Alongside the upcoming what’s next for Windows 10, a October 26th New York event, at 10AM EDT/7AM PDT—Microsoft has pushed a new build of Redstone 2 to Windows Insiders Fast Ring version 14942 of Windows 10 for PCs.
This Redstone build comes with quite a lot of new features like the ability to hide the app list on Start, an updated Photos app, and more. As always, those on the Fast ring, can grab the build 14942 by heading over to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update -> Check for updates.
With “Hide app list on Start” feature you can collapse app list in the Start menu. Just go to Settings -> Personalization -> Start and turning on “Hide app list in Start menu”.
Photos app update bring the following updates on your PC, “a new horizontal navigation bar makes it easier to view memories by Albums and Folders.” Also, a new light viewing mode for pics is added, however you can always go back to dark theme in settings.
And, new animations “in and out of the Collection view” added today, makes it easier to “keep track of where you are browsing” while in full screen photos view. Finally, you an now see individual photos more quickly in full screen with you mouse.
Additionally, Photos app is now available on Xbox One, helping you to see see all your OneDrive photos on the big screen while you are signed in with your Microsoft account.
Also with this build, Microsoft has refined made some adjustments to gesture and click detection on precision touchpads including:
- enhancing detection and disambiguation of left and right clicks,
- making two finger taps and clicks a bit easier,
- reducing false positives in two-finger tap detection and
- improving our pinch to zoom detection.
Additionally, some algorithm changes now reduces inadvertent zooming when panning.
In addition, you will see a new Windows Update icon, when a notification appear and via Action Center. The icon now match the rest of Windows 10 iconography. As always, you can manage notifications from Windows Update via Settings -> System -> Notifications.
Of course, as announced earlier, starting with build 14926, when you uninstall any of the preinstalled Windows apps, “that state will now be preserved after upgrade.” Additionally, now after upgrading from build 14942, “if you de-provision an app from OS image, that provisioning status will now be preserved after upgrade,” and “the app will not reinstall,” Windows team explained.
Microsoft has also expanded Active Hours default range of 12 hours to 18 hours on “Pro, Enterprise, or Education editions.” PCs using Home edition will continue to have a default range of 12 hours.
While setting up, you’ll now see new text to the active hours for easy reference of the default range when choosing times. Additionally, default range can be configured now via new group and MDM policies.
Also, form fields now received a new view as well as Form Fields have been added to Narrator’s Search and Select feature.
You can always change active view by pressing Caps Lock and up and down arrows to navigate a list of views on the keyboard, or “single finger up/down flicks with touch.”
While, Search and Select feature can be accessed any time by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter, “allows you to list items such as buttons, links, headings and other elements available in an app, webpage or document.”
In Scan Mode, following commands ca be used to jump to form fields (basically, letter moves forward and Shift + letter moves in reverse):
F and Shift + F: Jump to next/previous form field
And, for power users, a new “address bar” is added to Registry Editor (regedit), that show current registry key path, and copy it if needed. Of course, you can paste or type in paths, and when you press enter, it will take you to that location. Also, you can use Alt + D to set focus to the address bar.
Another power feature, now splits “service hosts” into separate processes. Howerve, “critical system services (services whose recovery require system restarts),” as well as “a couple of select service hosts,” will remain grouped, microsoft said.
This feature is available on PCs with 3.5 GB+ of RAM and offers following benefits:
- Increase reliability: with grouped services, when one service in a service host fails, the entire service host fails. Now in ungrouping mode, individual service failure are action able.
- Task Manager will now show how much CPU, Memory, Disk & Network individual services are consuming.
- To see a service name, just click on the left-most arrow that display name drops down, or alternatively, right-click on the header and select ‘Command Line’ to add a Command Line column. Service names will be listed in ‘svchost.exe -k <svchost name> -s <service name>’ format.
- Yiou can now pinpoint to exact service and fix it with reports of instability, service engineers, IT admins, and Microsoft engineers.
- Process isolation and individual permission sets for services will increase security.
Finally, if Xbox sign-ins fails for you (as it may as a result of service host separation), run the following from an admin Command Prompt (or edit the registry accordingly):
REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\XblAuthManager /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
Reboot the system, so that XblAuthManager now shares a service host process with Windows Update and Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
Also, at the Ignite 2016 Microsoft announced it’s plan to move the Edge from using Windows Update as its update vector to using Windows Store sometime soon.
This means that future updates of Edge will be updated independent of new Windows builds via Edge app on Windows Store. The core of Edge, however will continue updating via Windows Updates.
Since, the core of Microsoft Edge is built into the Windows 10 operating system itself, so along with other parts, Edge too gets some new features:
- Enabled H.264/AVC support by default for RTC scenarios
- Improved ES6 Modules debugging experience in F12 Developer Tools
- Various webpage performance improvements
- Refactoring network logic in terms of Fetch algorithms in preparation for Service Worker Fetch interception (behind a flag)
- Ongoing work to add support for CSS Custom Properties
- Ongoing work to add support for CSP 2.0
- Ongoing work to add support for WebRTC 1.0 (behind a flag)
- Ongoing work to add support for Service Worker (behind a flag)
Other improvements and fixes:
- updated Narrator’s reading order for Windows 10 apps which display an app bar on the bottom of the app, for example OneDrive, so now the contents of the page will be read before the contents of the app bar.
- fixed an issue where running sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt would fail at 20% with the error “could not perform the requested operation.”
- fixed an issue resulting in certain areas of Windows 10 app notifications not doing anything when clicked, rather than opening the corresponding app.
- fixed an issue resulting in Personalization > Background Settings page crashing or showing a blank context menu when right clicking one of the recent images .
- fixed an issue resulting in Windows Defender’s Antimalware Service Executable sometimes using an unexpectedly large amount of CPU.
- fixed an issue resulting in the Devices and Printers page in Control Panel loading slowly for users with certain audio devices.
- fixed an issue resulting in a small set of users seeing the NTFS partition of their external hard drive incorrectly showing up as RAW format.
- Going forward from Build 14942, custom printer names will be preserved across upgrades.
- addressed an issue where the printer queue name wasn’t preserved across upgrade for some printers.
- Improved framerates when Game Bar is enabled for full screen games.
- If you are having issues signing into games that use Xbox Live – see note above.
- Insiders doing web development may find themselves their local intranet server unreachable, as service host separation will leave the IIS World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3Svc) unable to start successfully.
To fix this issue, run the following from an admin cmd line (or edit the registry accordingly):
REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W3SVC /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
- REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WAS /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
Reboot the system, so that the W3Svc and WAS services share a service host process, explains microsoft.
Introducing the Windows Device Portal Wrapper. “Device Portal is a small web server baked into every Windows device that you can enable once you’ve turned on Developer Mode. We built Device Portal as the starting point for a new generation of diagnostic tooling for Windows – tools that work on all your devices, not just your desktop.”
Recently also released Device Portal Wrapper project on GitHub and have now added it to NuGet.
“Our goal with the wrapper is to make it easy to build new tools on top of Device Portal. It wraps the Device Portal REST APIs in a managed C# layer, providing an object model for responses and an easy way to connect with the Device Portal on your device,” writes Windows team.
You can browser a variety of tools hosted on the device via the Device Portal Wrapper, “each one a webpage backed by documented REST APIs.” These tools include:
- App installation, launch, and file management
- Performance metrics, both all-up and per-process
- Crash and live dump collection
- ETW collection, both streaming and via WPR profilesNetworking information (ipconfig and profile management)
- Platform-specific tools like Mixed Reality Capture on the HoloLens