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New Windows 10 preview build drops with a spit-shine, Edge improvements, and an aversion to Radeon GPUs

Brad Chacos | May 21, 2015
Windows 10 preview build 10122 doesn't add many new features and is a lot more stable than previous versions—unless you're trying to use the new Edge browser with an AMD Radeon GPU.

If you are using the full-size Start screen in Tablet Mode--the default experience on tablets, as the name implies--you'll notice more tweaks. The not-so-finger-friendly list of options previously found along the left edge of the Start screen is now collapsed by default, though tapping the "hamburger menu" icon in the upper-left corner brings it back. The tiles on the Start screen are larger now for a better touch experience, more closely miming Windows 8's Start screen than previous Windows 10 preview builds.

That's nothing but a good thing in my book, as Windows 10's Continuum interface previously seemed to shy too far away from an optimal touch experience. With the left-hand column shrunk by default, however, it'd be nice if the tiles expanded to fill the full screen in true Windows 8-like fashion, as the Start screen now feels like a vast chasm of wasted space.

Beyond the Start experience, the Windows 10 Insider hub also received an overhaul in the new preview.

Living on the Edge
Not to rub it in your face, Radeon fans, but Microsoft's Edge browser also receives tweaks in Windows 10 preview build 10122.

Most noticeable is the arrival of the new New Tab page first reveal at Microsoft's Build conference last month. "This page features a revamped layout, including top sites, featured apps and content from MSN," Aul writes. Microsoft's actually testing several variants of the New Tab page, so it's made the interface the homepage in Edge for now in order to gain as much feedback and data as possible.

The newest Edge browser build features new minor features as well. You can pin pages to the Start menu now, and there's a History view available. InPrivate (read: porn mode) also makes its debut appearance in Edge. But best of all, the latest version of Edge packs an audio indicator on tabs that are making noise so you can squash those annoying interlopers dead, fast. Chrome rolled out a similar feature early in 2014.

Seize control
There is one noticeable under-the-hood tweak in build 10122, however. The new Windows 10 preview build clamps down and unifies the way that traditional desktop software and Windows apps can prompt you to make them the default program for a given file type. In Windows 8, Windows apps could only prompt you to do so via a system notification in the upper-right corner, while desktop software could do so on the desktop at any time--which some programs exploited to repeatedly bug you to make it a default.

Windows 10 preview build 10122 rips default prompts away from all apps completely and places it squarely in the hands of Windows itself. Windows 10 will only show a prompt to change your default settings for a file type the first time you try to open one after you've installed a new program that can open a given file type. (Users upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 will be able to set their defaults during the initial installation process.)

 

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