Latest Windows 10 Insider build adds tab previews to Edge, notes to Cortana

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Microsoft took to the stage last week to announce new Lumia phones and new Surface computers, but it was also at work behind the scenes on another Windows 10 build. This one, numbered 10565, is the largest update we’ve seen since the release of the operating system.

What’s new? It’s a bit of a grab-bag, actually. Let’s start at the edge — Microsoft Edge. With build 10565, the default browser offers a tab preview feature that works like window preview in the taskbar. Hover your cursor over a tab, and you’ll see a thumbnail. In addition to that, Edge is receiving the ability to sync favorites and reading list items via your Microsoft account. That should be enabled automatically by the new build.

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Next up is Cortana. The big, new feature is the ability to interpret notes that are written with an electronic pen. Microsoft is obviously timing this with the release of the new Surface Pro 4 and Book, both of which have a pen included by default. Cortana has also gained the ability to keep track of leisure activities, like movies and events. You can even book an Uber ride in Cortana.

Skype is another big add, as it is being integrated into Windows 10’s universal apps, such as Messaging. This means users should be able to more easily use Skype through a variety of interfaces in the operating system. For example, you’ll now be able to reply to a Skype message of an incoming call through the Action Center.

Those are the three big adds, but there’s plenty more, including visual tweaks. Title bars for open windows can now appear more vibrant and colorful, and personalized as you desire. New icons have appeared for some apps, like Registry Editor. And various context menus have been reformatted so that they’re easier to use with touch. That means the menus are slightly larger, and items spaced a bit further apart.

And if you’re having trouble with registration, you’ll be happy to know Microsoft has changed the activation process so that users can now enter a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 key in order to activate Windows 10, as long as that key was previously used on the same system. This is huge boon to users who installed Windows 10 from scratch to give their system a new lease on life, only to find they had no way to claim their free upgrade from a previous version.

Like any new build, big or small, 10565 also introduces a variety of bug fixes and known issues. These are all rather minor, but you can check them you on Microsoft’s official blog post.

This release is only available to Fast Ring insiders, and is available now. Strangely, the build is not available in Russia or Turkey, but it will be later this week — apparently there’s some delay on the language packs for those countries.

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