Microsoft announces the release of its Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17083 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring and for all those who want to opt in to Skip Ahead.

New features in Build 17083

Fonts Settings and Fonts in the Microsoft Store

Microsoft understands that fonts are an important asset for the visual creativity, hence in this built, they have gone on to introduce new experience for managing the fonts in Settings along with acquiring additional fonts from the Microsoft Store.

Most of us are quite familiar with the Fonts control panel, from where you would easily go on to view the fonts that are currently installed or to install or uninstall fonts. The control panel that we have been using is unable to show newer font capacities, such as the color fonts or variable fonts. It was in need of a refresh, and hence, in Build 17083, the company goes on to provide the users with a new Font page within the Settings.

Microsoft informs that the initial page for Fonts settings provides a short preview of each font family. The previews have gone on to use a variety of interesting strings which is needed to select, in order to match the primary languages that each font family is designed for together with your own language settings. And if a particular font comes with a multi-color capacities built into it, then the preview will go on to demonstrate it.

Font Settings

When you go on to click on the family preview, it will take you to a detailed page which will go on to provide you with the preview for each of the fonts, within the family. Alongside, it also goes on to provide you with other information about each available font. You will also be able to find default preview string; however, you will be able to enter your own, custom preview string too.

For all web-developers and advanced typographer, who wants to make use of the OpenType Variable fonts, there is a separate variable-font details page that will allow you to explore the continuous, variable-design capabilities of the font.

Along with new settings experience, the company has also gone on to introduce fonts as a new content type in the Microsoft Store. To easily find them, all you need to do is, click on the link that is available in the Settings from the Fonts page in Settings, directly to the Font collection in the Store.

Microsoft have asked its users to particularly pay attention to the fact that you will need to be running build 17040 or later to be able to install the font packages in the Store. However, for now, they have a small set of curated offerings from Microsoft’s library of font. However, the company claims that they will grow with time.

The company states,

“We hope you’ll find the new font experiences in Settings and in the Store will enhance your own creativity. We’d love to hear your feedback via the Feedback Hub, or your reviews of the font offerings in the Store.”

Diagnostic Data Improvements

Microsoft has gone on to use Windows diagnostic data so as to focus their decisions and efforts so as to provide you with the most robust and valuable platform.

The company states,

By participating in our diagnostic data programs, you have a voice in the operating system’s development, improving the overall product experience and quality through your insights.”

They continued saying,

“We value your privacy. Our commitment is to be fully transparent on the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices and provide you with increased control over that data.”

As part of this commitment, the company has gone on to add two new features in this build for Windows Insiders which can be found under Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback.

Diagnostic Data Viewer

The Diagnostic Data Viewer is a Windows app that allows you to review the diagnostic data that your device is sending to Microsoft, collecting the information into simple categories that are based on how it is used by the company.

To get started, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback. Enable the Diagnostic Data Viewer Toggle and then click the button below to launch the app.

View your diagnostics events: In the left column, you will be able to review your diagnostic events. Selecting an event opens the detailed event view, which shows the exact data uploaded to Microsoft. Microsoft uses this information to improve the Windows operating system.

Search your diagnostic events:  The search box at the top of the screen allows you to search all of the diagnostic event data. The returned search results goes on to include any diagnostic event that contains the matching text. Selecting an event opens the detailed event view, with the matching text highlighted.

Filter your diagnostic event categories: The app’s Menu button opens the detailed menu. Here, you will go on to find a list of diagnostic event categories, which would define how the events are used by the company. Select a category that allows you to filter between the diagnostic events. For more details, click here.

Filter your diagnostic event categories

Provide diagnostic event feedback: The Feedback icon opens the Feedback Hub app, allowing you to provide a feedback about the Diagnostic Data Viewer as well as the diagnostic events.

The company states,

“With our commitment to transparency and control, a standard user can now make changes to the Diagnostic Data levels. When an administrator sets the Diagnostic Data level, a user can choose to update the Diagnostic Data setting. This control also provides notifications when these settings have been changed by another user or an administrator.”

Timeline Improvements

Microsoft states,

“We’re thrilled to hear how excited Insiders are about Timeline!  We’re also listening closely to your feedback and are pleased to announce several changes in this build to put you more in control of your privacy.”

Most of the Insiders have provided with the Feedback at the Feedback Hub that they wanted Microsoft to make it easier to delete activities from the Timeline. The company agreed that deleting multiple activities can be quite cumbersome, hence they went on to add the option of deleting everything from a given hour or day from the context menu. Hence, now, when you are in the default view, you will be able to see a new “clear all from day” option when right-clicking on an activity. If you go on to click “see all” to see activities for just one day, this option changes to allow you to “clear all from hour” instead. As this option can clear a lot of activities at once, hence, the company provides with a confirmation choice before deleting the activities.

Clear all activities for an hour or day

Microsoft states that the second change will provide you with more granular control of the privacy of your activities. The new setting allows you to sync your activities to the cloud for a seamless cross-device experience.

Microsoft states,

“Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud in the settings app, or you can enable it via an option provided at the bottom of Timeline. Until new users enable this setting, Timeline will only show four days of activities.”

(If you are upgrading from an earlier WIP flight, you may not see this option as the setting is already enabled.)

Windows Shell Improvements

New name: This area is being steadily expanded, and now it has an all new name. It is now called the ‘Focus Assist.’ It enables you to switch between the three Focus Assist modes by right-clicking the Action Center icon available on the task bar.

New name

Windows Hello setup made easier: Microsoft has made it easier for their users to set up Windows Hello on their devices for a faster and more secure sign-in. Earlier, you were require to navigate deep into the Settings to find Windows Hello. However, now all you need to do is set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN straight from your lock screen just by clicking on the Windows Hello tile under Sign-in options.

Easy setup

Windows Settings Improvements

See your UWP app version numbers: Microsoft heard your feedback, and added an all new update where you will now be able to include the app version number for easy reference. Hence, the easiest way for you to get to the app settings page for a particular UWP app is to right-click the app in the Start and select More > App settings.

New options for sorting your startup apps: This feature too has been added based on the feedback that the company got from the Insider, and now, they have added a dropdown to the Settings > Apps > Startup settings page so you can choose to sort the apps listed by name, state, or startup impact.

Hyper-V/WSL Improvements

Windows Hypervisor Platform API: The company have added an extended user-mode API for third-party virtualization stacks and applications to create and manage partitions at the hypervisor level, configure memory mappings for the partition, and create and control execution of virtual processors. A third-party client will now be able to run alongside a Hyper-V managed partition and at the same time also maintain its management, configuration, guest/host protocols and guest supported drivers.

For more information, see Windows Hypervisor Platform.

Ease of Access Improvements

New setting to turn automatically hiding scrollbars on or off: This feature too has been added to the setting after hearing the feedback from the Insider, and now Microsoft proudly present the feature of having your scrollbars always visible. It is now available under Settings > Ease of Access > Display. If you turn off this feature it will result in the scroll bars in UWP (XAML) apps persisting as scrollbars in a fuly expanded size, even when you are not using them.

Microsoft asked its users to particularly note: “In this build Start won’t follow the setting – we’re working on it.”

You choose whether to enable or disable the color filters hotkey: In order to help reduce accidental invocation of this hotkey, the company has gone on to add a all new checkbox for this under Settings > Ease of Access > Color filters settings page. The default state has been disabled.

Microsoft have made numerous of other Ease of Access improvements in Settings, they including the following, as per the official blog:
  • The company added Narrator landmarks throughout Settings to quickly move between search, navigation list, and main landmarks. And for Narrator users, the page heading (shown visually at the top of each page) will no longer read out as being at the bottom of each page.
  • In Settings > Ease of Access, they have shortened the name of the “Cursor, pointer and touch feedback” page to “Cursor & pointer size”.
  • Microsoft have swapped the positions of Color Filters & High Contrast in the Settings > Ease of Access navigation list.
  • In Settings > Ease of Access > High Contrast, they have switched the default theme to be “High Contrast Black”.
  • They have also added links to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator Settings for learning how to use Narrator and for adding more voices. Also the cursor movement mode combo box in the “Use Narrator cursor” sub-section has been removed.
  • They also updated the Settings > Ease of Access > Speech page to present information & settings about Dictation, Cortana, as well as Windows Speech Recognition.
  • Microsoft have gone on to fixed an issue where Settings > Ease of Access > Eye control was a blank page.
  • The company has also Ease of Access search terms & results to better align with the available settings. Duplicate search results have been removed.
  • Throughout Settings > Ease of Access you’ll find new “Related settings” links.

Windows App Permissions

Control access to your pictures, videos, or documents folders: In this build the company provides its users with more control, allowing you to decide which UWP apps can access your pictures, videos or documents folders. If a UWP app requires access to any of these, a consent pop up will be come, which will allow you to deny or accept the request. However, if at any point of time, you decide to change your mind, all you need to go to Settings > Privacy where you’ll find 3 new Settings pages (one for each folder). If, however you deny access to any particular folder, so as to protect your privacy then the UWP app will revert to only being able to access to its local app folder.

For more information on general changes, improvements and fixes for PC, for known issues and Developer Notes please check the official Microsoft blog.

In this blog post, Microsoft have invited all Windows Insiders to participate in its Annual Survey.

The company states,

“It’s your chance to tell us what interests you most about the program – and how we can make your Insider experience even better.”

Freelancing for the last 6.5 years, I have a Masters degree in English Literature. The upcoming technology both fascinates and impresses me. I have a flair and passion for writing. Reporting news from the world of technology about the latest innovations and inventions keeps me closer to my passion and interest.