Skip ahead of the Fall Creators Update with Windows Insider preview build 17004

Windows Insider
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.

Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?

Microsoft could be planning a laptop with foldable screen, hints patent filing

Filed in late 2017 and titled "Bendable device with Display in Movable Connection With Body," the patent filing explains a new mechanism for laptops which can eliminate a hinge and allow the screen to fold shut from the inside,

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Product Review

From tables to porches, Ring's Stick Up Cam watches wherever you want

Ring’s latest home security camera offers more versatility than ever before, with the ability to mount it, set it on a table, or put it inside or outside. We got a chance to test it out. Here’s how it went.

Potentially malicious WinRAR vulnerability patched after almost 20 years

WinRAR, a piece of Windows software for managing archival formats, has been harboring a vulnerability for nearly two decades, potentially allowing malicious software to insert items into a computer's startup folder without user permission.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Prone to web surfing? Google Chrome’s new Focus Mode fights internet distractions

Finding yourself distracted by the web when you need to get work done? A new flag in Google Chrome could hint at a new Focus Mode. The feature may allow computer users to block distracting websites or notifications.

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series.