Thanks to AMD’s president and CEO Lisa Su on their latest earnings call last week, she said that the release date for Windows 10 is sometime in late July. Having worked at Microsoft, this isn’t really big news since that is when they usually do it unless it slips to August for whatever reason. There is always a time gap between when they release RTM and when it’s available internally, to MSDN subscribers, and to the general public. The part that hasn’t been covered is if that’s the RTM release date, where we normally wouldn’t see the bits for a few weeks afterwards, or if RTM is actually earlier than that, and this is one of the other availability dates. I’m leaning towards the earlier release date when they call it good for shipping and producing the official binaries.
Windows and Visual Studio have usually always gone hand-in-hand together for release and availability as well given that one is the official tooling to develop on the other and they need some sort of lock-step development plan. It may not be the same days, could be as much as a couple of weeks apart given Windows is larger code-base. Either way, we’re getting close to getting the newest versions of both Windows and Visual Studio soon.
In regards to official news, including the announcement of this latest build, can be found up on the Windows blog, or here on my site. For what hasn’t been announced yet, such as the availability or even a preview of the Docker containerization stuff, or maybe a more official availability date, I’d expect something to come up at next week’s Build conference in San Francisco. If you happen to be in the Raleigh area, the Triangle .Net User Group (TriNUG) is holding a special gathering to watch the keynote video stream at the Microsoft office in Durham.
Features included in the update:
- New Mail and Calendar apps have improved performance and a familiar three-pane email UI, with a toggle to quickly move between your email and calendar. Mail includes customizable Swipe Gestures, letting you swipe right or left to take actions like delete, flag, move or mark as read/unread. Also includes the new email authoring experience. Mail leverages the familiar and rich capability of Word to that allows you to easily insert tables, add pictures and use bullets and color to your text. Both the new Mail and Calendar apps support Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Gmail, IMAP, POP and other popular accounts.
- Start, Taskbar, and Action Center improvements introduces the new black system theme across the Start menu, Taskbar, and Action Center. The Start menu and Taskbar now have transparency and you can also resize the Start menu. We’ve also enabled support for AutoColor which pulls the primary color from your desktop background. In the Settings app under Personalization, you can adjust the color of Start, Taskbar, and Action Center as well as transparency. Check these settings out and let us know what you think. And based on your feedback, we have moved the power button to the bottom left from the top right of the Start menu to make it more accessible.
- Continuum is now more optimized for tablets. Entering Tablet Mode causes the Start button, Cortana, and the Task View buttons to all grow in size and space out to be more touchable. Items in the Notification area also widen to improve touchability. Also, pinned and running apps are removed by default to reduce clutter and simplify the experience. Start and Task View remain available for launching and switching. If you still prefer to see apps on your taskbar, there is an option under Tablet Mode in Settings to turn them back on. We also now offer a setting to boot directly into Tablet Mode. For tablets under 10 inches, this is the default behavior.
- Task View has several visual updates to Task View. They’ve refined the window icons, the close buttons, and the thumbnails. These improvements also apply to Alt+Tab and Snap Assist. Task View gets a new icon on the Taskbar too.
- Virtual Desktop now lets you create as many Virtual Desktops as you’d like. When you hit the limit of your display, a new overflow experience now lets you access any one of your desktops. Microsoft is eager to hear your feedback to determine the default behavior of the Taskbar across desktops.
Issues fixed in this build:
- The issue where Indexing of new email in Outlook was not working.
- The issue with Hyper-V preventing you from enabling it.
- Visual Studio will no longer crash when creating a new Universal app project.
- Fixed a few issues in Project Spartan. You can now double-click on the titlebar to maximize. We have also made some tweaks to the alignment of the Favorites Bar so that the text and icons no longer appear partially below the bottom of the Favorites Bar.
Issues introduced in this build:
- There is a bug with this build in which Win32 (desktop) apps won’t launch from the Start menu. The workaround is to use search to find and launch these apps and pin them to your taskbar for quick access.
- The Windows Store Beta (grey tile) and Project Spartan get unpinned after upgrading. You can re-pin them to your Taskbar from All apps on your Start menu.
- The version of the Mail and Calendar apps included in this build (17.4008.42281.0) have a known issue that causes every typed letter to appear twice. They have fixed this issue with updated versions of the apps (17.4016.42291.0) available in the Windows Store Beta (grey tile). If you don’t open the Mail and Calendar apps within the first 15 minutes after logging in to your device for the first time after upgrading and your device is connected to the Internet, the apps should update automatically. You can also go into the Store Beta and check for updates manually at any time.
- Cortana will highlight things it will be able to help users with, but some of these features are not yet implemented and we are working to deliver them soon.
- There is a known issue where you might see a black screen with only your mouse cursor during login/logout. They have a fix for this coming via WU.
- Downloading music in the Xbox Music and Music Preview apps is currently broken. They also have a fix for this coming via WU.
- When you minimize an app playing audio, it may stop playing once its minimized.
- In Project Spartan, no selection highlight appears when selecting text in the address box. You can right click in the address box to cut/copy/paste and it will work as expected. There is a fix for this coming via WU.
- Magnifier does not work when you put it into docked mode. This will also have a fix for this coming via WU.
Out of the 9 issues they’ve laid out, it appears only 4 of them won’t be resolved by doing a Windows update run or getting an update from the store.
It wasn’t explicitly stated if the Visual Studio 2015 issues from the previous build have been entirely fixed. As stated above, it appears that the IDE will no longer crash, but the emulator part wasn’t explicitly stated. Assuming you don’t need the emulators, it seems safe to do the upgrade if you skipped 10049 because of the Universal App and/or IDE/XAML editor issue.