The first new Windows 10 preview build is out today for all Insiders in the Dev channel. Indeed, the build 21286 from the RS_PRERELEASE channel is now available to download for all Dev channel Insiders, meaning that Insiders that remained on the separate FE_RELEASE can now join the rest of Insiders already on the RS_PRERELEASE development branch.
The main new feature in this build is the addition of news and interests on the Windows taskbar, right next to the system tray. This new shortcut will provide access to dynamic content including weather and news when you click on it.
“You can personalize your feed with relevant content tailored for you. Instead of switching between apps or your PC and phone to stay up to date with the news and interests you care about – seamlessly peek into your feed directly from the taskbar anytime you want throughout your day,” the Windows Insider team explained.
This feature can be personalized and also turned off by right-clicking on the taskbar. News and Interests in the taskbar will roll out to select Insiders who install the build 21286, and it’s currently only available in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and India on PCs where the new Chromium-based Edge is installed.
While this new feature is quite unexpected, it’s something that the Windows Insider team plans to improve in the future. “Over time, we hope to bring your feed of news and interests to other places, such as in Microsoft Edge, so no matter where you are, you’ll be able to stay up to date,” the team said today.
The build 21286 also bring the ability to manage Storage spaces from within the Settings app, and adds the option to run any specified Linux command on startup of a WSL distribution. Other minor improvements include notifications for time zone changes and the addition of 2 simplified recovery modes for the Windows File Recovery tool.
You can also check out the list of other changes, bug fixes, and known issues for the build 21286 below:
Changes and Improvements
- Based on feedback, (GitHub issue #1495) we’re adding an option to disable automatic controller-to-virtual-key mapping for UWP apps. If you have a need to do this, add the following registry key, with a DWORD value of Enabled set to 0: HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftInputSettingsControllerProcessorControllerToVKMapping.
- We fixed and issue causing some Insiders to see a popup that says “Your PC ran into a problem and restart in 1 min” after logging in to Windows with either an Azure Active Directory or Active Directory account on Build 21277.
- We fixed an issue where no drives appeared under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes.
- We fixed an issue resulting in some printers getting stuck on connecting when added from Settings.
- We fixed an issue that could result in sometimes unexpectedly being signed out of apps and websites after rebooting your PC.
- We fixed an issue where the Windows Security icon would sometimes be unexpectedly large in the context menu when shift-right-clicking taskbar icons.
- We fixed an issue that could result in MediaTranscoder hanging when transcoding certain files.
- We fixed an issue where audio playing from UWP apps wasn’t ducking after pressing the microphone icon to start Cortana listening.
- We fixed an issue that could result in VPN entries in the network flyout getting stuck at Action Needed until you pressed Cancel and Connect again.
- We fixed an issue impacting touch targeting when resizing windows using touch.
- We’ve made some fixes to our emoji keyword search results based on feedback, including adding a new keyword so that typing “lgbtq” will now return the rainbow flag emoji. Please continue sharing feedback with us in the Feedback Hub under Input and Language > Emoji Panel.
- We fixed an issue that could result in the Read Aloud options in Magnifier being unexpectedly greyed out.
- We fixed an issue where the “Help make Narrator better” toggle in Narrator Settings was disabled for Insiders.
- We fixed an issue so that Narrator will now read Excel cell contents when verbosity is set to 2.
- We fixed an issue where Narrator might not announce whether a combo box was in expanded or collapsed state.
- We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read the names of certain hyperlinks on websites in Microsoft Edge.
- We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read code windows in Visual Studio.
- We fixed an issue for high contrast users that could result in Settings crashing when going to Ease of Access.
- We’re working on a fix for an issue Insiders have reported where certain games like State of Decay 2, or Assassin’s Creed, may hang or crash when launching.
- We’re investigating an issue where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may not launch starting with this build. If you play these games, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
- You may experience some rendering / graphic issues after resizing certain app windows. If you minimize all your app windows and open them again it should resolve the issue (Press the Windows key plus D twice).
- We’re investigating an issue where some 32-bit systems may lose network connection after taking this build. If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
- When Xbox Game Bar is launched from Start or via the Windows key + G when using a text editor, the computer may appear unresponsive. If you encounter this, dismiss the Xbox Game Bar with WIN + G and end the GameBar.exe process from Task Manager.
- Miracast users may experience very low frame rates in this build.
- We’re investigating reports that starting with Build 21277 where explorer.exe / the Windows shell is hanging and or crashing.
- We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
- Aero Shake is disabled in this build. To enable it, you will need to go here in Registry Editor and create a new DWORD entry named DisallowShaking with a value of 0: HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
- Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. We’re continuing to work on polishing this experience.
- We’re working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
- [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout may show as offline even when the user is online.
- [News and interests] Users cannot navigate into the news and interests flyout using keyboard.
- [News and interests] In some scenarios, the news and interests flyout may appear empty with no content.
- [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout cannot be dismissed with touch and pen.
- [News and interests] News and interests uses more taskbar space on the left than expected.
This new build is still not tied to a specific Windows release, so we don’t know yet if this experiment with news and interests in the taskbar will end up in the upcoming 21H1 update coming later this Spring. This feature may seem a bit redundant for users who use Live Tiles in the Start Menu to keep up with the news, though bringing some of this information right to the taskbar could have its advantages. Do you think this is an interesting addition, or are you against your taskbar being cluttered by too many things? Sound off in the comments below.