This week Windows 10 users not only received a standard Cumulative Update (CU) for their operating system but Windows 10 testers received their third new build in as many weeks.
It would appear the promise of faster build releases to Windows Insiders is starting to become a pattern in 2016 and that Windows as a Service (WaaS) means updates to the regular release of Windows 10 can be pushed out at anytime - not just on Patch Tuesday.
First let's talk about the latest CU that is delivered under KB3124262 on Windows Update. As you should already be very familiar with, these updates are just as they are labeled - cumulative. That means only the latest CU must be installed on your Windows 10 system to bring you up to speed. This is so much better than the model under Windows 7 and 8.1.
As for what this CU addresses and remedies? The KB article has the standard update line as always -This update includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10 Version 1511.
Installation of this update does push the build number up to Windows 10 Version 1511 (OS Build 10586.71) from the previous release which was on Build 10586.63. This is the second CU released this month for Windows 10.
For Windows Insiders, as I mentioned earlier, it would seem Microsoft is starting to deliver on their promise of a much faster build release pace. Windows 10 Build 14251 is now the third testing build released to Insiders in 2016. If you skip the first week of the new year because of the return from the holidays then that means the Windows Team has pushed one new build per week. That is a good sign for those who really want to see the faster cycle.
These first three builds of 2016 have not delivered a ton of new features, in fact, only the release of Build 11102 added one - the Right Click history menu in Microsoft Edge. The focus on these initial builds has all been under the hood stabilizing the OneCore base of the operating system in preparation for shipping faster builds and streamlining how developers can integrate their own updates in the Redstone testing branch.
Build numbers jumped from 11102 to 14251 with this release and that was to accommodate and sync up build numbers between desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10.
Historically, the codebase for mobile had a different OS version than the codebase for PC because they were developed by different teams on different schedules. With Windows 10, we became one Windows team and brought these two codebases together. We started by changing the version string displayed in the UI to be consistent, which is why you saw similarly labeled builds over the past year for both Mobile and PC, but the underlying binary version numbers were still different. As part of our work getting the common codebase ready for the next release, we decided to complete that work and sync the build numbers between mobile and PC. Because the mobile codebase used higher build numbers than PC, we needed to jump ahead a bunch of build numbers to ensure updates to future builds will continue to work.
This Windows Insider release did address a few bugs that had plagued past Insider builds according to Gabe Aul in the build announcement post:
- Fixed the issue where some PC games would crash switching from windowed mode to full screen, upon game resolution change, or upon launch due to a bug in Windows graphics stack. So play your games! If you run into any issues – please let us know by reporting in the Feedback app and include the game title.
- Fixed the issue where applications such as Narrator, Magnifier, and third-party assistive technologies may experience intermittent issues or crashes.
- Fixed an issue where File Explorer would crash frequently when DPI settings were at 175%.
As a general reminder when it comes to these faster build releases it does mean the likelihood of bugs is higher so if you want to have a more reliable release to test Windows 10 then you should shift over to the Slow Ring for releases.
Speaking of bugs - this build has four known issues:
- You might see a WSClient.dll error dialog after logging in. We’re working on a fix for this but as a workaround, you can run the following in Command Prompt with administrative rights: schtasks /delete /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\WS\WSRefreshBannedAppsListTask” /F
- The Connect button does not show up in Action Center. The workaround is to press Windows key + P and then click “Connect to a wireless display”.
- Due to a recent memory management change, you may see periodic app crashes or other memory related app errors. The workaround is to reboot your PC.
- F12 Developer Tools will not load in Microsoft Edge. Should be fixed in the next build.
Enjoy your testing and be sure to let us know how your updates went on both builds.