Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17004 to Fast Ring members of the Windows Insider Program who have elected to "skip ahead" to less stable builds of the operating system. Like its most recent predecessors, Preview Build 17004 is focused on bug fixes ahead of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update's release in October, but it also includes some visual changes courtesy of the company's new Fluent Design system.
Fluent Design was announced at the Build developer conference in May. It changes various aspects of Windows 10's user interface with more textures, new lighting effects, and a greater emphasis on animations. Much of these updates appear to be influenced by HoloLens, and it's clear that Microsoft is preparing Windows 10 for a world in which your primary device isn't a traditional PC with its monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Microsoft said in Preview Build 17004's announcement:
As we progress into the next feature update, you’ll begin to see more and more elements of Fluent Design light up. We love the enthusiasm we’ve seen for Fluent Design, and with today’s build you’ll notice that Reveal is now visible on Start in All apps.
That's a small change, sure, but the confirmation that Fluent Design will expand in future preview builds makes this release a little more exciting. The rest of the build is standard pre-release fare: Microsoft squashed a bunch of bugs in Microsoft Edge, improved Windows 10's input methods, and made the operating system more accessible by adding a new color wheel to the Color & High Contrast Settings.
Preview Build 17004 also fixed a problem that prevented Mod Organizer from loading mods into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Microsoft said it also added a shortcut to the Edge browser to your desktop, but if you delete it, the company won't replace it with future builds. It's not clear if this is a minor bug or if it indicates that Microsoft will continue to push Edge on Windows 10 users with the Fall Creators Update.
The Fall Creators Update is set to debut on October 17. We'll probably see more of these bug-focused preview builds in the intervening weeks.