Microsoft is working overtime to clean out a ton of annoying bugs before it releases the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in October.
The company has just issued the latest preview build, 16288, of the Windows 10 Creators Update to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, bringing a long list of fixes that would cause an outcry if they were released to the public.
Cortana in some cases wasn't returning the app users asked for, the enter key didn't work for Facebook Messenger, and users were "bombarded" with notifications when they unlocked the PC. These of course are now all fixed in an early preview build, so mainstream users can expect a better experience than this.
But Microsoft is closing in fast on the release date. The company has updated the preview build to display the Fall Creators Update's official 'Version 1709' and removed the Insider preview 'evaluation copy' watermark.
Thanks to Lenovo's leak we know the Fall Creators Update will arrive on PCs in mid-October, though Microsoft is expected to officially announce it as RTM in September in line with the '09' part of this version.
It's the fourth Windows 10 feature update since Microsoft kicked off Windows as a service with Windows 10 in mid-2015. The two previous Windows 10 updates include the Anniversary Update, version 1607, from July 2016, and the Creators Update, version 1703, from March 2017.
The Fall Creators Update will introduce Microsoft's new look Fluent Design in some apps and features such as Action Center, a bevy of advanced enterprise security features, and support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer ,and Asus.
As for the new preview, Windows software engineer Dona Sarkar stressed to Insiders that "This is NOT the final build" and the watermark may return in future releases.
"We're just now beginning the phase of checking in final code to prepare for the final release," wrote Sarkar.
The preview update fixes a dozen bugs affecting inputs such as the touch keyboard, a malfunctioning emoji picker and emoji button, and high CPU usage when using Chinese handwriting.
Edge has also got a lot of attention in this update. The tab preview was displaying PDFs as just black and white stripes, the Find function and URL address bar were broken, Ctrl+ Click on a link in PDF didn't open a new tab, and the 'Open with previous pages' feature didn't work in some cases.
Microsoft also fixed a problem affecting some users where apps from the Microsoft Store would fail to activate after a few launches. There was a Bluetooth-related bug that caused Settings to crash, and an issue affecting the lock screen slideshow if it was set to a OneDrive folder containing offline-only images.
Microsoft's new build for mobile also introduces a number of security improvements that could benefit business users with Windows 10 Mobile devices like HP's Elite X3.
The mobile Build 1520 brings two-factor authentication to Windows 10 Mobile, which will allow enterprises to require users to have, say, an approved NFC tag as well as know the passcode. Microsoft has also made improvements to AppLocker, and the VPN.
Previous and related coverage
The fourth feature update to Windows 10 is scheduled to arrive in October. It's packed with a wide assortment of new and refined features, including some new security options designed to block zero-day exploits and ransomware.
Microsoft will begin rolling out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on October 17. Here's what to expect.
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