The latest preview build of Windows 10, available to Windows Insider beta testers on the fast update ring, shows off some improvements that could make life better for early adopters and help Microsoft track bugs with each update it releases. Build 18965 is part of what will become the final Windows 10 20H1 release, set to be rolled out to users early next year.
The most important new feature introduced with this build is control over how apps are restarted if you reboot your PC while they were running. A new toggle in Sign-in Options section of the Windows Settings app will let users decide whether apps that can be shut down and restored should do so. Users’ work will be saved and restored when the computer has rebooted.
This will work when signing out, rebooting, or shutting down a PC completely. This behaviour used to be tied to how Windows 10 uses a Microsoft account to synchronise what happens when a user signs in to a Windows PC, but it can now be set independently. The company says that this has been done in direct response to user feedback requesting this change.
MIcrosoft uses the Feedback Hub in Windows 10 to collect bug reports as well as allow users to submit suggestions for future development. This app has been overhauled to make it easier for everyone to find issues that have already been submitted and then add commentary to them instead of creating multiple redundant posts.
Problems and suggestions will now be colour-coded red and blue respectively, and each will have an appropriate icon. Users will be able to comment on both and upvote suggestions as before, but can now select “Add similar feedback” for problems. According to the official release notes for Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18965, Microsoft felt that voting on problems was not working because their popularity is not being measured, unlike with suggestions which are meant to be rated on the basis of popularity.
With the new system, Microsoft is hoping to collect information from multiple people who have replicated or experienced the same problems in one place, to make diagnostics easier. Selecting “Add similar feedback” will now allow users to submit a comment which will be associated with a parent comment, with the same title and category automatically filled for convenience.
This new Windows 10 build also updates Windows Insider Achievements, which are badges that Windows Insider testers can earn for submitting feedback and contributing to the community. These are now displayed more prominently in categories.
There are also plenty of minor bug fixes and incremental improvements, as is typical for pre-release software. There are also still plenty of issues that are documented and need to be addressed in future releases. Users will notice the option for a cloud download if they attempt a Windows recovery, but this option is documented as not working yet.
Microsoft recently changed how its Windows release schedule works, thereby requiring a big change to the Windows Insider programme. The Slow and Fast rings now address different Windows 10 releases aimed for different times of the year. Microsoft is hoping to tighten quality control and spend more time getting issues sorted out before each release. The company has also just released a new beta version of its Edge browser using the Chromium engine.