Microsoft has today rolled out the newest build to the Windows Insider Program Fast Ring. Windows 10 Build 15002 is the latest preview of the Creators Update, which will drop this spring. This is also the first Insider release of 2017 and the first for several weeks after Microsoft gave users a break over the festive season. A good description of Windows 10 Build 15002 would be to call it feature packed.
When we say feature packed, we mean it. Clearly, the Windows Insider team was not twiddling thumbs during the Christmas hiatus. Microsoft has made up for the break with a build that comes with new additions for a number of Windows 10 services.
Microsoft has introduced the ability to create folders in the Start Menu. The company says this will help bring Windows 10 unity across devices. Users can drag and drop tiles on top of each other to create a Start Menu folder.
The OneNote Clip features, which lets users take a screen shot of part of the display has been introduced as a built in feature of Windows 10. A Win + Shift + S command copies a portion of the screen to the clipboard, where it can be pasted into apps. Microsoft points out this feature completely replaces the same feature in OneNote.
UI and Compatibility
Microsoft has made a number of tweaks and added new abilities to the Windows 10 UI. The company has also added more compatibility support. For example, Windows 10 Build 15002 brings high-DPI support for desktop apps. Performance Monitor has been enhanced to work better on high-DPI PCs. Improved DPI scaling is now as default in some apps, but users can override the feature if they want.
The changelog also shows that Microsoft has made windows scaling transitions smoother. The company says user feedback has suggested resizing windows wasn't smooth. That has now been addressed. To help users with multiple account types, Microsoft has simplified the app sign-in process. When signing in, the dialog now shows available Microsoft, Work, or School accounts and gives ability to add new accounts to Windows.
Windows Ink continues to be enhanced and refined. Microsoft has used Windows 10 Build 15002 to visually show a selected color. The company says other apps will get this support in future updates.
“In addition, thanks to your feedback, we've added point erase to the Windows Ink Workspace's Sketchpad and Screen Sketch. This means that now you have the option of deleting your whole ink stroke or erasing only pieces of it. You can select your desired option by tapping the eraser icon, where you'll find new options to switch between eraser types.”
Support for Cortana-compatible apps is more intuitive because the virtual assistant suggests app-specific commands when an app name is typed. Users can click the suggestions to open the app. If the command is known, the user can interact with Cortana and the desired application by voice command. Also with Cortana, users now get more choice for notification reminders, such as “every month” or “every year”.
Microsoft has also change the invoke Cortana command to WIN + C. The company explains this is turned off by default, but can be enabled in Cortana's settings.
“A more inclusive experience out of the box: The Windows Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE) Team has been working to reimagine how people set up their PCs for the first time. Our goal is to make this simpler and more accessible so every person powering on their new PC can independently set it up. While we have made numerous improvements in past releases to achieve this goal, we now want to take it to the next level where people can listen and respond to Cortana verbally (when asked questions*) to further simplify and make the setup process more accessible to even more people.”
Some of the new additions for Microsoft Edge are interesting and further the development of the nascent web browser. The Tab Bar Preview feature allows users to glance at the contents of a tab and see a visual preview by hovering on the tab. This saves switching between tabs when numerous are open.
If a number of tabs are open, keeping them organized may be important. Edge now has two new buttons next to the tabs row which allow users to manage tabs by setting them aside.
Opening a new Edge sessions window or InPrivate winder is now easier. Users can do this from the Taskbar icon with a right-click or swipe to bring up the selectable options. As we reported last month, Edge now disables Flash content by default. Users must now use a click-and-run feature if they wish to use Flash on the browser.
A new web payment ability has arrived on Edge. The browser now supports Payment Request API, making checking out of sites a simpler process. It is now possible to use information like shipping preferences directly from Microsoft Wallet. This feature is only open to developers at the moment, the ability to make payments will come in a future release.
Windows Information Protection
“Placing Work Files on Removable Drives: Some enterprise customers have found that saving Work files to a removable drive would prevent them from accessing the files on a different device due to encryption. We've added a prompt to let you choose what you want to do in this case, which should make it easier to transfer work files to a removable drive:
- When copying Windows Information Protection (WIP) encrypted files to a removable drive, we now ask if you want to keep your files as Work, convert them to Personal, or cancel the copy operation.
- When saving Windows Information Protection (WIP) encrypted files to a removable drive, we now ask if you want to keep your files as Work, convert them as Personal, or save to a different location.
Open Dialog for Work Files in Personal Apps: We protect companies using Windows Information Protection (WIP) by displaying a warning message when opening work files in un-allowed applications (in other words, applications that are not on the whitelist of approved apps that can be used in an enterprise setting). When opening WIP files in un-allowed applications, we now inform the customer that the file is a work file and cannot be converted to personal in un-allowed applications.”
The Rest of Windows 10 Build 15002
As we mentioned, Windows 10 Build 15002 is truly massive. Indeed, in the above summary we have missed out at least half of the changelog. For example, such changes or additions as a new Windows Share experience, easier VPN access, Narrator support for WinPE and WinRE, significant Settings changes, Windows Defender enhancements, and more.
To read the details on them and get the full story on all of the new features, head to the source below.