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Microsoft removes Messaging Everywhere feature from newest Windows 10 test build

Microsoft is nearing the Windows 10 Anniversary finish line and is releasing both new Fast (14376) and Slow (14372) Ring preview builds to try to stamp out remaining issues.

Microsoft has rolled out a new Windows 10 preview build (No. 14376) for PCs and Windows Phones to Fast Ring Insiders on June 28.

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The new builds are all about fixes and updates, which is fitting given Microsoft is in the home stretch of finalizing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update ("Redstone 1") for delivery on or around July 29.

Microsoft Insider Chief Dona Sarkar said Build 14376 for PCs and Mobile has nearly 1,800 fixes over the previous build, last week's 14372.

Build 14376 also is removing a feature some had expected to be included in the Anniversary Update: Messaging Everywhere.

From Sarkar's June 28 blog post:

"We have been testing with Windows Insiders a preview of the 'Messaging everywhere' feature that allows you to receive and send text messages from your Windows 10 phone directly to and from your Windows 10 PC. The experience was well-received by Insiders however we believe we can deliver an even better experience through the Skype app. Because of this, we decided not to release this feature as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. Starting with Build 14376 and going forward, Insiders will no longer have the ability to reply to text messages from their phone via the Messaging app on their PCs. The ability to reply to text messages on your PC using Cortana is unaffected."

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Microsoft will provide more details about its new Skype-based messaging plans "in the months ahead," she said. The Skype team is in the midst of revising its Universal Windows Platform app strategy.

Build 14376 for PCs doesn't include any known issues, which indicates that it's close to release to manufacturing/release to the Web. It does include a bunch of noteworthy fixes, including an update to the Windows Store that improves performance and reliability. The Windows 10 Mobile Build 14376 also includes a Store update for performance and reliability. There are several remaining known issues for the Mobile 14376 build, especially around battery life on certain Lumia devices.

Microsoft also is releasing Build 14372 for PCs and Mobile to Windows Insiders in the Slow Ring, today, as well.