Microsoft today released a new preview for PCs with changes and improvements to Narrator. This build is from the 19H1 branch, which, as its name indicates, will arrive in the first half of next year. Microsoft is simultaneously in the process of finalizing the RS5 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update the company plans to release later this year (likely in October 2018).

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released five major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, and April 2018 Update.

Microsoft has made improvements to Narrator, including to reliability (when changing Narrator’s view), Scan Mode (reading, navigating, and selecting text), QuickStart (relaunching and focusing), and Braille (commanding when using the Narrator key). The “Move to beginning of text” keystroke has changed to Narrator + B (was Narrator + Control + B) and the “Move to end of text” keystroke has changed to Narrator + E (was Narrator + Control + E).

If this sounds familiar, it’s because these changes came to the RS5 branch last month. Yep, the 19H1 branch is still playing catchup, even though it is technically newer.

This desktop build includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed an issue resulting in Notepad’s “Search with Bing” feature searching for “10 10” instead of “10 + 10” if that was the search query and an issue where accented characters would end up as question marks in the resulting search.
  • Fixed an issue where Ctrl + 0 to reset the zoom level in Notepad wouldn’t work if the 0 was typed from a keypad.
  • Fixed an issue resulting minimized apps having squished thumbnails in Task View.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the tops of apps in tablet mode being clipped (i.e. missing pixels).
  • Fixed an issue where the taskbar would stay on top of full-screened apps if you had previously hovered over any grouped taskbar icon to bring up the extended list of previews, but then clicked elsewhere to dismiss it.
  • Fixed an issue where the icons in the Microsoft Edge extension pane were drawing unexpectedly close to the toggles.
  • Fixed an issue where Find on Page in Microsoft Edge would stop working for open PDFs once the PDF had been refreshed.
  • Fixed an issue where Ctrl-based keyboard shortcuts (like Ctrl + C, Ctrl + A) didn’t work in editable fields for PDFs opened in Microsoft Edge.
  • Fixed the issue where if the Narrator key is set to just Insert, sending a Narrator command from a braille display should now function as designed regardless if the Caps Lock key is a part of the Narrator key mapping.
  • Fixed the issue in Narrator’s automatic dialog reading where the title of the dialog is being spoken more than once.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator won’t read combo boxes until Alt + down arrow is pressed.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for the 19H1 branch from 18214 (made available to testers on August 10) to build 18219.

This build has 11 known issues:

  • If you encounter hangs running WSL in 18219, a system reboot will correct the issue. If you’re an active user of WSL you may want to pause flighting and skip this build.
  • There are some improvements in this build but the dark theme File Explorer payload mentioned here is not there yet. You may see some unexpectedly light colors in these surfaces when in dark mode and/or dark on dark text.
  • When you upgrade to this build you’ll find that the taskbar flyouts (network, volume, etc) no longer have an acrylic background.
  • When you use the Ease of Access Make Text bigger setting, you might see text clipping issues, or find that text is not increasing in size everywhere.
  • When you set up Microsoft Edge as your kiosk app and configure the start/new tab page URL from assigned access Settings, Microsoft Edge may not get launched with the configured URL. The fix for this issue should be included in the next flight.
  • You may see the notification count icon overlapping with the extension icon in the Microsoft Edge toolbar when an extension has unread notifications.
  • On Windows 10 in S Mode, launching Office in the Store may fail to launch with an error about a .dll not being designed to run on Windows. The error message is that a .dll “is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again…” Some people have been able to work around this by uninstalling and reinstalling Office from the Store.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode you may experience multiple stops for a single control. An example of this is if you have an image that is also a link.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode Shift + Selection commands in Edge, the text does not get selected properly.
  • A potential increase in Start reliability and performance issues in this build.
  • If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.