For those who are part of Microsoft’s Windows Insider “Skip Ahead” program, you can look forward to brand-new “Fluent Design” tweaks to Windows 10 with the latest preview, build 17004. Formerly called Project Neon, the Windows 10 visual overhaul will continue beyond the Fall Creators Update and Skip Ahead Insiders can expect to be at the forefront of that with the new build.
Microsoft’s Windows Insider program has expanded a lot over the past couple of years. Now, along with its fast and slow ring insiders, it also has the Skip Ahead branch, which lets those more interested in new features play around with post Fall Creators Update improvements. For the rest, there are stability improvements and bug fixes.
Build 17004’s biggest change is the further introduction of Fluent Design features. Users will notice the biggest change in the Start Menu, which now makes use of the Fluent Design “Reveal” highlight feature. That means that by hovering over items in the Start Menu, users will be able to reveal their hidden borders, making it easier to understand the space that you’re interacting with.
Other changes coming as part of this new Skip Ahead build are improvements to Microsoft Edge. It fixes a problem with typing web addresses into new tabs, an issue that displayed black and white bars on the edges of PDF previews, and a bug that would cause tab recovery to not bring back all previously closed tabs.
Improvements to Windows 10 inputs include fixes for an issue with the enter key sometimes not working in Facebook Messenger, a problem causing the delete key on touch keyboards to randomly add periods in Universal Windows Platform apps, and a strange stutter bug that would sometimes appear in text boxes.
Although this release branch is different from the ones that are leading up to the Fall Creators Update release, that’s not to say it doesn’t benefit from changes in its partner branches. The Skip Ahead build 17004 includes a number of fixes and improvements from those branches, too, and it adds a new color wheel to help users understand the benefits of different color filters.
Looking to the future, Microsoft promises greater integration with LinkedIn after its purchase of the résumé publication and job search network last year. That began this week with LinkedIn giving away tutorial classes on how to use various Microsoft Office tools.
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