This week Microsoft released their 12th build in the Redstone 3 development branch for the PC version of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update that is expected to be released in the September time frame.
Note: The 12th Mobile build under the Feature 2 branch was also released this week and fixed three issues in the build.
This release has also shifted my bare metal testing profile with the addition of the Surface Book to the Fast Ring alongside of the HP Spectre x360 (Build 2015 Edition) that has been in that ring since March of 2015.
I still have two Virtual Machines in the Fast Ring, one for Windows 10 Home and one for Professional, but I do like having a different hardware take on these builds and their new features. Of course, I am lucky enough to have the hardware available to do this and so I still recommend not running the Fast Ring Insider builds on production hardware. I continue to keep my main desktop and podcasting machine free of anything but Windows 10 Current Branch.
The release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16241 introduces a handful of new features and tweaks to previously announced enhancements to the operating system.
Earlier in the week we highlighted two changes to the Windows 10 Shell that were previously unannounced but in the release notes for Build 16241 they were confirmed as new features for the OS.
Password and PIN Reset from the Lock Screen
We did a full gallery of this new process which applies to both PINS and Passwords. It truly means not finding out you need a Password Reset Disk to reset your password. Now you can use a link on the Lock Screen to begin the process however, you need to make sure Two Factor Authentication is turned on and an alternate email address is available on your Microsoft Account to facilitate this process.
Control and Monitor Bandwidth Usage for Windows Update - Delivery Optimization
This was another feature we did a full gallery and walkthrough of for the settings related to controlling how much bandwidth and data is used relating to downloading Windows Updates and they also apply to app updates from the Windows Store.
These will be very handy tools for those with limited bandwidth and data allowances. During my download of Build 16241, I kept an eye on the Activity Monitor and was able to see the distribution of what data was downloaded from Microsoft, PCs on my local network, or PCs on the Internet.
As you can see, it will show you these stats in real time but in all of my testing yesterday none of the data was pulled from my other testing machines whether they were bare metal or virtual machines.
GPU Performance Monitoring Enhancements in Task Manager
For those who like to monitor all aspects of their systems then the GPU monitoring in Task manager continues to evolve. Some of the changes include:
-- GPU name on left side of the tab
-- Multi-Engine view is default
-- A total GPU memory text counter is now next to the dedicated and shared counters near the bottom of the tab
-- DirectX version information now shows highest DX level that is supported
Microsoft Edge Processes in Task Manager
A couple of builds ago Microsoft started grouping Microsoft Edge related processes together in Task Manager. In Build 16241 they have taken that organization a little further by providing better descriptions of those processes including things like the Chakra JIT Compiler, UI Service, and Manager processes.
Mixed Reality Enhancements
The continued process of making serious progress on Mixed Reality continues in this build as Microsoft continues to get ready for those first pre-ordered headsets that will ship in August. By the way, we have one on the way so we will be able to bring you the full Mixed Reality Experience once the Acer HMD is in our hands!
Ubuntu on Windows
Another item we were able to cover earlier in the week that has now been formally written up in the Windows Insider release notes for Build 16241 is the release of Ubuntu for the Windows Subsystem for Linux aka WSL.
Even this Linux Noob was able to get Ubuntu installed and a default user account setup without any problem.
Refined Acrylic Material Display
I know there are a lot of people keen on visual enhancements to the OS that deal with transparency, etc. but I have personally never been a fan ever since Windows Vista and its heavy use of the visuals that impacted system performance in many cases.
However, Microsoft knows these types of things are popular and part of their new Fluent Design Language, which was announced at Build earlier this year, provide for the Windows UI and apps to carry some of these visual tweaks.
In this build they have responded to user feedback that the current implementation of Acrylic Material was had noise in it so they have softened that effect.
Final Fall Creators Update Bug Bash
I mentioned this earlier in the week as well when Microsoft made Build 16232 ISOs available for download after that build was moved to the Windows Insider Slow Ring last week.
Bug Bashes are opportunities for increasing the amount of feedback coming into the Windows team and can focus on certain usage scenarios to validate updates and other enhancements.
Here is the timing information from the Windows Insider Team:
We’re really excited to do our 2nd (and final) Bug Bash for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update! The Bug Bash will start at 12am (Pacific Time) on Friday July 14th and will run a full week ending at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on Sunday July 23rd. This build will be our Bug Bash build. As usual, we will be publishing new quests so be sure to open Feedback Hub and complete as many quests as you can!
And we’ll also be doing Mixer webcasts at the following dates and times for the Bug Bash:
-- Tuesday July 18th: 1:30pm – 3:00pm (Pacific Time)
-- Friday July 21st: 10:00am – 11:30am (Pacific Time)