Mentions of this leaked build of Windows 10 actually started popping up prior to the Windows Insider release of build 10122 which was pushed out to testers on 20 May 2015.
Although this build is just a few increments after the 10122 release it does have some UI and feature additions that we had not yet seen. Amongst those features is the appearance of Windows Hello with camera support and the Start Menu customization that allows you to pin various places such as Documents, Network, Download, Music, etc. to the Start Menu.
I think the biggest thing discussed about this build is the new icon set that is now included and they are a serious improvement over what we have seen in previous builds. Although I have always suspected those icons were just placeholders it is good to see the updated icons making their appearance. I must admit though, it is strange to see these types of icons when it seems in other places wire framed styled icons are becoming the norm such as in the Settings app. It leads me to believe that we will still have a dual headed operating system on our hands that shows separate desktop and modern app experience/looks.
One of the complaints about Windows 8/8.1 was the jarring differences between the desktop/modern worlds but maybe the windowed Windows Store apps along with the customizable Start Menu/Start Screen will help to ease those abrupt differences.
I installed the build in a Virtual Machine (VM) to begin with however, I could not get the Sign-in options page to come up for me on that VM install so I also did an in-place upgrade of my secondary desktop machine which took it from 10122 to 10125. Once that upgrade was complete I was able to access all areas of the leaked OS.
Here are some of the changes of note:
The setup/upgrade process has some new dialogs including the ability to set a PIN for your system. Unfortunately, this did not set a PIN on the VM install though so it may be a bit buggy. Then again getting a PIN set in VM’s has proven challenging throughout the various Windows 10 builds.
Since Windows 8.1 we have had a sequence during the final stages of the setup process which cycles through multi-colored pages with various messages. In reality our apps and data were being installed/migrated during this process. Although I never timed it this sometimes seemed to take several minutes to complete but over the last two builds of Windows 10 this has sped up considerably and now takes less than 2 minutes on my test systems.
As I mentioned earlier new icons are in place throughout this build and they are a huge improvement over the bright and unsightly icons in build 10122 and those prior.
You can now add places such as Documents, Music and Video to the lower part of the Start Screen in the Settings>Personalization>Start area. There appears to be a place holder icon for these items in this build, a smiley face, which should get replaced in the near future.
Settings for Windows Hello now show up in the Accounts>Sign-in options area. To use this feature for facial recognition your system needs a camera that supports infrared. I have a finger print reader on its way to test that method of using Windows Hello biometric recognition to log into Windows 10 and I am looking for a true infrared webcam to see if I can get the facial recognition to work. More to follow on that.
So as you can see progress continues to be made, even in these small steps between builds, and this is the type of fit and finish we should see as we approach RTM of Windows 10 this summer.
Be sure to check out our full image gallery of Windows 10 build 10125.