Microsoft Releases New Windows 10 Preview Builds, Limits Creators Update For Mobile

Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16176 and 15204 for PC and mobile, respectively, to members of the Windows Insider Program. The company also revealed that the Creators Update will be officially available on fewer than a dozen Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Preview Build 16176 remains focused on the OneCore foundation for Windows 10, Windows 10 IoT, the Xbox operating system, and other platforms. The Windows 10 Creators Update was released to the masses last week, so it's no surprise that Microsoft hasn't introduced new features with its most recent builds. But that doesn't mean the company couldn't find the time to squash a few more bugs when developing Preview Build 16176.

This build re-enabled the Narrator accessibility tool, finally resolved an issue that caused apps to crash because of a misconfigured advertising ID, and made it so you could down your PC's power button to trigger a bugcheck. (Provided your system doesn't use legacy ACPI power buttons.) Preview Build 16176 also brought serial device support to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which you can learn more about on the tech's dedicated blog.

Preview Build 16176 also has a few problems: Apps like Slack and Evernote that use the Desktop Bridge from the Windows Store will cause your PC to bugcheck, Surface 3 devices with SD cards inserted will fail to update, and double-clicking Windows Defender in the Action Center won't open the app. There are also some problems with the Edge browser and a Windows Update error message described in the Windows Insider Program forums.

The mobile build is even less feature-focused. Preview Build 15204 updates the out-of-the-box experience with new privacy settings and resolves an issue with the keyboard not appearing in some Edge text fields. It also introduces some new problems, such as Edge constantly reloading pages, issues with the Continuum feature (that allows phones to behave like PCs when connected to the proper peripherals), and other fun new bugs.

That's not even the biggest letdown for Windows 10 Mobile users. The dubious honor must go to Microsoft's announcement that only 11 devices will officially receive the Windows 10 Creators Update or be allowed to participate in the Windows Insider Program going forward. Program members can already install the Creators Update from the development branch, but they won't get a commercial update. Microsoft explained why in its blog post:

We recognize that many Insiders will be disappointed to see their device is no longer supported. We looked at feedback from our Windows Insiders and realized that we were not providing the best possible experience for our customers on many older devices. That helped us determine which devices we support for the Windows 10 Creators Update. We are continually listening to your feedback to provide the best experience for ALL of our customers.

Here's the list of devices that will be supported:

HP Elite x3Microsoft Lumia 550Microsoft Lumia 640/640XLMicrosoft Lumia 650Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XLAlcatel IDOL 4SAlcatel OneTouch Fierce XLSoftBank 503LVVAIO Phone BizMouseComputer MADOSMA Q601Trinity NuAns NEO

Thus, it's not a great day for the Windows 10 Mobile faithful. If you're more interested in the Creators Update on PC, however, you can download it now via the Windows 10 Update Assistant or when you receive a push notification from Microsoft about its availability. You can also learn more about the update before taking the plunge in our articles about its gaming features, general changes, and hard-to-pin-down privacy settings.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • jaber2
    Who still sells MS phone?
  • why_wolf
    Not really a surprise. At this point MS is clearly winding down the phone side of things. Unless they decide to give it one more try with the rumored Surface Phone I think its safe to say they'll stop supporting them entirely within a years time.

    To bad really I've liked all the Windows Phones I've had. Their only real problem was the app gap and the fact that they kept chasing iPhone and Android instead of just taking over Blackberry's old position as the defacto corporate/government phone.
  • ledhead11
    Couldn't agree with you more! It's really sad. . . never had one but read many favorable reviews.
  • nimbulan
    I'm really surprised they're still supporting the 640. It's always been rather sluggish on Windows Phone 10.
  • alextheblue
    As long as AU devices still run the same UWP apps in the store, this isn't as big of a deal as missing out on the 8.x to W10M update. With that being said they really need either a first party or partner phone on the level of the HP Elite X3... on Verizon.
  • falchard
    No more Lumia 1020 support, 41MP Surface Phone confirmed.
  • tntom
    Just get more apps to W10M or make a real W10 Launcher for Android so I have an upgrade option for my family members that will keep them in the same straight forward environment. AND Yay! for 640 support!
  • alextheblue
    19564694 said:
    No more Lumia 1020 support, 41MP Surface Phone confirmed.
    19567549 said:
    Just get more apps to W10M
    They are trying to make it as easy as possible to develop/port to UWP but they still need the developers to actually port their apps.