On 7th of December, Microsoft released the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC only to Insiders on the fast ring. This build packs in a lot of new features and updates in Cortana, Game Bar, Windows Defender, Printing, and more. All the new features that this Windows 10 insider build 14986 includes are listed below:
- Controling music with Cortana
- More supported games for using Game Bar in full screen.
- Enterprise Cloud Printing
- New Windows Defender Dashboard
- Narrator Improvements
- Improved Windows Update Experience
- Registry editor improvements
- Default to use the Microsoft USB Audio 2 class driver instead of hardware specific drivers.
- Improved support for Windows 10 in Asia
To know more about each new feature, go through the corresponding section below:
What’s new in Build 14986?
Making Cortana brilliant:
Now Cortana can do a lot for you including turning it off, changing its volume with voice commands. Apart from this, Cortana can do things like shut down, lock, put it on sleep. Now you can use Cortana to control music playback while listening to music. Use your voice to control playback and volume.
Microsoft has added support for “What’s Playing” as many radio listeners wanted to know what that catchy tune is that has played a million times. It will work for the specific apps and may give you right answer of you say “Hey Cortana, What song is Playing?” Cortana has been smarter and it will remember your last played music app, means you don’t need to say “on Groove” again and again. You just need to speak your desired app one time, something like “Play jazz music on iHeartRadio”; next time to repeat the same, you just need to say “Play rock music” and it will play on iHeartRadio.
Microsoft has added music recognition support to Chinese (Simplified) in Cortana, means it can now recognize music for customers in China.
Full screen when idle:
It is one of the major improvements to Cortana’s look when your PC is unlocked and idle and you say “Hey Cortana.” When your PC is in in unlocked and idle state and you ask something from Cortana, it will result in a stunning full-screen experience that is optimized for far field viewing!
Cortana sign-in using Azure Active Directory (AAD) identity:
This feature let you signing into Cortana with your work or school account instead of using your MSA, even if your organization does not support MSA. To sign in to Cortana using account other than MSA, go to Cortana’s Notebook and “About Me” and sign in. Currently AAD join is only available on Windows 10 PCs.
Enterprise Cloud Printing:
The new Enterprise Cloud Printers discovery UI enables corporate users to detect corporate printers on Azure Active Directory joined devices while IT admin deploying and configuring the backend services under Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners.
Corresponding backend services (are not yet available) need to be working for this feature to work, so to discover and install printers in the interim, continue to use existing UI.
Windows Game Bar improved full-screen support:
Microsoft added support for six full screen games in Game Bar with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. For the Windows 10 Creators Update, many more are added. In full-screen mode, Microsoft has added support for 19 additional games with Windows game bar. As always, to invoke Game Bar to capture a recording or screenshot, just hit WIN + G.
Taking users’ Windows Ink experience to the next level:
With the Creators Update, Microsoft has already announced and released few improvements for our pen and Windows Ink users and with this build a few more are announced.
Resuming previous screen sketches:
Users bring it in notice that it was too easy to accidentally lose their Screen Sketch, so Microsoft made a change with build 14986 and now you can resume previous sketches. By default, it will always open a new screenshot when you open Screen Sketch, but now you will be taken to the sketch you were working on by clicking on when Screen Sketch last closed the Resume button.
Updated Ink Flyout Visuals:
The Windows Ink pen, pencil and highlighter flyouts can show a preview to give you glimpse about how it would look like to color with the currently selected ink and width. Any app that uses Windows Ink with the Windows 10 Creators Update SDK will show these improvements visibly. Flyouts are also updated so that duplicate entries don’t appear in high contrast. To close the flyout, support using the Esc key, and returned the flyout to dismiss once you tap a color or change the width.
Better control over ruler rotation:
Updated the Windows Ink ruler that can rotate in sub-degree increments while moving it with touch. Now it is easier to line the ruler up with two points on the screen
Enhancing your inking experience:
To make you feel that you are creating something on paper using pen, the cursor will not be shown while you’re inking.
New Extensions in Microsoft Edge:
There are a few new extensions to share with Windows 10 users. Have a look at Ebates, Intel TrueKey, and Read & Write.
Updated Rendering Technology:
Rendering technology used for many types of UWP app content has been changed. If you notice any new visual glitches in UWP apps send your feedback to the Microsoft. Microsoft is widely using the same Windows.UI.Composition API that app developers have access to for XAML UWP app and shell rendering for additional context on this change.
Microsoft’s aim is to make its products more and better performing. Narrator improvements are a big part of that including:
It has a new feature to provide additional information about colors, fonts, line spacing, margins and more.
Press Caps Lock + F to hear this information. To cycle through nine categories of information, continue to press Caps Lock + F. To move through these categories in reverse, use Shift + Caps Lock + F.
Context Awareness, the default level for a Narrator feature is now set to 2. As you move around areas such as the Start Menu, Office ribbon, etc. you will hear additional information. To cycle through the different options, use Alt + Caps Lock + /. Zero tells off for the feature.
The key to get advanced information about the item with focus has been changed from Caps Lock + F to Caps Lock + 0 in Narrator.
An issue is fixed from recent flights where Narrator only say “No item in view” when placing focus on the Start menu tiles.
New Windows Defender dashboard:
With the availability of a new dashboard coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is making it easier for you to view and control Windows 10 device security with the health features available on your PC or tablet. Upgrade to this build to get a preview of the new experience. Insiders just need to restart their PC to see the preview. By searching for “Windows Defender” and clicking on the search result that says “Windows Defender/Trusted Windows Store app,” you can find can find the dashboard. Remember, the dashboard is not fully functional just yet as it is in a work-in-progress state.
Registry Editor Improvements:
Considering users feedback, Microsoft has added the familiar File Explorer keyboard navigation shortcuts to Registry Editor to continue enhancing your registry experience. Now, you can easily go up (Alt+ Up arrow), backwards (Alt + Left arrow) or forwards (Alt + Right arrow) in the registry. To customize the font Registry Editor Uses, a new entry point in the View menu is also added.
The USB Audio 2 Class Driver and You:
To get more miles on the class driver, Microsoft is temporarily changing things as of 14986 to prefer the class driver over third-party drivers. It has been done to flush out device compatibility issues and other bugs in its own driver.
Improved Update Experience:
Windows developers always try to keep your devices secure, reliable and fast performing. In this space, build 14986 comes with two more improvements.
Improving Windows 10 in Asia
Along with Cortana’s new music recognition support for Chinese (Simplified) also made a few changes to improve the Windows 10 experience in Asia based on feedback.
Chinese Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements
- New context menu for the IME mode
- Microsoft Pinyin IME now supports importing and exporting self-learned phrases
- Wubi IME has been updated to support user-defined phrases
Line Mode for Chinese (Simplified) Handwriting
Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) Improvements:
- It’s now possible to remove text prediction candidates
- Improving the Japanese IME conversion accuracy
- Improved reliability and responsiveness
Other changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
- Windows Hello face is improved which may require you to “Improve Recognition” to get recognized again. To enable this, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options and under “Windows Hello” and “Face Recognition”, then choose “Improve Recognition” to go through the Improve Recognition wizard.
- The Taskbar’s context menu settings entry are update to now explicitly be called “Taskbar settings”, as that is where it pointed.
- Fixed the issue where the Virtual Touchpad’s right and left buttons might not work on some devices. An issue where the Virtual Touchpad wouldn’t launch if the primary monitor was non-touch also fixed, and the Virtual Touchpad icon to the Taskbar settings is added where you can Turn system icons on or off.
- The issue where apps such as Store, Photos, and People might launch on their own after PC had been inactive for long.
- The issue where navigating to Settings > System > Battery would crash the Settings app is also fixed.
- The default state of the Handwriting Panel that docked at the bottom of the screen is changed to be floating next to the text field. If you want to use it in docked-mode, select it by tapping the icon in the top right corner of the Handwriting Panel.
- An issue is also fixed where using ~ to switch languages using the Thai keyboard might sometimes result in a hang while typing in Office apps, such as Outlook or Word 2016.
- Migration logic is also updated to preserve unlock setting across upgrades when going forward from 14986 the default user’s.
- An error is resolved where Microsoft Excel was crashed while double-clicking on an Excel document to open it from File Explorer.
- An issue is also fixed where Windows Hello might get stuck “Looking for you”.
- An issue Insiders with Surface Dial is also fixed that users were experiencing while rotating the Dial as it was making unexpected beeps.
- A few things have moved around in Storage Settings like, “settings to change save locations” has moved to its own page. An issue of showing an unexpectedly high number for Storage Usage for the Other category is also fixed.
- An issue is also fixed where the PowerShell entry in File Explorer’s File menu sometimes gets unexpectedly grey out.
- An error is fixed where the Clock and Calendar flyout in the taskbar wouldn’t launch if the system was using the phonetic sorting method and the display language was set to Chinese (Traditional).
- The full screen Settings search results are updated, now use smaller icons. It is expected that it will deliver an overall more polished feel because more search results will display on the page at a time.
- An error where some notifications might draw too low or too high, and then be seen shifting itself to the correct position.
- An issue is also fixed where the outline incoming notification toasts might still be seen even if notification banners as a whole for that particular app had been turned off.
- An issue Insiders may have experienced where despite having items in the Favorites folder, the Favorites bar on desktop might appear empty is also fixed.
- The issue of CPU throttling when idling on certain webpages with many looping videos or gifs in Microsoft Edge.
- Insiders reported that sometimes pressing Alt + D was not being able to set focus to the address bar in Microsoft Edge, this issue is also fixed.
- For Insiders with PCs that upgraded to builds 14926-14959, some default power settings may have been lost and not recovered on subsequent upgrades. The effect of this causes devices to potentially use more power, change the power button behavior on tablets, etc. Starting with 14986, an attempt to detect this issue and re-apply the power settings will be made during upgrade. This attempt is a temporary process to help address this issue for Insiders, and will be removed once we’re closer to the Creators Update release.
- Windows Error Reporting logic is also updated so that online game play, video streaming, Skype calls, or other network-intensive activity don’t get interfered by uploading crash data.
- An issue that result in potentially freezing at the splash screen on launch of Microsoft Studios games like Microsoft Sudoku, Jigsaw, Minesweeper, Taptiles, and Treasure Hunt.
- An issue is also fixed where the task bar was visible on the Welcome screens after upgrading even if its location was set to be on top.