The next version of Windows 10 is already taking shape and some early adopters can get a peek at what Microsoft has in store today.
Now that that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is making its way to users—although not all at once since Microsoft distributes updates using a phased approach that can last months—the company is offering members of its Windows Insider program an early look at what the future holds for the operating system.
The latest build, number 17025, contains features that may eventually make it into Redstone 4, the codename for the upcoming, yet still unnamed major Windows 10 feature update. This time around, the company is focused on refining the operating system's settings experience, particularly for people who use accessibility options.
"This build adds new Ease of Access settings to make your device easier to use and fit your needs," blogged Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at Microsoft Windows and Devices and head of the Windows Insider program. "We also grouped related settings together which help you see, hear or interact with your computer to assist in discovering settings more quickly. Additionally, we heard your feedback and improved setting descriptions to help you more easily understand the available accessibility features."
Also new are settings that allow users to customize the behavior of their startup UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps. Users will be able to deactivate specific tasks that the app performs at startup, provided the app's developer has enabled the feature.
Fluent Design System, Microsoft's new design language, continues to bring changes to the Windows interface. In Build 17025, the built-in calendar has been tweaked to better fit the new look and the visual effect associated with light taps has been softened, Sarkar noted.
For users in China, the Windows user interface text, which is based on the Microsoft Yahei font, should look more refined and be easier to read. A before and after comparison is available in Sarkar's blog post.
In terms of bug fixes, Microsoft addressed an issue that caused screens to go blank, save for the cursor, on PCs with certain graphics processing unit configurations when a user attempts to log into PCs that are being used in remote desktop sessions. On small Windows devices, users can now scroll all the way to the bottom of the Start menu using touch gestures, among other repairs.
Meanwhile, bandwidth-conscious users who aren't in the first waves of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update phased rollout have a good reason to be patient.
Although there are manual methods of triggering the update, users who are stepping up from the previous update and receive it via Windows Update or Windows Update for Business can expect a software package that is 25 percent smaller, a feat made possible through differential downloads. In contrast to complete builds, differential downloads contain only the changes that have been implemented from one update to the next.