Microsoft has pushed out a new preview build of Windows 10 to fast ring testers containing quite a number of changes, including work on the operating system’s do-not-disturb feature, and further tinkering with the Edge browser.
Build 17074 beefs up the Quiet Hours feature which, when turned on, prevents the user from being interrupted because they’re busy working hard (or perhaps gaming hard), only allowing notifications to come through from ‘important’ contacts or apps (and blocking the rest).
With the new preview build, you can set your own schedule for when Quiet Hours kicks in – and customize the relevant priority list to make sure notifications from important sources always get through.
Quiet Hours also engages automatically when you are playing a full-screen game, or when you’re duplicating your display (so that you won’t be interrupted during a presentation). These are certainly nifty added touches.
Microsoft has made another bunch of improvements to the Edge browser, including an overhauled Hub view that displays more content, and is more intuitive to use.
Edge has also got the ability to save and auto-fill credit (or debit) card details on website payment forms, with Microsoft noting that card information is securely saved (if you request the browser to do so). Also, the CVV security number on the rear of the card is never saved.
Furthermore, reading ebooks in Edge – as well as PDF files and web pages in Reading View – has been much improved with new Fluent Design elements introduced to improve aesthetics and generally streamline the experience. It’s now possible to enjoy ebooks or Reading View pages in full-screen, too.
Microsoft also modified the Start menu to show links to the Documents and Pictures folders by default.
The Near Share feature that allows you to easily wirelessly share files between PCs in close proximity – it’s basically Microsoft’s take on Apple’s AirDrop – has also been worked upon to make it more reliable. If you found this feature too flaky before, Microsoft is urging you to try it again in this new build.
There are a ton of other tweaks and adjustments in Build 17074 of Windows 10, like the ability to write with a stylus directly into a text field in the UI, so you can scribble straight into a search bar (which is enlarged when you tap on it with your pen to make writing inside it easier – as some of those interface bars can be pretty small).
For the full exhaustive rundown of changes, along with potential issues affecting this build, see Microsoft’s blog post.
Speaking of issues, note that this preview build has been blocked for PCs running older AMD processors. This is because it contains some further tweaks in terms of defending against Meltdown and Spectre, and the patches against these critical bugs have been known to cause boot failure in some machines running older AMD chips.