Even with the release of Windows 10 on the horizon, Microsoft is still working on improving the new version of the operating system before release. The latest entry in the Windows blog revealed the upcoming improvements and changes in the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10122 for Fast Ring users.
The Start area received new upgrades, specifically with the context menu when you right-click in the Start area. Also, the option to switch between the Start screen and Start menu is now located in the Personalization settings tab under Start settings.
The change was made not only to remove confusion for users who thought the option activated Tablet mode, but also because it was unnecessary to leave it displayed to users because they would have already selected which Start method they prefer (or chosen the default setting) and would not need to change it to the other one unless they really needed it.
As for Continuum, the Start area now has larger tiles to make use of all the available space. The pane on the left side of the screen is now collapsed when you switch to Tablet mode. Clicking the icon on the top left corner of the screen brings the pane back.
The biggest issue with this version of the Windows 10 so far concerns the new browser, known as Microsoft Edge. There are frequent crashes when using Edge for computers using an AMD GPU. Users can avoid it altogether by going to Settings, Update and Security, Windows Update and then Advanced to change your preview build to the Slow ring until Microsoft fixes the problem.
On the bright side, Edge now has the New Tab page shown at Microsoft's Build conference. Along with a new layout, it includes top sites and content from MSN, which can be customized through the Settings option. Other updates include InPrivate mode, viewing history, an animated icon for Reading View, being able to pin certain areas to Start, and indication on open tabs to show which pages are playing sounds. The audio indicator is most notably seen in Google Chrome, and Microsoft seems to have taken from the search engine giant.
The last bit of major improvements comes in the form of default apps. In the past, Classic Windows programs asked you to change your default settings so you can have your favorite program open for a specific file. However, this type of prompt didn't work for Windows Store apps, with only a small notification popping up, and then you had to click on it to change the default settings.
In Windows 10, all you have to do is select from the list of apps from the settings menu and tell the system which one you want to have open for a specific file. Neither the Classic Windows programs nor Windows Store apps will ask you for a default setting, which should minimize unwanted prompts. Additionally, those who update from Windows 7 or 8.1 will be able to upgrade their default settings to the universal apps during setup on Windows 10.
With summer fast approaching, this build could be one of the final stages of development before the launch of Windows 10. The big updates seem to be more about polishing features for easier use. There are still a few issues with the build, especially with Edge, but it could be easily fixed in the near future.