Only a few days have passed since Microsoft rolled out a new preview of Windows 10 (build 10122) to the Fast ring of updates, and now a slightly newer version (build 10125) has emerged onto the web highlighting a few interesting UI changes and enhancements over the current official release.
Windows 10 build 10125 is a preview that is not available to the public and while it's likely that Microsoft won't be releasing this to any of the public channels, we can still see a number of changes that we haven't seen before that may appear in future builds.
Windows 10 build 10125
The new build doesn't include many changes in the Start menu, but users will notice a "New" label that will appear to the right of the "All Apps" button indicating that you have a new app installed in your system. Like with the Start screen in Windows 8.1, this should work when installing any kind of apps, both traditional desktop programs and Windows apps from the Store.
It's worth pointing out that in Tablet mode the hamburger button located in the top-left corner of the screen will also show when you have a new app installed in your system.
In this build of Windows 10, there is a new "Network Beta" app. You can launch it, but at this time you'll only get a Microsoft logo splash and nothing will happen.
There is also another interesting tweak that Microsoft is testing in the Start menu. When you click "All apps", you will now see a grid of letters to make it easier to get you to the app you want.
Since Windows 7, Microsoft introduced a new feature by the name of "Jump Lists", which basically takes users quickly to specific places within an app or different locations by simply right-clicking an app or the File Explorer icon in the taskbar. Each Jump List will have different options depending on the application. For example, in File Explorer, you will see a list of the most frequent places, while Internet Explorer provides access to different tasks and a list of recently visited websites.
The new Jump Lists feature has been updated with a modern Windows 10 look and dark theme, and has also been enabled Jump List in the Start menu. This is something that we have seen before, but it did not make it into Windows 10 build 10122.
You can see in the screenshot below how the Jump List menu works in the Start menu.
On the system icons area, Microsoft is also tweaking and updating "Date and Time" with new styling, but the design still remains the same.
In Windows 10 build 10125, Microsoft is including additional tweaks to the Tablet mode. In the screenshot below, we can clearly see that they're finally adding the universal back button to the taskbar.
The back button works in the same way as on a Windows Phone. If you access and navigate an app, clicking the back arrow button in the taskbar will take you one step back, and if you are in the homepage of an app and click the button, you'll be exited out of it.
Perhaps the most interesting changes are happening in the Settings app. In build 10125, when you go to the Personalization area, you now see that you can enable or disable whether to show app and content suggestions, store and display recently programs, and whether to show the recently added apps group to the Start menu.
The "Customize list" link is now accessible and you can add and remove various items from the list above the Power options. While you are limited to the list of items you can add, there is direct access to Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, HomeGroup, Network, and Personal Folders. It's also interesting that Microsoft will also allow users to remove the defaults (File Explorer and Settings), which is a nice addition, even more so for those users still on Windows 7.
Furthermore, if you try to customize the list, you'll find that only File Explorer and Settings currently have their corresponding icons in the Start menu, everything else has a smiley face.
As Microsoft gets closer to the release of Windows 10 RTM, other changes are happening around the icons. In previous builds of the operating system, we have seen that Microsoft is testing a different set of icons around the operating system and on future builds we might also see a new set of updated icons.
The new updated set of icons are a lot nicer than those we came to know in the preview of Windows 10, and users coming from Windows 7 and Windows 8 will find them very familiar. Though Microsoft is also introducing new icons for Devices and Drives, This PC, and Quick Access, and even File Explorer has an updated icon.
During the Ignite conference, Microsoft demoed a new security technology called Windows Hello, which requires special hardware with IR sensors to allow users to sign-in to Windows 10 with a password using facial recognition.
In Windows 10 build 10125, the implementation of Windows Hello appears in the Settings app, "Accounts", under the "Sign-in options" and surprisingly the setup is pretty straightforward, and it also requires users to create a PIN before Windows Hello can be configured.
The new login feature only has a few options that users will be able to set. Users can enable an option to automatically unlock the screen if Windows Hello recognize your face (default option is "On"), and to add extra security, users can also opt to enable the option to require turning your head left and right to unlock Windows 10 (default option is "Off").
Wrapping things up
While it is likely Windows Insiders will not be getting this particular build, it does give us a glimpse of what is to come in future updates. Microsoft is gearing up to release Windows 10 later this summer in 111 languages and 190 markets, and as we get closer to RTM, we're going to continue to see the company focusing more on fixing bugs, making the operating system stable, and just bringing everything closer together, rather than including new features.
"Microsoft will continue to work closely with mobile operators on testing to meet and exceed quality bars. The input of mobile operators is invaluable to the testing process. Microsoft will use their input, as well as input from the millions of Windows Insiders, to decide when to send out mobile updates to Windows 10 devices."
It remains to be seen just how much effect that "input" will have on the timing of updates, but here's hoping that the process is much more streamlined and carrier-neutral than the current one.
Although Slow ring members will miss out on the new features in build 10080, they will also be spared themany known issues. They will either have to wait for a more stable build to be released or change over to a faster ring.
If you are one of the many who have made the leap to Windows 10 Mobile preview, and for one reason or another want to move back to Windows Phone 8.1, be sure to check out our handy guide to rolling back your phone.
A new version of Outlook also began rolling out with preview build 10080 of Windows 10 Mobile. The redesigned mail and calendar app received a different button layout, trading its buttons on the top of the screen in for a quick-action ribbon at the bottom. In addition to the new layout, there are also many new settings and tweaks. Not to mention that the program itself just seems faster over all.
There was a brief blip of excitement across the Windows Phone user base when a vague tweet from Snapchat Support claimed that the notoriously anti-Windows Phone company has "plans to make [a Snapchat app] available in the future."
While this would surely make the masses collectively jump for joy, we urge you all to temper your expectations, given the long and tumultuous Snapchat vs. Windows saga
Unable to log in to your Xbox Live account from the Xbox One or the Xbox 360? Microsoft is aware of the issue, and is currently working on a resolution.
Hey Xbox members, are you having a tough time signing in to Live? Or difficulty updating your account preferences, managing your payment details, setting your privacy settings, or viewing and interacting with your Friends? We're aware of the issue and have our engineers working to get it fixed ASAP! Thanks for your patience while we get everything back to normal. We'll update you as soon as we have more info.
The support website for Xbox Live has also listed two services — Slacker Radio and Xbox Fitness — as being unavailable for the time being. In addition, customers playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the Xbox 360 may face frequent crashes during multiplayer, with Facebook sharing also affected.
As I’ve casually used it over the past day I have found it to be an impressively stable build compared to previous ones, especially the apps and menus are much smoother, so far. However it is important to remember that it is a preview and you should expect things to go wrong occasionally, if not frustratingly too often. This build is meant to help test and uncover what could be wrong in order to strengthen the development process of the software, not to serve as a normal daily use OS.
One thing that can go wrong is Windows 10 search function returns broken results that lead to nowhere or to the wrong place on your PC. One of the nice features of Windows 10 is having a powerful search option to reliably navigate your PC. If you find this not to be the case you can try rebuilding your PC’s search index in a few easy steps.
Important note before rebuilding: While the steps to initiate the rebuilding process are simple and quick, the actual process you are initiating can take quite some time depending on how much data Windows has to index. Before the process begins consuming resources, Windows will alert you that, "Rebuilding the index might take a long time to complete. Some views and search results might be incomplete until rebuilding is finished."
The easiest first thing to do would be typing "indexing options" into the search bar and selecting the top result.... but of course this is a guide for fixing a broken search function. In the case it is somewhat working and does return a link to Indexing Options, skip ahead to Step 3. Otherwise go to step 1.
Right click the Start Menu and select Control Panel. Indexing Options has not made its way to the new Universal App for Settings and still resides in the traditional Control Panel.
From the Control Panel window select Indexing Options as indicated by the larger of the two arrows. Note: On the following screenshot the control panel is organized by large icons, not category. To switch between how the window is organized click the view by options in the top right of the window as indicated by the smaller of the two arrows.
From the Indexing Options dialogue box , click the Advanced button. Note: access to this option requires the PC administrator's permissions.
From the Advanced dialogue box, select Rebuild. Selecting Rebuild will begin the process of deleting and then rebuilding your PC's search index, remember this is a time consuming process.
That's it to the process. Once it is done you will have a freshly rebuilt search index so you can keep easily navigating Windows 10 right from your search bar.
A lot can happen in a week. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle.
Between Windows news, hardware and software developments and Microsoft's fast-paced movements throughout the technology landscape, it's never easy to keep your hand on the pulse of technology. Not to mention everything that's going on right here at Windows Central!
Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).
Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.
Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
Excludes Windows Enterprise and RT devices
The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.
There were several rumors this week regarding Microsoft trying to acquire other companies. A report from Bloomberg says that Redmond put in a bid for a minority stake in Nokia's HERE maps division. Microsoft is just one of many companies rumored to be making offers. Uber, Apple, Facebook, and a group of German auto makers are all rumored to be interested. We'll see the final list in a couple of weeks when final bids are due.
Another company that Microsoft is reportedly eyeing is 6Wunderkinder, developer of the task management app Wunderlist. The potential deal could be an effort for Microsoft to expand their user base across different platforms.
The group sent a joint letter to the president, which in part says:
We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products. We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. Such policies will in turn help to promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad.