Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs, the third build of 2016. The release doesn’t include any new features, though it does have a few important fixes.
Windows 10 is a service. As we wrote in our deep dive on how Microsoft is still building Windows 10, this means Windows Insiders are getting new builds even though the operating system launched in July 2015.
The previous build had a serious bug in the Windows graphics stack that made some PC games crash when switching from windowed mode to full screen, upon game resolution change, or upon launch. This has now been fixed. Two other bugs were also fixed: Applications such as Narrator, Magnifier, and third-party assistive technologies would experience intermittent issues or crashes, and File Explorer would crash frequently when DPI settings were at 175 percent.
This build still has other known issues:
- You might see a WSClient.dll error dialog after logging in, just like in the last build. The workaround is to run the following in Command Prompt with administrative rights: schtasks /delete /TN “\Microsoft\Windows\WS\WSRefreshBannedAppsListTask” /F
- The Connect button does not show up in Action Center. The workaround is to press Windows key + P and then click “Connect to a wireless display.”
- Due to a recent memory management change, you may see periodic app crashes or other memory related app errors. The workaround is to reboot your PC.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number from 11102, made available to testers on January 21, to build 14251.
Gabe Aul, Microsoft’s vice president of the Engineering Systems team, explains the big build number jump doesn’t really mean much:
Historically, the codebase for mobile had a different OS version than the codebase for PC because they were developed by different teams on different schedules. With Windows 10, we became one Windows team and brought these two codebases together. We started by changing the version string displayed in the UI to be consistent, which is why you saw similarly labeled builds over the past year for both Mobile and PC, but the underlying binary version numbers were still different. As part of our work getting the common codebase ready for the next release, we decided to complete that work and sync the build numbers between mobile and PC. Because the mobile codebase used higher build numbers than PC, we needed to jump ahead a bunch of build numbers to ensure updates to future builds will continue to work.
The update should arrive overnight for testers (your PC has to be plugged in, and be on or sleeping). If you’re OK with the above known issues and want to get build 14251 now, head to PC Settings, select “Update and recovery,” then “Preview builds,” and click the “Check Now” button.
Microsoft promised to release new builds to testers more frequently in 2016, and so far it is delivering: three builds in just two weeks.