Microsoft on Monday unveiled a massive number of Windows 10 updates as part of its latest preview build for Insiders. Among the changes developers can test drive ahead of a later release for the general public are new tab and windows controls for the Edge browser, a sneak preview of new Web payment options for Microsoft Wallet and a variety of security updates for consumers and enterprise users.
One change for Insiders is the appearance of a "green screen of death" instead of the standard "blue screen of death" that accompanies major system problems. The green screen will appear only on Insider builds to make it easier to distinguish preview problems from those affecting versions of Windows 10 already in general circulation.
On 'High Alert' for Insider Feedback
"This is a [big] update," Windows and Devices Group software engineer Dona Sarkar said in a blog post on Monday. She added that the Microsoft support team will be on "high alert" in the company's Feedback Hub regarding Insider comments about the many changes that were rolled out.
Among the updates coming to Microsoft's Edge browser, for example, are additional tools to make it easier to keep track of and manage multiple tabs, including a new visual preview panel that lets users scroll through all their open tabs without having to leave the one that's currently on the screen (see picture, above). Users can also set aside all of their currently open tabs to start fresh while keeping open the option to return to those later.
The latest Insider release also provides preview support for Microsoft's new Payment Request API that will allow users to save payment and shipping preferences for quicker Web purchases. For now, however, the preview won't let Insiders actually process payments via that method.
Insiders testing Preview Build 15002 will also notice a number of changes to the Windows Defender anti-virus and security app. These include new options for quick, advanced or full security scans, and a new on-demand option to refresh Windows.
"If your PC is running slow, crashes or is unable to update your PC, this option may help you," Sarkar noted. "This option starts fresh by reinstalling and updating Windows, which will remove most of your apps but keep your personal files and some Windows settings."
Microsoft is also letting Insiders try out new features for Windows Information Protection that are designed to give enterprise users more control over how encrypted work files are copied and managed on other devices and applications.
'In Control of Your Data'
The latest preview build also introduces updates to folder tiling in the Start Menu, Windows app sharing, high-DPI support, icon scaling, window resizing, VPN access, Windows Ink, the Cortana intelligent assistant and accessibility/language support.
Meanwhile, a new Web-based privacy dashboard rolled out to Insiders yesterday will make it easier for users to manage their Microsoft activity data and privacy preferences. Writing on the Windows 10 blog yesterday, Windows and Devices Group executive vice president Terry Myerson said the new features were added based on feedback from Windows users.
In addition to the new privacy dashboard, Microsoft yesterday also introduced a new set-up "experience" for managing privacy. It's also being launched to Insiders first.
Myerson said both new features will be tested based on Insider feedback before rolling out to the wider Windows 10 user base with the Creators Update, expected to be released sometime this spring.
"We want you to be informed about and in control of your data, which is why we're working hard on these settings and controls," Myerson said. "And regardless of your data collection choices, we will not use the contents of your email, chat, files, or pictures to target ads to you."