Microsoft's Gabe Aul updated the official Windows blog with news that a new build of Windows 10 Technical Preview, 10041, is ready to download (9926 was the previous build). Windows Insiders who have subscribed to the "fast" ring should see the download very soon, if not immediately. The new Windows 10 release provides a number of new features, bug fixes and a list of known problems.
Aul said in his blog that the Start Menu now has a transparent background and a fixed "All Apps" link that's easier to activate via touch. Users can also drag apps from All Apps or the most used apps list and pin them to Start. Microsoft also made changes to the Virtual Desktop feature, allowing users to drag a window to a Virtual Desktop. The company has altered the taskbar to only show running windows in a particular Virtual Desktop.
"This allows you to better organize what you are working on. We are doing some A/B testing for this where there will be different defaults for different users to help us decide what default to use based on feedback from Insiders," Aul said. "We also added a filtered Alt+Tab so you only see the windows on the given Virtual Desktop."
Next, Aul said that with this build, Cortana will be available on Windows 10 Technical Preview desktops in China, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. He also said that Microsoft inserted a new fly-out menu for networking on the taskbar, so when the user clicks on the network icon, the fly-out will provide quick access to the network settings (previously, clicking on this icon meant opening up the Settings window). Aul added that this area of the platform needs more work on the UI front.
In addition to those new features, Microsoft has updated the Photos app, which now shows photos on the Live Tile that are stored on OneDrive. There's also support for RAW format files and new keyboard shortcuts to make managing photos within the app a bit easier. Microsoft has also included a new text Input canvas and updated the Lock screen with tips and tricks aimed to help users navigate Windows 10. Aul said that Microsoft is currently experimenting with this screen.
For Windows Insiders, Microsoft has updated the Feedback app and the Insider Hub app with features requested by the Insider community. Aul also provided a list of top issues that are fixed with this build, such as issues that prevented Start from launching and a bug that prevented the Search box from appearing when the Taskbar was mounted at the top or on the sides of the screen. Other fixes include preventing the boot screen from loading and a bug that provides grey thumbnails in the Photos App's Collection view.
Aul also posted a long list of known issues that accompany this new build. This list includes possible broken Mail, Calendar and People apps due to a licensing issue stemming from the Store Beta, app install failures due to the same licensing problem, and several accessibility issues. Some users may experience a problem logging in and may be forced to click the "Switch User" button, type in Ctrl+Alt+Del, or reset the PC.
"You might notice a chess knight icon on your Lock screen to the right of the screen," Aul warned. "This was added by the Lock screen team so they could tell via screenshots if someone was using the new Lock screen or the old one, and will eventually be removed in a future build."
As previously reported, Windows 10 is expected to launch in Q2 2015 or Q3 2015. The company confirmed the launch window on Wednesday, saying that the platform will hit the market this summer. The upgrade will be free for those running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.