In a sure sign that Microsoft's coders are wrapping up development on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, upcoming preview builds released to the Windows Insider Fast and Slow rings will feature more bug fixes and fewer new features.
"We are now at the point of the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where our focus is now on stabilization for release to the world," wrote Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group and head of the Windows Insider early-access program, in an Aug. 23 announcement. "This means that we intend to release these builds to Insiders more quickly to both the Fast and Slow rings as these builds we include mostly bug fixes."
Things will slow down for the limited number of Windows Insiders accepted into the Skip Ahead ring—a branch that "skips ahead" past the forthcoming update—Sarkar said. However, things will begin to ramp up when work on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update's successor or "Redstone 4" (the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is codenamed Redstone 3) begins in earnest.
Despite the lull, those in the Skip Ahead ring do have one major feature to look forward to. A new preview build contains an augmented reality viewing mode in the operating system's View 3D application. The new View Mixed Reality feature allows users to view 3D models created in Paint 3D overlaid on their physical environments. Although the feature works with practically any camera, Sarkar recommended a Surface device or laptop that is equipped with an outward facing camera.
Insiders can also evaluate Windows 10 S on their PCs. Introduced in May, Windows 10 S is a stripped-down version of the operating system that can only run applications from the Windows Store app marketplace. The option creates a clean installation of the operating system and requires a PC running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.
Meanwhile, in build 16273 for both Fast and Skip Ahead users, introduces a new font, Bahnschrift, the company's first OpenType Variable Font.
Variable font technology enables Microsoft to "pack an entire typeface family into a single file with infinite variability." Additionally, a single variable font can replace several static ones, yielding space savings. Bahnschrift is Microsoft's take on the DIN font standard which travelers or European natives will recognize as the road sign font in the region.
Those new features aside, build 16273 includes a lengthy list of tweaks and bug fixes, both big and small.
Little quality-of-life improvements include the ability to dismiss notification popups or "toasts" with a middle click and new key combinations (F3 and Shift+F3) that allow users to quickly cycle through their "Find on Page" search results in the Edge browser. Microsoft also fixed an issue that generated an error when users attempted to establish a remote desktop connection along with a bug that continually reset the operating system's idle timer, effectively preventing the display from ever entering sleep mode.
The complete list of improvements and bug fixes in Windows 10 build 16273 is available in this blog post.