Microsoft pushes near-final build of Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Members of the Windows Insider Program can now install build 14383. With final public release only weeks away, the most interesting feature is one you can't see at all.

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The relentless march to the August 2 public release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update continued today with the release of build 14383 to the Windows Insider Program Fast Ring.

The new build is available for PCs and for mobile devices.

The most noteworthy feature of the new release is something you can't see at all: In earlier preview releases, the build number appears in the lower right corner of the display as a persistent watermark. In this build, it's gone. The other big change is also invisible, affecting the way Cortana responds to speech input.

That doesn't mean this is the final version that will be released early next month. Instead, following the same pattern as previous releases, we can probably expect another build incorporating fixes from the current round of testing. At some point, a build will be released to anyone running the Current Branch of Windows 10 (build 1511) who has opted into the new Release Preview ring in the Windows Insider Program.

After that, expect incremental updates and bug fixes before the public launch.

The release notes for the new build are filled with many small bug fixes and a few interesting changes.

If you've seen erratic movement from a Bluetooth mouse in an earlier preview, there's a fix in this build. You'll also find a fix for a memory leak with Microsoft Edge that could cause pages to become unresponsive when the LastPass extension is enabled.

Speaking of extensions, this build now makes it possible to browse extensions directly from the their own home in the Store.

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The "Get extensions from the Store" option leads here.

This change to Cortana's behavior is interesting as well:

We have changed the keyboard shortcut to invoke Cortana in listening mode to Win + Shift + C based on feedback from Insiders experiencing a large number of unintended activations of Cortana while in listening mode. Speaking "Hey Cortana", when enabled in Cortana Settings, continues to invoke Cortana in listening mode as it always has.

The mobile version reportedly improves battery life and a slew of performance issues.

If you're currently running Windows 10 and want to be among the first to run the Anniversary Update you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program and opt in to the new Release Preview ring.