It seems Microsoft is on the cusp of rolling out new features and more for users testing the Windows 10 operating system. This afternoon an executive at the company announced it finally had plans to release a significant update to the Windows 10 Technical Preview that users first got their hands on this past January.
Microsoft’s Gabe Aul took to social network Twitter to announce that Microsoft had a new version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview it is testing before unleashing on the public. Aul’s message came just days after reports indicated that Microsoft ran into a serious bug that it simply wasn’t willing to unleash on the outside world.
According to Aul, this new Windows 10 Technical Preview update will have “some new features” he expects users to enjoy. That might not seem like big news, but Microsoft has promised a lot of new features for Windows before it arrives as a free update later this year. So far, a lot of those new features remain missing in the version that users have today.
At its January Windows 10 Media Briefing Microsoft showed off a number of redesigned applications coming to the Windows Store and Windows 10. For starters, Microsoft is promising a completely new productivity experience for Windows 10. Native versions of Microsoft’s Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps are coming to replace the somewhat feature-light versions that are available in Windows 8.1.
No new build today, but we will be posting an announcement in Insider Hub. suggesting people who want lower risk to move to Slow.
— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) March 12, 2015
Joining those is a new version of the Windows Store that will sort of mirror iTunes. At least, that’s if the TVs & Movies area that appeared in the Windows Store app on the current version of Windows 10 is anything to go by. Today, Microsoft separates its online stores into apps and entertainment. Apps show up in the Windows Store, but music and video sit in separate apps. During that media briefing Microsoft also showed off an updated version of its music player with support for OneDrive cloud storage.
If those apps weren’t enough to get excited about, there’s still the case of the missing web browser. For Windows 10, Microsoft plans to effectively relegate Internet Explorer to the dustbin of history. It’ll still make a version of the browser available for users who need it, but included with Windows 10 will be Spartan. Spartan won’t just replace Internet Explorer for web browsing, it’ll add new features.
The Cortana personal assistant will be directly integrated with it. Inking support will be included too for users who need to scribble notes on the web pages they share. The code inside Spartan won’t contain a lot of code from Internet Explorer since Microsoft is taking inspiration from Google Chrome and Firefox. In theory, the change will make designing websites specifically for Internet Explorer a thing of the past.
Spartan is confirmed for the next major Windows 10 Technical Preview update, but the rest of these features aren’t. They could début in the new version or come along in later versions throughout the spring and summer.
To get more features in the hands of testers Aul is confirming that Microsoft also has plans start using what it describes as the “faster ring.” In January it added an option to let users who know what they’re doing test versions of Windows 10 that have new features, but haven’t been as thoroughly checked as those in the “slow ring.”
Microsoft plans to release Windows 10 as a free update for Windows 8 and Windows 7 in 2015 for free, provided that users make the upgrade within its first year of being available. The company is also planning to release Windows 10 for phones and small tablets. This version will look similar to and have many of the same features as Windows 10. It’ll come as a free update to smartphones currently running Windows Phone 8.1.