Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17623 for Skip Ahead forces users to use Edge
Microsoft is still putting the finishing touches to its next big Windows 10 feature update -- Redstone 4, aka the Spring Creators Update -- due out next month, but in the meantime, work is already well underway on the update to follow that, Redstone 5.
We've already seen the introduction of one big new feature -- Sets in Build 17618 -- and today’s new release, Build 17623, also adds some new features and improvements, as well as one particularly nasty addition.
- Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17115 ISO images available now
- Microsoft releases Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17120 to the Fast ring
- Microsoft confirms Windows 10 S will become a 'mode' of Windows 10 next year
First the new features. This build introduces the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) format in Windows 10 and the Photos app. HEIF is an image container that makes use of modern codecs like HEVC to improve image quality and compression. This build will let you view images in this format, but not edit them. There’s another catch here too -- you need to join the Windows App Preview Program for the Photos app and be running the March release of the app (Version 2018.18022.13740.0 or newer).
Elsewhere, removing external GPUs connected via Thunderbolt 3 has been improved -- you'll now see which applications are running on an external GPUs, to help avoid data loss when you disconnect them.
The privacy changes added to the Spring Creators Update Build 17115 make their way to this new release, as do the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) improvements for enterprise added in Build 17120.
As to that nasty surprise I mentioned? Well, starting from this build Microsoft is testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge, rather than your browser of choice. If you don’t use the Windows Mail app you might not be too bothered by the change, but it could easily be the start of a slippery slope.
Microsoft uses this unwelcome change as an advert for Edge, stating the browser "provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices. With built-in features for reading, note-taking, Cortana integration, and easy access to services such as SharePoint and OneDrive, Microsoft Edge enables you to be more productive, organized and creative without sacrificing your battery life or security."
You’re sneaking ads into your new build announcements now Microsoft? I thought the barrel scraping days were behind you.
Other general changes, improvements, and fixes for PC include:
- Fixed an issue where the Microsoft Store may be completely broken or disappeared altogether after upgrading to this build.
- Fixed two issues impacting the usability of Windows Mixed Reality on the previous build (Windows Mixed Reality running at a very low frame rate (8-10fps), and a potential crash at startup that could cause Windows Mixed Reality to not work).
- Fixed an issue resulting in not being able to interact with title bars using touch when Sets was enabled.
- Fixed an issue resulting in the touch keyboard crashing when focus was moved to certain password fields.
- Improved the performance of Bluetooth mice when the system is under load.
- Fixed an issue from recent flights causing precision touchpads to periodically need a few tries to be able to move the mouse.
- Fixed an issue resulting in the Amharic keyboard not working in Win32 apps.
- Fixed an issue where EFI and Recovery partitions were unexpectedly listed in Defragment and Optimize Drives.
- Fixed an issue optimizing drives in Defragment and Optimize Drives didn’t work in the last few flights.
- Fixed an issue resulting in a permanently black window if you dragged a tab out of a Microsoft Edge window, pulled it up to the top edge of the screen, and moved it back down and released it.
- Updated the Cortana section in Settings to now be called "Cortana & Search."
- Fixed an issue where you couldn’t use touch to interact with the Timeline scrollbar.
- Fixed an issue where a failed app update could result in that app becoming unpinned from the taskbar.
- Fixed an issue where if focus was set inside Action Center pressing Esc wouldn’t close the Action Center window.
- Fixed an issue that could result in ShellExperienceHost periodically waking the device from hibernate if active live tiles were pinned to Start.
Known issues include:
- If you open Settings and clicking on any links to the Microsoft Store or links in tips, Settings will crash. This includes the links to get themes and fonts from the Microsoft Store, as well as the link to Windows Defender.
- If you try to open a file that is available online-only from OneDrive that hasn’t been previously downloaded to your PC (marked with a green checkmark in File Explorer), your PC could bugcheck (GSOD). You can work around this problem by right-clicking on these files and selecting "Always keep on this device." Any file-on-demand from OneDrive that is already downloaded to the PC should open fine.
- The Emoji Panel keyboard shortcuts don’t work -- for now you’ll need to use the touch keyboard to enter emoji. If you right-click on the taskbar you’ll find an option to show the touch keyboard button and go from there.
- Clicking a link in the Windows Mail app will open an inferior web browser.