Preview Build 17763 Brings Insiders Closer to Windows 10's Next Big Update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17763 this week to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program (it also released Preview Build 18242 to Skip Ahead members). Given the mid-September release date, the lack of new features and the focus on bug fixes, there's a good chance that Preview Build 17763 is pretty darn close to being the build Microsoft releases to all Windows 10 users in the October update.

The release of new builds to Windows Insider Program members often follows a pattern. Microsoft introduces new features, transitions to making general improvements to the operating system and then experiments with other changes. This pattern repeats itself until the company is content with the feature additions included with the next update--and then sometimes adds a step of removing those features--and then it's all bug fixes.

Redstone 5, the Windows 10 update scheduled to arrive in October, is at the end of that process. Most of the Preview Builds released over the last few months have largely (but not only) been focused on performance improvements and solutions to known problems. That holds true for Preview Build 17763: six of the seven bullet points outlining the changes in this build start with "We fixed an issue" in various programs.

The other bullet point is what has many people convinced Preview Build 17763 is the final build for Redstone 5. "The build watermark at the lower right-hand corner of the desktop is no longer present in this build," Microsoft said. That watermark, in addition to frustrating every attempt to get a decent screenshot without hiding the desktop, is Microsoft's way of making sure people know they're using a pre-release OS.

So it would make sense to assume that Microsoft's decision to remove the watermark means we're looking at the final build of Redstone 5. But the company was careful to caution against making that assumption. The very next line in that bullet point is, in bold, "This doesn’t mean we’re done..." The company isn't quite ready to commit to this being the final build just yet.

There is another point in favor of this being one of the last, if not the last, pre-release build for the Windows 10 update arriving in October. This build has just two known issues: one about Task Manager showing inaccurate CPU usage data and one about the arrows used to expand background processes "blinking constantly and weirdly" (you know it's odd when the company behind the software uses the word "weirdly").

If you're willing to deal with a bit of strangeness in Task Manager--as well as any other potential bugs Microsoft doesn't know about yet--Preview Build 17763 is available via the Update & Security page in Windows 10's Settings app for Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program. If you're not a member, you'll have to wait another couple weeks to see what Microsoft has in store.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.