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Microsoft's new Windows 10 build allows you to text from your PC, but it's the bug fixes that impress

Mark Hachman | Oct. 21, 2015
Unfortunately, it requires an upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 -- again.

windows 10 send message form pc large
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft launched build 10572 of Windows 10 Mobile to its insiders, together with a few nifty improvements on the messaging fronts. But, as before, you’ll still need to first downgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 to take advantage.

Microsoft did say, however, that this two-steps-back, one-step-ahead approach will soon stop, and users in the Windows Insider program will once again be able to upgrade from Windows 10 preview builds without having to downgrade first.

But the new build offers several intriguing new features, such as the ability to receive a notification on your Windows 10 PC that you’ve missed a call, and then to send a text via your PC’s Cortana assistant. The new build also boasts improvements to Skype and Skype messaging, improved Cortana tracking of movies and events, and the ability to book a car through Uber. Finally, the new build includes support for offline maps stored on the SD card as well as a new storage experience that’s shared with Windows 10 for the desktop.

windows 10 text notification 
Credit: Microsoft

And while they might not be classified as new features, some aspects, such as the phone displaying Notifications without first unlocking the device, and some Cortana power optimizations, should be a welcome update as the clock ticks toward a forthcoming release of Windows 10 for phones.

Why this matters: We’re still not quite sure when Windows 10 Mobile will launch, but we’re nearing the finish line. Being able to send texts from your PC to your Windows 10 phone isn’t something the Mac can do (according to the Macworld editors). It’s the laundry list of features, many of them substantial, that you should have your eye on.

Getting it out fast

As before, Microsoft wanted its insiders to have a chance to try out the new additions ASAP.

cortana uber 
Now you can order an Uber via Cortana. Credit: Microsoft

“This build has a bunch of great fixes and some very cool new feature additions, and we wanted to give Insiders who really wanted to try it out the opportunity to do so a bit early,” Gabe Aul, vice president of the Windows Devices Engineering team, said in a blog post. “Rest assured, if you’re on 10549.4 or an earlier build you’ll be able to upgrade to 10575 (or newer) once it’s out. So if you want to wait for it, we completely understand and it won’t be too long.”

 

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