Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with a big focus on Cortana. The company also shared that all firmware updates for Lumia devices will now be automatically published for Windows Insiders.
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.
First up, Cortana is now available in three more languages (on top of the existing 11 languages): Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil), and French (Canada). You’ll need to run the Windows 10 Insider Preview in these languages to try out Cortana’s new tongues. For each new market and language, Microsoft’s Cortana team builds a custom experience.
Also speaking of Cortana, you can now save useful information by setting reminders with less information (for example, the name of a book you want to read by saying “remind me to read [insert book name]” or a to-do item without a due date by saying “remind me to wash the car”). You can add specific details like location, time, and people at a later time so that Cortana will surface the reminder when it’s most relevant. Microsoft also promises that in future builds, Cortana will be able to retrieve these upon request, “just like a real personal assistant would.”
Until now, Windows 10 for PCs had two separate backgrounds: one for the Lock screen and one for the logon screen. Microsoft will now show a single background, similar to Windows 10 Mobile. If you have a custom Lock screen background set, you will see your Lock screen background for both the Lock screen and logon screen. This change will come to Windows Spotlight users in a future build.
Last but not least, Microsoft has improved Japanese IME. You can expect a smoother typing experience and extended prediction content.
This build also includes the following bug fixes:
- An issue where Microsoft Edge and Cortana were crashing for users with roaming profiles.
- An issue where Cortana would continue to show reminders that have been completed.
- An issue where items copied/moved to the desktop would not display until the desktop is manually refreshed by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing “Refresh” or pressing F5.
- An issue where downloading certain drivers from Windows Update was causing some PCs to bluescreen.
Microsoft is aware of five issues in this build, but there are likely more:
- Some Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book devices experience a freeze or hang and all input such as keyboard/trackpad and touch do not work. The workaround is to hold down the power button to force the device to hard-reboot.
- Some PCs will freeze or bluescreen when resuming from hibernation. Disabling hibernation is a workaround in some cases until this is fixed.
- If you have Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Internet Security, or the Kaspersky Total Security Suite installed on your PC there is a known driver bug that prevents these programs from working as expected in builds from the Development Branch. There are no known workarounds and Microsoft recommends using Windows Defender or another third party anti-virus product in the interim.
- Turning on the “always show all icons in the notification area” setting disrupts the layout of the notification area (“systray”). Your notification area will look out of alignment.
- QQ crashes due to an OS reliability issue. This bug is also impacting older apps such as Windows Live Mail and Expression Encoder 4.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number from 14271, made available to testers on February 24, to build 14279.
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 14279 now, head to PC Settings, select “Update and recovery,” then “Preview builds,” and then click the “Check Now” button.