Cortana learns a few new tricks in Windows 10 build 10074

microsoft still on track for july release of windows 10 windows10menu
While Microsoft’s Build conference fired on all cylinders in San Francisco, a new build of Windows 10 went out to Insiders. This build marks the first “Insider Preview” build, as opposed to the “Technical Preview” Insiders have been using for the last year. This build, 10074, is also available to both the slow and fast lanes for updates on Windows 10, and you can get it right now by updating or downloading the ISO.

Most of the exciting features we saw in the Build keynote this morning are, unsurprisingly, not found in this newest update. There are a few bug fixes, like fixing the glitch that was keeping Win32 apps from launching when clicked in the start menu. Mostly though, it includes UX and UI updates, and a few new compatibility features.

The feature that’s the most immediately noticeable is the reintroduction of Aero Glass from Windows 7 — to the Start menu, at least. In another example of Microsoft actually listening to its users, they’ve decided to perform an A/B test, where half of users will get a normal transparent Start menu when they update, and the other half will get a Start menu with a blur effect, like frosted glass. If enough users support the frosted look, they’ll make that the standard.

Cortana also received a visual update this time around, as well as a few new features. The Cortana menu now fits in better with the rest of the Windows 10 design aesthetic, and is more closely integrated with the Start menu. Additionally, Cortana was equipped with new functionality, including the ability to check stocks, track flight status, and tell jokes.

Other than that, it’s mostly little stuff. There are new system sounds now, from boot up to shut down, and improvements to the multi-tasking systems like snap view and task view. If you want to check out the new version, it’s available through the Update and Restore menu in settings now for users on both the Fast and Slow update tracks.

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