After 54 days of waiting Windows Insiders received a new build yesterday to test out and this is the first release under Microsoft’s new goal to use the Windows Insiders Fast Ring to get builds into the hands of testers at a much quicker pace.
There are a couple of caveats with this new mindset to consider though as you decide whether you want to be using these faster paced releases.
First: Fast Ring builds will inherently have a few more issues than Slow Ring builds as we are seeing them much quicker than before. In fact, according to Gabe Aul, build 10041 was just built five days before it hit the Windows Insider Fast Ring. Those faster releases also mean more bugs, issues and some may not have temporary workarounds to solve.
Second: There are no ISO’s issued when a new build is pushed out to the Fast Ring so the updates are only available through Windows Update. ISO’s will only be available when a build makes it to the Slow Ring.
In the past Microsoft has released bug fixes to existing Windows Insider builds through Windows Update so it is not out of the realm of possibility they could do the same thing with the Fast Ring builds as well. That is probably a great way to further test a fix that has been applied on internal builds.
Under this new system Gabe Aul was very clear in not promising daily or weekly builds. He also let Insiders know there will be times frames when they are integrating new features into the code and they will not release anything new until those features are stabilized.
So it seems they now have the tools in place to get us builds at a much faster pace and this is good because we are only three months from the beginning of summer – the opening of the expected release window for Windows 10 - based on Terry Myersons announcement in China at WinHec a couple of days ago.
Let’s talk about Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10041. The list of issues with this build is much longer than anything we have seen in the past three Insiders builds (9841, 9879 and 9926). The total list of known issues has 13 entries and while there are some workarounds such as using PowerShell to fix licensing issues with the Mail, Calendar and People apps many of the others just have to be tolerated until an update/fix is released or we get a new build.
However, this new build not only delivers fixes for issues in build 9926 but it also introduces some new features:
- Improved Start experience with transparency, improved touch interaction with the All Apps menu, ability to drag and drop items from All Apps and pin them to Start.
- Improved Virtual Desktop (Task View) with ability to drag open Windows to other desktops and option to only show open apps on the taskbar for each individual desktop.
- Cortana on the desktop is now available in China, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
- New network fly-out from the taskbar for managing your wireless connections.
- Photo App enhancements where Live Tile now shows images on OneDrive and not just those stored on your local system. Performance improvements and reliability including support for handling RAW format images has been added as well.
- Updated Insiders app to help you track your usage and progress as you provide feedback on Windows 10.
Since build 10041 was released yesterday I have installed it successfully on a virtual machine, two dual booting desktop systems and the HP Stream 7. All of the updates went well and I did not have any issues with the installs themselves but I am seeing some weirdness at times on some of those systems.
Check out the gallery of images from Windows 10 build 10041 and you will see the issues I have come across and my descriptions of them.
So - how is your install and use of the Windows 10 Technical Preview build 10041 going?