Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with shell, input, Edge, gaming, and device improvements. The company is simultaneously finalizing the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which is expected to arrive on October 17, and developing the update that will come after it.
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes, but new features, too. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update, Anniversary Update, and Creators Update.
Because Microsoft is now focusing on stability for the Fall Creators Update, these builds don’t include new features. If you want to test what’s coming after the Fall Creators Update, you’ll have to get into the “Skip Ahead” group.
Most notably, the OS now reports as “Version 1709” — this is the official version number for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release. That said, Microsoft emphasized that this is not yet the final Fall Creators Update build. The watermark at the lower right-hand corner of the desktop has been removed, though it may come back in future builds.
The Windows Shell has received improvements related to Facebook Messenger, Start, Cortana, and notifications. The input improvements are related to the full touch keyboard, the emoji picker, the handwriting panel, and other bug fixes related to selecting and inserting text.
Edge received the most improvements and bug fixes in this build. Issues related to PDFs, the search box, the Hub, address bar, tab recovery, uploads, tooltips, and other dialogs were addressed.
Two gaming bug fixes were made related to Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Skyrim’s Mod Organizer. As for “devices,” a spontaneous reboot bug and a sleep bug were both squashed.
This desktop build also includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:
- Fixed an issue where Settings could crash if a Bluetooth device was turned off while the Bluetooth settings page was open.
- Fixed an issue from recent flights resulting in some Insiders experiencing an issue where Store apps would begin to fail to activate after being launched a few times.
- Fixed an issue where if the lock screen slideshow was set to a OneDrive folder containing offline-only images, these pictures would all be downloaded to the PC while the PC was locked (going through each picture). These pictures will now be skipped.
- Spotlight would sometimes appear stuck on a particular image, but now there’s logic that resets after at most 7 days.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 16281 (made available to testers on September 1) to build 16288. Microsoft no longer tracks nor lists known issues, so install at your own risk.
Microsoft also released a new Windows 10 Mobile build today, but nobody cares.