for touch keyboards sometimes requiring multiple clicks to invoke on non-touch PCs.
- We fixed an issue where Disk Cleanup would sometimes unexpectedly show 3.99TB worth of Windows Update Cleanup files.
- We’ve updated our logic so if the Microsoft Edge window is narrow and Cortana has a tip, Cortana will only appear as an icon in the address bar. If you expand the window, you’ll see the full suggestion as before.
- We’ve updated tooltips for the Microsoft Edge favorites bar to wrap around for longer website names rather than truncate.
- We fixed an issue where Touchpad settings page via Settings > Devices > Touchpad wasn’t displaying an icon next to its name in the navigation pane.
- We fixed an issue that may have resulted in a recent drop in Action Center reliability for Insiders.
- We’ve updated the Speaker Properties dialog to now allow you to configure Spatial Audio for different endpoints. If the current playback device has Spatial Audio enabled, the volume icon in the notification area will now indicate this.
- We’ve made some tweaks to the backend for how users connect to devices, such as Miracast displays and other PCs. Use the Connect UI (WIN+K) as you normally would, and file feedback if you encounter any issues.
- We’ve removed the rerouting of mspaint.exe to Paint 3D – appreciate everyone who’s shared feedback on the Paint 3D experience, please keep it coming.
- We fixed an issue Insiders may have experienced on recent builds where navigating to OneDrive folders could unexpectedly result in popup saying there had been a “Catastrophic Error”.
- We fixed an issue that could result in a Visual Studio crash when trying to open, add, or save a file.
- We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders using PCs with certain older chipsets from seeing colored boxes in the place of text and various other UI in UWPs apps.
- When you use Miracast to a device that supports input (for example, an Actiontec Screenbeam or Miracast-enabled Windows 10 PC), you will now see a toast notification to help you enable input (touch, keyboard, etc) on that device.
- We fixed an issue where the Home and End keys were unexpectedly not working in certain Settings pages, for example “Apps & features”.
- Fixed an issue that could cause some progress indicators in UWP apps to appear to wobble or glitch.
Known issues for PC
- Opening Battery settings page via Settings > System > Battery will crash the Settings app.
- The option to enable the Virtual Touchpad is missing from the taskbar context menu.
- Cortana’s cross-device scenarios won’t work on this build (including notification mirroring, missed call, share photos, share directions, low battery, and find my phone).
- Some websites in Microsoft Edge may unexpectedly show “We can’t reach this page”. If you encounter this, please try accessing the site from an InPrivate tab.
- Dragging apps from the all apps list to pin on Start’s tile grid won’t work. For now, please right-click on the desired app in order to pin it.
- Using CTRL + C to copy in Command Prompt won’t work.
- When projecting to a secondary monitor, if you set the connection to “Extended”, Explorer.exe may start crashing in a loop. If this happens, turn off your PC, disconnect the secondary monitor, then restart your PC.
- The touch keyboard button may be unexpectedly missing from the taskbar. If this happens, open the taskbar context menu, and select “Show touch keyboard button”.
- You may see an error from Windows Hello saying “Couldn’t turn on the camera” on the lock screen.
- Brightness changes made via Settings > System > Display will unexpectedly revert after closing the Settings app. For now, please use either Action Center, power flyout or brightness keys to change the brightness
- The list of apps in the Surface Dial “Add an app” page via Settings > Devices > Wheel may unexpectedly be empty. If that happens, tap the “Browse for an app” button at the bottom of the screen to pick the desired app instead.
- Miracast sessions will fail to connect.
- The Netflix app may display a black screen rather than the expected video content. As a workaround, you can use Microsoft Edge to watch video content from Netflix.
- On certain hardware types (e.g.: Acer Aspire), the Netflix app crashes when starting a movie.
- 3rd party UWP apps would crash on devices if the DPI settings on the machine are >=150% (Generally people do this on high resolution devices – Surface book etc.)
- If you upgrade from Windows 8.1 directly to Build 15002, all your store apps are lost during upgrade process but you can go and re-download all the lost apps from the Store.
- When using Microsoft Edge with Narrator, you may hear “no item in view” or silence while tabbing or using other navigation commands. You can use Alt + Tab when this happens to move focus away from and back to the Edge browser. Narrator will then read as expected.
- Saying “Hey Cortana, play <item> on <AppName>” doesn’t work immediately after installing the app. Wait 5 minutes for indexing to begin and try again.
To set up multiple profiles with Windows Hello, launch the Windows Settings menu (or simply type Windows key + I). Type in the search box “Family” or “Other people,” or go to Accounts > Family & other people.
Select “Add a family member” or “Add someone else to this PC based on your needs.” Type in Microsoft account email address. Sign out from your account and ask the other person to sign in back with their own account. They will be prompted to setup a new profile, including the setup of Windows Hello with their own face or fingerprint sign-in.
Update 01/11: Alongside the PCs, Microsoft has also officially released Windows 10 IoT Core build 15002 to Insiders.
Probably, the most noted feature in this build is enabling Cortana on an IoT device, see the official steps below:
- Please check “Start Cortana on Boot” on Device Settings of Windows Device Portal and restart the device.
- Navigate to Device Settings on top right of default application, click ‘Cortana & Search Settings’, this will launch the consent page for Cortana. After you click ‘sure’ to accept the consent, you are all set for Cortana.
- When you want to check your reminder, or traffic near you, you will be prompted to sign in with MSA. Please sign in so that you will have full experience Cortana
Below is the full changelog of this release:
- Changes were made to the GUID of the UEFI file system volume for the DragonBoard
- Updates were made to Cortana on IoT to address reports of errors when listening
- Changes were made to the visual layout of Windows Devices Portal (WDP/Web Management)
- Cortana feature has been enabled. See the Cortana section below for more details
- The Dragonboard BSP in the provided FFU has been updated to build 2110 as provided by Qualcomm
- The Windows Device Portal (WDP/Web Management) has been extended to add a quick run portal for IoT Samples
- A fix was made to the Class Extensions for Hardware Notification (hwnclx) and USB Function (usbfnclx) packages so that they would be included in the default IoT Core images
- Changes were made to IoTShell to enable waiting for PPKG provisioned package installation to complete
- Updates were made to the GPIO Interrupt Buffer API
- Changes were made to Applyupdate.exe to add the blockrebooton/blockrebootoff flags
- A fix was made to the power state API to ensure the wakeup timer is canceled upon exiting from connected standby
- Universal Write Filter (UWF) has been added as an option to the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD)
- The BluetoothLE stack has been updated to address the issues seen when calling GattDeviceService.GetCharacteristics
- Issues with NanoRDP connecting have been addressed
- The package version for some inbox applications may not match the installed version
- NanoRDP does not render correctly on some platforms
- The MinnowBoard Max firmware 0.93 has a known issue which can lead to network connectivity failure.
- BluetoothLE paired devices may throw and exception and fail to function properly
Update 01/14: ISOs for build 15002 are available for download HERE.