Microsoft Delivers First Update to the Windows Technical Preview

Microsoft Delivers First Update to the Windows Technical Preview

Rapid release indeed

Delivering on its promise to provide Windows Technical Preview users with frequent updates, Microsoft today provided the first new release of this pre-release Windows 10 version, build 9860. The new build includes Action Center (the Windows 10 notification center), new animations, and a way to more easily move apps between multiple monitors.

"This is the first update build to Windows 10 Technical Preview, and we'll continue to deliver more as part of the Windows Insider Program," Microsoft's Gabe Aul writes in a new post to Blogging Windows. "Sometimes they'll be more frequent and sometimes there will be longer gaps, but they will always be chock full of changes and improvements, as well as some bugs and things that are not quite done. As we've said, we're sharing stuff early and moving quickly to do so. In fact, the build that we're rolling out today is something that we ourselves only got a little over a week ago! I hope that you're as excited about seeing these early builds as we are to share them with you and hear your feedback."

I know you want to get cranking with the new build, so here's the quickie how-to: Type WINKEY + I to open the Settings pane and then choose Change PC Settings. In PC Settings, navigate to Update and Recovery and then Preview Builds. It should automatically check for a new build. When it finds one available, click Download Now.

Now that you have that download going, here's what's new with build 9860.

Size. That download will be 2 GB to 2.74 GB depending on your CPU architecture and language.

Auto-reboot and install. Once the build is downloaded, click Install Now and your PC will automatically reboot and upgrade. This will be a longer than usual reboot, but don't worry. After that reboot, you will see that familiar Windows 8-style "installing your apps" screens again. Then, you'll get back into Windows as usual.

Known issues. Heck yeah there are known issues, this is a pre-release product. There are regressions (Wi-Fi networking), some UI roughness, some sleep issues, and a few multi-display issues. It's not perfect.

Improvements. There are over 7,000 improvements in this build, Aul claims. But that's Apple math. The big stuff is listed below.

Action Center. As I expected—since this is what it's called in Windows Phone—the notification center we've been waiting for is indeed called Action Center, and it's in the new build. "This build is focused ONLY on enabling basic notifications – quick actions and cleaner UI will come later," Aul says. "You'll see notifications from the system and apps – from new emails and invites to IMs, Facebook posts and more – all in one place, so you don’t miss a thing. Click on the new Action Center icon in the notification area of your taskbar to check it out."

Move apps easily from one monitor to another. Type WINKEY + SHIFT + to move the active app to another monitor.

Animation for switching desktops. Now there is an animation to make it clear that you are switching desktops. Check it out by creating some new desktops and moving between them.

What about all that feedback? Aul says that Microsoft has collected over 250,000 pieces of feedback so far and that it folds resulting changes into the product using a series of product "rings", starting with the canary "ring," which consists of people who want to be the first to get started using and testing the newest code. Next up is the OSG (operating system group) ring at Microsoft, then the full Microsoft ring and then Windows Insiders. So the feedback will start hitting the Windows Technical Preview in the next update.

But I want updates more quickly. Good news. Starting with this new build, you'll be able to configure an option that determines how fast you get updates. It will be in that Preview Builds area, where you can choose between Fast and Slow updates. By default, everyone is in Slow. But choose Fast and you'll get future updates from Windows Update on the day they come out. So now the ring system will look like this:

OK, I'm downloading and installing, but have a podcast to record. So I'll have some write-ups about the new features and functionality as soon as possible.

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