Windows 10 Mobile is not yet a finished product. Or, at the very least, it's not a finished product that is available to the general public. Microsoft has said that the final version is coming in December, which seems to be more or less confirmed by the fact that the new flagship Lumia 950 XL will ship December 11, which would be a good time to have the OS finished. However, the Lumia 950 is coming to AT&T before then. Some users apparently got theirs yesterday, but others will see theirs ship by November 20.
So what gives? How can the Lumia 950 have the finished Windows 10 Mobile build? It doesn't; it's shipping with the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586. Of course, as a rep told me, Microsoft is "constantly updating and improving the platform," but the fact remains that those 950 handsets are shipping with something short of the final version of the OS.
Windows 10 Mobile Build 10586
This is the build that was just recently announced to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. The list of updates is as follows, per the official Gabe Aul blog post:
We have fixed the issue that caused the Start experience to become corrupted (garbled) after upgrading and restoring a backup from a phone that had a different resolution.You should now be able to set your default save locations via Settings > System > Storage and it will correctly reflect the current storage settings. Your SD card should no longer show up as a garbled name in Storage settings either.Moving apps to a [sic] SD card should no longer cause those apps to crash.We've made improvements to the Messaging + Skype app – through both app updates via the Store and also on the server side.This should be seeing less resuming/loading text when switching apps.The physical camera button should be working again if it wasn't working for you before.Apps and games should download from the Store more reliably.
An important known issue for those upgrading from Build 10581 is that the filesystem can become corrupted, and it could leave upgraders in a reset loop. Aul recommended that users make a full backup before attempting to upgrade to Build 10586.
With That In Mind...
Even assuming that Build 10586 is close to the final version of Windows 10 Mobile (which is likely), it isn't the final version. Aul even noted in his post that there are a couple of features yet to come, including the ability to deploy Silverlight apps through Visual Studio (that's coming November 30) and Insider Hub, which isn't even included in Build 10586. On the subject of the mobile version of Insider Hub, Aul said, "It'll return in a future flight! In the meantime, use Insider Hub on the PC as a workaround."
It seems bizarre that Microsoft would allow a new flagship device to ship with anything but a thoroughly polished OS, but perhaps the company is supremely confident in what it has so far.
Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. He curates and edits the news channel and also writes on a variety of topics. He would have become a professional ultimate Frisbee player, but he was born 15 years too early.