Apple has given its operating system updates some weird names. The company moved on from big cats a while back to focus on locations throughout California, leading to humorous progressions like the upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra. At least those names don't make any promises, though, unlike Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which as of today has officially failed to reach most Windows users during its namesake month. But at least there's a new Preview Build to explore.
Microsoft named the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that way because of its shift to biannual operating system updates. But when it released the latest update, it quickly discovered numerous problems, from Intel audio driver issues to flaws that repeatedly threatened user files. The update is currently available to members of the Windows Insider Program, but an official release date has not been revealed to the public.
Windows 10 Preview Build 18272
Announced yesterday and available to Fast ring and Skip Ahead members of the Windows Insider Program, Windows 10 Preview Build 18272 is the latest to give people a peek at what Microsoft has in store for Windows 10--aside from the massive update it was supposed to deliver last month. It includes more new features than its predecessors (along with the usual bug fixes, performance improvements and known issues, naturally).
The standout change in this build is a refined sign-in options page in the Settings app. Microsoft said it simplified the previously cluttered options with a simple list that explains aspects of each sign-in method. Microsoft hopes "you feel more informed the next time you decide how you want to sign in using enhanced security features with Windows Hello." The goal? Helping to kill off passwords through simplification.
Preview Build 18272 also expands SwiftKey support on Windows 10 to other languages; introduces Indic Phonetic keyboards for Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam; and updates Narrator to warn users when they're typing with caps lock on. These updates should make Windows 10 more accessible for people who need assistance typing or speak an Indic language.
Microsoft also made small updates to Snip & Sketch--the app that improves Windows 10's screenshot tools--and Sticky Notes. The updates likely aren't going to blow anyone's minds, with one of the additions to Snip & Sketch being a settings page, but they are welcomed improvements to the utilities, especially for people who don't want to rely on third-party apps for tasks as basic as managing screenshots or taking notes).
Of course, Preview Build 18272 includes the now-standard warning on the risks of pre-release software. Microsoft advised people uncomfortable with taking those risks to move down to the Slow ring until the builds grow more stable.
In the meantime, we suspect the company will be rushing to get the Windows 10 October 2018 Update out to the masses so it doesn't have the wrong year in its name as well.