After a hiatus of 34 days, which included a couple weeks of holiday time for most of the Windows team, we now have our first Redstone 2 testing build of 2017 for the Creators Update which is now expected in April of this year.
Of course, we knew the hiatus was coming but what we did not know, unless of course you paid attention over the holidays and a certain leaked build (14997), was the plethora of features this new build would bring to testers.
The announcement blog post from Dona Sarkar and the Windows team was massive and by far this is the biggest update in terms of new features and tweaks we have seen with Redstone 2 so far in its testing process.
Of course, this massive set of feature updates that have arrived in Windows 10 Build 15002 also means the likelihood for more bugs and system issues increases as well. Based on my initial experience and those I am reading about on social media, this is in fact the case but that is also OK.
Plugging code into Windows to deliver new features is inherently risky for introducing issues and this is another reason to keep your Insider Fast Ring builds on machines that are not critical to your daily work flow otherwise 15002 might be inducing some headaches.
Here are just a few errors I have bumped into since upgrading 14986 to 15002:
- Disappearing and reappearing Start Menu Live Tiles and layouts
- Desktop icon layouts not remembered between sessions
- Non-responsive Task Bar icons - usually occurs after coming out of Sleep Mode
- Non-responsive Windows Settings pages re: Ethernet settings in
- New Share Icon dialog crashing on first use
- Shares to OneNote UWP app not being delivered/received in app
- LastPass Microsoft Edge Extension prompts for Multi-Factor Authentication each time browser is open
I decided to reset Windows 10 Build 15002 and some of these bugs continue to persist so I will be filing items to the Feedback Hub or upvoting items that are already listed.
So moving on to the updates that are included in Windows 10 Build 15002, each of the images in this gallery will highlight some of those changes, but I also wanted to point out at least two items I discovered that are not included in the announcement blog post.
First is a new option under Accounts>Sign-in options called Dynamic Lock.
This is turned off by default in Windows 10 Build 15002 but when activated it will detect when you are away from your computer and lock it for you. I suspect this might use a similar method of detection like the option to save battery when thh OS knows you are away from your device.
The second item I noticed was a new welcome screen for Internet Explorer 11 and a new Open Microsoft Edge tab.
The welcome message encourages users to try out Microsoft Edge and provides a list of features for the browser.
If you look at the tabs near the top of the screen you will see the very last one has a blue Microsoft Edge logo in it and hovering your mouse over that tab pops up the phrase Open Microsoft Edge.
Here it is highlighted in an image of the browser window - just click to open in full resolution.
It seems Microsoft wants to encourage the over 400 million users of Windows 10 to at least try and possibly make the switch to Microsoft Edge with these tweaks.
So with the release of the Creators Update targeting April 2017 that means there are just three months or so left in the development cycle. I imagine we will see a few more builds that will address the bugs in this massive update and then at some point we should arrive at feature lock for Creators update. That means the final features need to be added to the code in the next month or so and pushed to testers.
Then then all of the focus leading up the the April 2017 release will be to smash bugs and improve performance before General Availability of the Creators Update for Windows 10. It should be a fast and bumpy ride until then!
My suggestion is that you do not run the Insider Fast ring updates on anything but a spare non-critical device and one you are OK with flattening and reinstalling Windows. Otherwise, you are just setting yourself up for some serious heartache and frustration.
I have highlighted the features in Windows 10 Build 15002 that I could access on my test device but there are many others that you can read about on our Windows 10 Redstone 2 Tracker for PCs.