Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs today: build 10240. Unlike the previous builds, this one is available to the more than 5 million Windows Insiders only via Windows Update.
Earlier today, Chinese site ITHome leaked screenshots of build 10240, and referred to it as the final release to manufacturing (RTM) version. A few hours later, The Verge and ZDNet both quoted their own sources saying that Microsoft has finalized Windows 10 and selected build 10240 as RTM. Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, however, soon tweeted that Microsoft has not yet signed off on the build.
We contacted Microsoft to verify if build 10240 is indeed RTM, as this would mean PC makers will be loading it onto new computers ready for sale. Unfortunately, if build 10140 is indeed RTM, Microsoft isn’t ready to confirm it.
“This build is the latest Windows 10 build, and we’ll continue to update Windows 10 code as we head toward launch and beyond,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We are embracing a new way to deliver Windows.”
While continuing to “update Windows 10 code” could imply there are more Windows 10 builds to come prior to launch, that’s not necessarily the case. Microsoft is likely done with Windows 10 and is now shifting focus to delivering it to users.
Just two days ago, Microsoft temporarily suspended the latest builds (10162 and 10166) in preparation for the Windows 10 launch on July 29. Microsoft promised testers would still be getting Windows 10 builds, but said the company was no longer offering ISOs so that it could test the Windows Update process for upgrading to Windows 10.
To get build 10240, you can either wait for it to be installed automatically or go to Start => Settings => Update & Security => Windows Update => Check for updates. And you should do that more than just once: “Besides builds, over the next 2 weeks you’ll also see some Windows Updates and app updates in the Store, so make sure to keep checking for updates daily to make sure you’re running the latest and greatest code,” Gabe Aul, Microsoft’s general manager for the operating system group’s data and fundamentals team, wrote today.
So whether or not build 10240 is indeed RTM, either way testers are going to be getting new builds and updates right up until the launch. Microsoft will likely have updates ready for you even if you upgrade to Windows 10 on launch day.
All the RTM talk aside, what’s new in this build anyway? The desktop watermark is no longer there, Microsoft Edge is even faster (I’m looking forward to updating our benchmark results comparing Chrome, Firefox, and Edge), and the Office apps now have a “Mobile” label added to each of their names.
Speaking of Office, Microsoft said the preview label is getting torn off for Office on PCs and tablets. Also, in about a week, you will need an Office 365 subscription to edit on Windows 10 PCs and larger tablets. As a reminder, viewing and most editing will remain free on devices that are 10.1-inch and smaller, while Office 365 subscription will be required for bigger devices. The one exception is that the OneNote universal app will come installed with Windows 10, and just like on all other devices, OneNote editing is free.
With the July 29 launch date coming up fast, Microsoft is almost ready to debut Windows 10. Even so, Aul keeps emphasizing that this is just the beginning: “Windows as a service means that we’ll continue to keep Windows up to date with improvements and features, and our Windows Insider Program will continue so you can get early builds and share your feedback with us.”
Windows 10 may be launching at the end of the month, but if Microsoft has its way, you’re going to be hearing about new features, updates, and builds for years to come.