Get cracking, Windows 10 testers: Microsoft rolls out new Tech Preview build

microsoft updates windows 10 technical preview to build 9879 hands on feature
Roughly three weeks after Microsoft released Window 10 Technical Preview Build 9860, Microsoft is making Build 9879 available.

While there’s no new feature in the second update’s change-log that’s quite as compelling as the Action Center (which made its debut in 9860), beta testers are getting plenty to play with here. First and foremost, some new Mac OS X-like gestures will be available to use.

Previewed by MS Operating Systems Group VP Joe Belfiore, these allow you to easily enter Task View with a three-finger upward movement. Three finger downward swipe brings up the Desktop. Three-finger side flicks seamlessly switch between apps.

A three-finger move to the left or right is the equivalent of pressing Alt-Tab. This also puts the spotlight on Task View, allowing you to select an app by simply removing your fingers from the touch-pad. Hopefully, Microsoft’s new gestures are as fluid as they are on OS X.

Win 10 tech preview users should be happy to hear that Redmond made a series of changes based on their feedback. The Search and Task View buttons can be easily hidden now via a right-click menu, and a boatload of crash and hang glitches were allegedly fixed as well.

Also, app minimize and restore animations should be less “jarring.” A “hamburger-style” icon replaces the 3-dot button in Metro apps, which stores functions like Charms and full-screen mode.

Some uber-subtle Internet Explorer UI refinements you may not even notice are all ready for prime-time as well. More importantly, native MKV support, which was introduced with Build 9860, makes more sense in version 9879. Now, you can play MKV files straight from Windows Media Player, and the File Explorer shows native thumbnails and metadata for the popular multimedia format.

Last but certainly not least, Microsoft continues to aggressively push OneDrive to Windows users, enabling selective synchronization. What that means is any and all confusion surrounding what’s stored in the cloud and available online-only should now be gone.

Unfortunately, this is the last update planned for 2014. Yes, the holidays are nigh, but it’s disappointing to hear that we’ll be waiting at least two months for the next update.

Also, Microsoft has only pledged to fix two of the five errors identified in Build 9860 before rolling out the next major Technical Preview build. Namely, black screen errors at log-in or unlock, and Distributed File System network connection bugs will be repaired.

Meanwhile, there’s no fix on the way for disk space anomalies. Skype calls will disconnect and the Music app will stop playing if you minimize either of those apps, and unspecified Lync screen sharing “issues” will persist.

Want to give Build 9879 a try? In Windows 10, go to “PC Settings,” “Update and recovery,” and “Preview builds.” Then, click “Check Now,” and give the installation your blessing there.


Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!

Windows Update not working after October 2018 patch? Here’s how to fix it

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.