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Latest Windows 10 build turns to flexibility and simplicity

14 Nov 2014

Windows 10 Technical Preview: Build 9879, is here. This build has many changes and new features, many of which are the result of problem reports and suggestions. It appears that the emphasis of this build is to make Windows 10 more flexible and straightforward.

This build is part of the Windows Insider Program which enables PC experts or IT professionals to provide problem reports and suggestions to Windows 10.

It will be the last build for 2014 from Microsoft, although there is set to be a release early next year, says Gabe Aul, engineering general manager, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft.

The 9879 build comes with new gestures, an updated toolbar and a simplified OneDrive system.

The checkbox menu option for the taskbar enables users to have a purer Windows 10 experience.

A primary change, however, is the simplified OneDrive management system. Now Windows 10 will have what is called selective sync, meaning users will have to specify what is saved to their PC and what is kept in the cloud.

The dedicated OneDrive app has been removed, with users now having to access it through the File Explorer.

New gestures provide shortcuts to get things done. The three-finger shortcut gestures for trackpad users include: up launches task view, down shows desktop, flick left or right switch to previous app, move left or right alt-tab pops up to select desired app, tap and search.

The MKV video file container was added with build 9860, but with 9879 users can play MKV files direct from Windows Media Player, including desktop and modern apps. There are now also proper thumbnail images and MKV support.

Browser improvements was also a focus, with the Internet Explorer Team taking the lead. Microsoft said they are offering 10 percent of Windows Insiders the new interoperability focused Edge rendering engine.

This means these users can surf the web with Internet Explorer as normal but take note of broken websites, clicking a smiley face feedback button in the upper right corner of the browser window and ‘send a frown’.

Improvements to the Windows Insider Program itself were also on the agenda. The new Insider Hub app will enable users to send feedback, receive information from Microsoft, and stay in the loop.

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