On Friday Microsoft released Windows 10 build 10130 to the Fast ring. With Windows 10 now officially set to go out the door on July 29, we're getting closer and closer to the final bits.
It seems like only a few days ago when I was digging into the leaked Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10125 ... probably because it was only a few days ago. The good news is that all of the significant improvements in build 10125 -- including, notably, the improved Start menu -- carry forward to the officially released build 10130.
Those with the last official release, 10122, and those with the leaked build 10125 are finding it easy to upgrade to build 10130. Simply click (or tap) Start > Settings > Update > Windows Update; click Advanced Options; at the bottom make sure you're in the Fast ring; then go back and click Check for Updates. That process will work no matter which Technical Preview or Insider Preview build you're using.
Here's a quick rundown of the new stuff:
- The Start menu can now include links to specific predefined locations, such as Documents, Downloads, and many more. (If you upgraded from 10122 to 10130 and File Explorer and Settings don't appear on the left of the Start menu, click Start > Settings > Personalization > Start > Customize List, and put them back in.) There are also reminders when you install new apps and an alphabetical grid when you click on a heading letter. In Tablet Mode, there's a Back icon next to Start. I talked about all of these changes in my post about build 10125.
- As mentioned last week, the Edge browser can now run YouTube videos full-screen. What used to be "Print as a PDF" is now called "Microsoft Print to PDF." For all 10 of you who use Windows 8.1 in Metro mode, the new Win10 Tablet Mode lets you swipe down from the top of an app to bring up the app's commands: A hamburger substitute.
- Cortana has cute new graphics when you set it up.
- There are new icons that you can read all about in Gabe Aul's Windows blog. I swear they're trying to out-Jony Sir Jony Ive with comments like, "We explored Swiss graphic design, Dutch product design, and modern architecture (among other design fields and styles) to inform and inspire the design process. The icon evolution will continue as we push more consistency and better functionality." New Microsoft-speak?
- In the Windows Universal Photos app, I can now get Albums to work (hooray!). But they're a joke compared to Google's newly announced Photos app. Have you seen the automatically generated Stories, based on your Google uploaded photos? Not even from the same century, in Internet years.
The Insider Preview Release Notes for build 10130 contain few surprises. (t/h WZor)
I've been running build 10130 on four PCs, and for me it's considerably more stable than build 10125 -- about on par with 10122. At least the Start menu doesn't freeze as much and the apps only occasionally disappear while running. There's lots of missing stuff, lots of bugs, and there's no music in the Store. Autohiding the taskbar doesn't do anything, nor does Network Beta (although it's rumored that the app may tie into a new Internet service from Microsoft, or maybe a VPN). There are at least two common hard errors on shutdown: explorer.exe gets a 0x00 and DDE Server gets a 0x88. People is still a toy app.
In summary, 10130 is nowhere close to "really stable" or feature complete -- and many pieces don't work -- but that's why we're beta testers, right?
Ed Bott reports in ZDNet that Newegg jumped the gun and listed OEM System Builder editions of Windows 10 as available Aug. 31. The Home version lists for $110 and Pro for $150. Everything must be taken with a grain of salt, of course: As a pre-order at Newegg, prices are flexible. The ad has since been pulled.
With Windows honcho Terry Myerson drawing a line in the sand for July 29 availability, we're definitely down to the wire.