After a two week hiatus due to a login bug on a potential Windows Insider Fast Ring build week before last, Microsoft has pushed out a new build to testers of the Redstone 5 update for Windows 10.
Build 17704 is full of fixes as you might expect when there has not been a new release to testers for two weeks. It also has a share of new features and other enhancements that will be interesting to explore.
However, right from the top the big news around the release of Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17704 is that the productivity feature called Sets is being pulled from the Redstone 5 development branch.
Sets is a feature that adds tabs to software programs and apps that allow you to collect all your research and other work into one window on the screen. Sets is very much a tabbed interface like most browsers have these days except it is for programs like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, File Explorer, Photos, etc. Sets remembers when you had a collection of tabs open in these programs and then offers to re-open them the next time you start that program.
To be honest, at this point in the development of Sets this is the right call. It is still very rough around the edges and we are quickly running out of development time before the expected finalization of the Redstone 5 update in the August/September time frame.
So good on Microsoft for making the call and for not committing to a specific update window when they demoed Sets back at Build 2018. Based on the release notes for build 17704, the feature will return in a future Windows Insider Program flight, but they do not get more specific. That means it might make it back for the RS5 release although I think this is very unlikely. It is much more likely to make a return as testing of the seventh Windows 10 feature update begins following the release of the RS5 update this fall.
Much better to get it right then to push an incomplete product just to meet a deadline.
So with that said – let’s take a look at some other improvements and changes in Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17704.
Note: These are in no particular order.
If you want to see how AI is helping you with your typing in Windows 10 Redstone 5, check out these stats which are located at Windows Settings > Devices > Typing > How AI has helped you > Typing insights.
This one has caused a little consternation from some users. Snipping Tool is being phased out in RS5 and is scheduled to be replaced by a more modern capture experience using a new toolbar and the Screen Sketch app. Right now there are no plans to remove the Snipping Tool from the RS5 update but it could be deprecated in a later release. Build 17704 is providing a heads up on this as part of the Snipping Tool UI.
Note: I have had a good exchange with one of the program managers on the team for this utility and they are working towards feature parity between the new process and the popular Snipping Tool. Some things that are missing and which they are aware of are a delayed capture mode and a windows/dialog capture mode.
I expect the team is very much interesting in making sure the new tool goes above and beyond the capabilities of the Snipping Tool.
PDF File Icons
Microsoft Account Service OOBE
Some users will see this new Out of Box Experience (OOBE) dialog when installing Build 17704 and it will become part of the new feature updates OOBE when it is released. The goal is to help the end user establish the use of several Microsoft Account related services.
Diagnostics Data Viewer
Microsoft Edge “More” Menu Improvements
In addition to the above highlights, these areas have been updated/enhanced:
- Skype has a new app update for Insiders
- Non-Admin users can now install fonts
- Contextual Command improvements for Text Controls
- New protection options under Windows Security
- Ease of Access and Narrator improvements
- Windows Container Improvements
- Updates to Windows Mixed Reality adds Quick Actions for easier navigation
- Microsoft Font Maker app announced. I wrote about this when I discovered it earlier this week.
Of course, the release notes have a long list of general changes, improvements and fixes for this PC build release. Plus there are some known issues with 17704 for users and developers as well so be sure to review the release notes.