Microsoft focuses on finesse with latest Windows 10 preview

Ahead of the consumer launch of Windows 10 this summer, Microsoft has released a new preview build of the PC operating system to Windows Insiders. With the latest Insider Preview, Microsoft is shifting its strategy from one based on the release of new features to refining the features it already has.

“I think you’ll see that this build is a bit more stable and polished than the last one, which is to be expected as we begin to stabilize for the public release this summer,” Gabriel Aul, general manager of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, said in a statement. “From here on out you’ll see fewer big feature changes from build to build, and more tuning, tweaking, stabilizing, and polishing.”

Build 10122 is now available to Insiders in the Fast ring, not the Slow ring. Fast ring customers receive new releases ahead of those in the Slow ring, but may experience more bugs as a result.

What’s new

Microsoft has made changes to the Start menu, Continuum, the Microsoft Edge browser and how Windows 10 handles default apps in the latest build. The build looks very similar to what we saw during Joe Belfiore’s demo of Windows 10 at the Build conference.

With the Start menu, Microsoft has shuffled around some of the buttons and menus to make it more intuitive. For tablet users, in Continuum mode, the left panel is collapsed to highlight the Live Tiles and make use of the available space.

Users of the Microsoft Edge browser, previously codenamed Project Spartan, will now notice the New Tab Page.

“It’s designed to get you to your next destination on the web as quickly as possible,” Aul said of the feature, noting that the company is still experimenting with several different versions of the New Tab Page. “The content of the page can be lightly customized in Settings.”

Default apps are handled more smoothly, with less prompting. “For example – if you install a new photo editor and go into File Explorer and double-click to open a JPG file – Windows will show you a prompt to change your default to the new app. So the prompt is shown in context when it matters, not randomly during setup or when an app is launched,” Microsoft said.

Who should not install

If you’re using a system with an AMD graphics processor, you shouldn’t install the latest 10122 build. Microsoft cautions that AMD users will likely encounter frequent crashes when using the Edge browser. Microsoft is working with AMD to release new drivers to remedy the situation.