MICROSOFT HAS RELEASED the first build of the forthcoming 19H1 edition of Windows 10 to its Insiders on the 'Slow Ring'.
Given that could be mistaken as gibberish to the untrained eye, let's clarify why this is important. The Insider Programme is Microsoft's name for its semi-open beta which offers the next version of Windows 10 for live testing amongst volunteers.
You can either opt to take the "Fast Ring", which offers every update as it becomes available but means a higher risk of borkage, or the "Slow Ring" which has fewer, far more stable previews.
The fact that the Slow Ring is receiving a 19H1 build - the Spring Update to Windows 10, means that we're a significant step further towards it being released on time, hopefully, next month when it will become Windows 10 1903 (see what they did there?)
Of course, the October 2018 version was beset by problems, and Microsoft will need to be very careful - another screw up will severely damage the credibility of Windows-as-a-Service.
So what does Build 18342 bring to the party? Nothing if you're Chinese - apparently a lot of apps still aren't working properly. But for the rest of us, the separation of the search bar from Cortana is a welcome change. She's been relegated to a "button", as Microsoft begins to play down the importance of its flagging virtual assistant.
The other big change is the ability to access your Linux files within File Explorer, bringing us one step closer to full inter-compatibility, which has been the goal for some time.
There are some significant improvements coming to gaming within Windows 10, though it's all a little vague right now, and there are some fixes promises for Windows Sandbox, the protected environment for testing your potentially borking code.
Fast Ring insiders already have an even newer build, but if we start drilling down into that one, we'll be here all night. If you're that fussed - join the programme - but never on your daily driver machine, ok? μ
Some deliberately, others through stupidity
Quite the business expense
It's another quantum leap camera
Evolution, not revolution, but that's just fine