Before the Fourth of July weekend, Microsoft released yet another Fast Ring build of Windows 10. The goal was to get a few days of testing in on the new OS before letting the Slow Ring of Windows Insiders have it. Well, it seems that the users in the Fast Ring didn't have many problems, because that is exactly what is happening, and build 10162 has come to the Slow Ring.
In addition, Microsoft also announced several new features coming to the finished version of Windows 10.
For the Windows Insiders who have been stuck on Build 10130 for what feels like an eternity, this is reason to celebrate. Although it's of course not a finished version of Windows 10, build 10162 has hundreds of improvements over build 10130.
Build 10159 alone featured over 300 fixes, an updated log-in screen, and a new default Windows background. This was a substantial improvement, but there have also been three other complete Fast Ring builds between Build 10130 and Build 10162, so the Windows Insiders in the Slow Ring have missed a lot.
In addition to the Slow Ring build release, Microsoft announced several new features coming to Windows 10. The first of these new features was the Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition beta released over the weekend.
The Xbox Music and Xbox Video applications used in current builds of Windows 10 are to be replaced in the final version with new apps titled "Groove" for music and "Movies & TV" for video.
The Groove application keeps your music synced up with your OneDrive, including music you have purchased from iTunes, and as a result it makes accessing your music on your PC and Xbox easier.
Users can also purchase a Groove Music Pass subscription that allows for ad-free listening to any music in the Windows Store. Microsoft plans to charge $9.99 a month, or $99 a year for users to be able to stream and download any of the 40 million tracks in the catalog.
Although at first blush this sounds great for users, it's reasonable to question if it's a practical move for Microsoft, as many users could download most if not all of their favorite music within a month.
The Movies & TV app sees less change, but it added support for .MKV files and enjoyed general feature enhancements. The application will be directly connected to the Windows Store and will allow users to rent or buy movies and TV shows.
Finally, Microsoft is enabling a new application known as the "Feedback Engine," which does exactly what you would expect. There's nothing too fancy here, but it is good to see Microsoft trying to take in feedback and being open to improving its products over time.
Windows Insiders will get to experience these new updated applications in a build expected to arrive this week. Then, after the release of Windows 10 on desktops, the Xbox One game console will also receive the update.
Although there are still 23 days to go until the release of Windows 10, everyone looking forward to using the latest Windows operating system can look at this as a sign that things are improving, and that a finished feature-rich Windows 10 experience will be here soon.