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Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with snipping, Sets, Fluent Design, security, Focus assist while gaming, sound, language, and HEIC improvements. This build is from the RS5 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update the company plans to release later this year.

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 is merging the various ways you can take screenshots (and annotate them) in Windows 10. WIN + Shift + S now brings up a snipping toolbar, which you can use for taking a quick screenshot. Immediately after taking a snip, you’ll get a notification that opens your snip into Screen Sketch, which has been turned into a standalone app (it can also be set to open with a pen click, the print screen button, or the screen snip button in the Action Center). Screen Sketch, which was originally introduced as part of Windows Ink Workspace, can thus be updated via the Microsoft Store, chosen when you hit Alt + tab, and it has a resizable window, supports multiple tabs, and of course works with tabs (thanks to Sets).


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Speaking of Sets, Microsoft’s new tabbing interface, the experiment is expanding. If you’re a Windows Insider who had the feature until now, you still will, regardless of how you got access. In fact, most Windows Insiders will now see Sets, although a small group still won’t.

Microsoft’s Fluent Design has added another player to its team. The Task View has gone acrylic — the background now has a soft blur effect.

Windows Defender Security Center is now called Windows Security. Microsoft loves renaming features, and at least this time around it’s a simplification. The app could have easily been renamed to Windows 10 Defender Security Center 2018 Pro.

Gamers will be happy to learn that Focus assist will now turn on automatically when you’re playing any full screen game. This is the default behavior, but you can always turn it on or off (Settings => System => Focus assist => “When I’m playing a game”).

After moving Sound settings to the Settings app with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Microsoft is now moving on to integrating Device properties into Settings. When you click on the links in Sound Settings, you’ll now get a new page where you can name your device and select your preferred spatial audio format.

For those who write in Chinese (Simplified), the Microsoft Pinyin IME is being updated with a new logo, new IME toolbar, and dark theme support. A bunch of options have also been added to the IME mode indicator’s context menu in the taskbar, and the IME now uses the same UX for Expressive Input as other languages.

After adding the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) a few builds ago, this preview lets you rotate HEIF-format images in File Explorer and edit metadata under Properties.

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

  • Made a number of improvements to how Narrator communicates the use of Sets – for example, Narrator will now inform you of the tabs by reading information such as Tab # N of M as you open and move between tabs. If you’re a Narrator user, please take a moment to try out Sets with today’s build and share feedback about the experience.
  • When you clean install or do a PC refresh, you’ll find that the Out of Box Experience for setting up your PC now includes a page for enabling activity history sync, which will help you continue what you were doing, even when you switch devices.
  • Adjusted how you access skin tones in the Emoji Panel – you’ll now see a row of skin tone colors to select from when people emoji are in view.
  • Fixed an issue where using arrow and Page Up / Page Down keys didn’t work to scroll webpages in Microsoft Edge.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the mouse cursor becoming invisible when hovering over certain UI elements and text fields in the last two flights.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the mouse cursor not animating correctly in the last two flights.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in the Game Bar not appearing for some Insiders after pressing WIN+G.
  • When you hover over the Windows icon in the taskbar, a tooltip will now appear for Start.
  • Updated the design of the handwriting panel so that the delete button is now a top level button. The button to switch languages is now under the “…” menu.
  • If you go to Pen & Windows Ink Settings, you’ll find a new option that allows your pen to behave like a mouse instead of scrolling or panning the screen.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for the RS5 branch from 17655 (made available to testers on April 25) to build 17661.

This build has 15 known issues:

  • Certain notifications from Action Center may cause regular Explorer.exe crashes.
  • VPN may not be working after updating to this build. To get VPN working again, delete the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\pbk* directories. Check if the VPN profile you need shows up already and if not, reinstall the appropriate VPN client app you need.
  • After updating to this build and installing the latest app updates from the Microsoft Store, when you log in to additional user accounts on the PC there may be missing apps. You can run the following PowerShell script when logged in to users with missing apps on your PC to fix the issue: Get-AppXPackage *WindowsStore* -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
  • On resuming from sleep, the desktop may be momentarily visible before the Lock screen displays as expected.
  • When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the “Let Movies & TV access your videos library?” popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the “Personal” tab.
  • Narrator reads extra text when invoking Alt + Tab.
  • If you complete the setup for a Windows Mixed Reality headset on this build, the headset will remain black until it is unplugged and reconnected to the PC.
  • If your PC appears stuck at “Preparing to install…” somewhere between the 80%-100% – please be patient and wait up to 30 minutes for this stage to complete.
  • Sets UX for Office Win32 desktop apps is not final. The experience will be refined over time based on feedback.
  • The top of some Win32 desktop app windows may appear slightly underneath the tab bar when created maximized. To work around the issue, restore and re-maximize the window.
  • Closing one tab may sometimes minimize the entire set.
  • Tiling and cascading windows, including features like “View Side by Side” in Word, will not work for inactive tabs.
  • The Office Visual Basic Editor window will currently be tabbed but is not intended to be in the future.
  • Opening an Office document while the same app has an existing document open may cause an unintended switch to the last active document. This will also happen when closing a sheet in Excel while other sheets remain open.
  • Right-clicking a tab in Sets will not bring up a context menu in this build.
  • Local files or non-Microsoft cloud files will not be automatically restored, and no error message will be provided to alert the user to that fact.

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

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