Bang on schedule! It’s Wednesday, and that can only mean two things. One, that the weekend is fast approaching, and the other is that a Windows 10 build is out in the open.
As expected, Microsoft today released a new Insider Preview to the Fast ring — bringing the build number up to 18290. This, after a brief pause last week due to Thanksgiving.
The highlights of this new version are some new Fluent Design elements, clock syncing and more.
Redmond provides all the details here in the announcement post, but this version mostly contains minor improvements and serves as a preview for the next feature update to the operating system that is currently in development as 19H1.
In terms of features, first we have some polish in the power and user menus in Start, including icons for easier identification. Took a while, these icons, alright. But they are a nice touch.
Next up, is the handy little option of manually syncing your clock in the Date & Time side of Settings. Could come in useful when the time service is disabled, or you fear that your clock might be out of sync for some reason.
Windows 10 now also shows you which app is using your microphone, with a cool little icon in the Taskbar that not only lets you know, but also allows you to manage privacy settings.
Microsoft has also improved Search and Cortana experiences in this version, with an updated landing page that gives recent activities a bit more room to breathe, implements the light theme, as well as a touch of acrylic.
Updates improvements are also in, and you will be notified when your device requires a reboot with an icon in the System Tray.
And finally, it is also now easier to keep track of your tasks from Mail and Calendar in Microsoft To-Do, thanks to the ability to switch directly to the app in navigation. This update is rolling out to both Insiders and regular users.
As expected, nothing crazy here — at least, not right after the break. But there are improvements throughout, many of them focused on improving the user interface and usability of the OS.
And these are always welcome.
The software titan also made it a point to note that older builds are going to be expiring soon, with the date for current builds being December 14. If you are rocking an older version of the preview, you will start seeing a warning once a day, while the build will just stop working at some point.