Whew, so many new features! After skipping a preview release last week due to a major bug, Microsoft has struck back with Windows 10 build 17704, part of the Redstone 5 branch.
And this build comes with an array of improvements, many of them for Edge, along with a fresh new Skype app.
Sadly, Microsoft has also officially confirmed that the highly anticipated Sets feature will not be part of the final Redstone 5 update as the company needs more time to refine the native addition of tabs in the operating system.
A bit of a blow for those of you looking forward to this feature — you’ll have to wait more or less a year.
Anyway, let’s get back to the good news.
Starting with the new beta logo for Microsoft Edge, which will only be seen on Insider preview builds and help users visually differentiate between the final and preview versions of the browsers.
This is how it looks, by the way:
Several design improvements for Edge too, more specifically how the Fluent Design system helps offer a more natural and usable experience via a depth effect that emphasizes the active tab.
Also redesigned is the Settings menu in the web browser, which is now a bit less complicated.
In fact, Settings are now broken down into subpages by category, with options that are better organized and uncluttered. It actually matches the experience in the Microsoft Edge hub, and this helps maintain a familiar look.
You can also customize toolbar items for Microsoft Edge now, and change which icons appear in the toolbar of the browser, a most requested option.
Another very requested option is the automatic playback of media, where a new setting lets you adjust whether sites can autoplay media. It is possible to customize the behavior according to your preferences.
There’s also a new icon for PDF files in File Explorer, when Edge is your default PDF handler.
Along with a new Skype experience for Windows 10 users that brings together the latest and greatest capabilities of the communication program. Users can take snapshots, easily start screensharing, customize the new layout with themes, and there are also improvements to media gallery.
Also new are some features for the Diagnostic Data Viewer app. This is a privacy tool that provides full transparency when it comes to data that is sent to Microsoft servers.
Users can now directly view Problem Reports that have or are set to be sent. Specific details about each report are collected, including when it was sent and which application or component caused the report to be created.
If privacy is not your thing, and watching videos is, then you will appreciate the new mode designed to improve the visibility of your clips when you are in a very bright environment.
This feature uses the light sensor on your device to detect ambient light and automatically adjust your video accordingly. Of course, your machine needs to have a light sense for this feature to kick in, but it’s nice to see that it’s here.
On the AI front, we have some improvements to the Typing Insights features that uses the magic of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help make typing more efficient for you.
Windows now also shows you stats about these features.
Continuing on, we now have the possibility of installing fonts for all users, and users that don’t have an administrator role. Ideal for when you have your own fonts that you want installed on a shared school or work PC.
There are also a few contextual commanding improvements to text controls, including the ability to quickly cut, copy and paste in textboxes with touch and new icons for common actions.
Not to be left out, there are a whole bunch of enhancements to Windows Security. It is now possible to quickly take action on threats straight from a new screen, as well as enable new protection setting that blocks suspicious behavior.
Task Manager also got a look in this version, and now includes 2 new columns in the Processes tab that show the energy impact of the running process in a system. Good way to identify power hungry apps.
There are a few improvements to Ease of Access and Narrator.
And Microsoft is all set to modernize the sniping experience in Windows 10, and is now directing users towards Screen Sketch, a new solution that provides all the functionality of the Sniping Tool, but with some additional features.
A new base image has also been added for Windows Container.
You’ll also find a new experience that may show up after you update. It lets you go through the setup questions that you may have missed.
Finally, another notable addition is the Microsoft Font Maker app that can be used to create a custom font based on your handwriting, simply by using a pen. Pretty neat addition and adds a personal touch to your experience.