Microsoft releases its first Windows 10 beta build of the year

The update focuses on backend improvements, and users won't see much change

Members of the Windows Insider Program got their first new beta build of Microsoft's operating system for 2016, and it's a snoozer when it comes to user-facing features.

The new build features improvements to OneCore, the underlying shared core of Windows that's on all the devices running Windows 10 including Xbox One, smartphones and even Microsoft's HoloLens.

According to Microsoft Vice President Gabe Aul, the structural changes to OneCore are almost at the point where Microsoft is comfortable letting teams check in new features for Windows 10, which is good news for those of us looking for a taste of new functionality Microsoft has in store. 

Don't expect any new features just yet. Aul said that it will likely take a few more beta builds before "really noticeable changes" show up, based on the pace of the teams developing them. 

Aul also mentioned again that Microsoft will be easing its criteria for the reliability threshold for the Windows Insider Program's Fast ring, meaning that the company will be releasing more builds this year than it did last year. That comes at a cost to users, though: they'll likely include more bugs than they did in the past.

People who want to make sure that their computers remain reliable while still living in the future should adjust their preferences to take part in the Slow ring, which will have fewer but more reliable updates. 

This build has its share of known issues, too. Microsoft recommends that Insiders who use Citrix XenDesktop avoid the build because of a potential issue that may prevent them from logging in. In addition, users will find that some of their application defaults will be reset, and applications -- including some versions of Skype, QQ and WeChat -- that depend upon Adobe Flash may crash on launch. 

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?