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By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases Windows 10 Insider Preview build 20246.1 from the fe_release branch
by Rich Woods
Microsoft took the day off from releasing a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build on Wednesday, but the time has come. Today, it released build 20246.1 to the Dev channel. This build actually comes from the fe_release branch, which means that we won't see any new features for a little while. In fact, some features were removed, such as the "updated emoji picker, redesigned touch keyboard, voice typing, theme-aware splash screens", and more.
Naturally, this is a direct contradiction to what the Windows Insider team promised to deliver from the Dev channel. The Dev channel is supposed to be in a perpetual state of prerelease builds. Once we're all switched back to the rs_prerelease branch, Insiders will get those features back.
Note that switching to a 'release' branch also doesn't even mean that there's going to be an update released anymore. Microsoft just does this at random to test switching up branches. It did it around the 20H2 timeframe with an mn_release branch, but the real 20H2 was an enablement package.
The blog post does say that this is only about testing switching between branches, so if that's true and as transparent as it should be, then this should be the only week that we get a build from the branch, as it has no other reason to exist.
This build does have some fixes and known issues though. There's one item under 'changes and improvements'.
Here's the full list of fixes:
Finally, these are the known issues:
As always, you can grab the build through Windows Update. If you're not on the Dev channel, you can enroll through the Windows Insider tab in Settings.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 20241.1005 without any changes
by Rich Woods
Two days after Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 20241 to the Dev channel, it's releasing a cumulative update. The new build number is 20241.1005, and according to Microsoft, it's sole reason for existence is to test the servicing pipelines. According to the blog post, there are no fixes.
This is the third cumulative update in the Dev channel in less than two weeks, and all of them have been simply to test the servicing pipeline. This is a normal practice, of course, because Microsoft does have to be able to service its updates. It doesn't seem like something that would be quite as necessary in the Dev channel, being that the Dev channel is strictly for the rs_prerelease branch.
Of course, this could also mean that the firm is prepping a version for the Beta channel. While the Dev channel isn't tied to a specific release, the Beta channel is. Being that the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, or version 20H2, was released earlier this week, something new should be coming to the Beta channel soon.
It's unclear what's coming though, because there have been rumors that 21H1 has been canceled in favor of the Windows 10X RTM, something that was originally supposed to happen alongside 20H2 before there were delays. It's also possible that there might still be a 21H1 update, although it could be more similar to the enablement package strategy that we've seen from 20H2 and 19H2. we should find out soon.
By Abhay V
Google is testing the addition of shopping advertisement cards on Chrome's new tab page [Update]
by Abhay Venkatesh
Google is testing a way for the new tab page on Chrome to display shopping advertisement cards based on users’ search history and preference. The feature is currently hidden under a flag called ‘NTP Shopping Tasks Module’ (spotted by Techdows) in Chrome Canary which can be enabled from chrome://flags. The flag provides users the ability to even enable recommendations based on fake data for representational purposes.
The shopping card lets Google serve tailored suggestions right in the new tab page, making it easy for users to either pick up on recent product searches or related items. The firm also allows users to access their activity and tweak recent data stored in the ‘My Activity’ page by clicking on the “i” icon in the card. While the feature is still in development, it will not be surprising if the firm makes it an opt-in experience.
Clicking on any of the products in the card redirects users to a search results page for that product with retailer and pricing options, just like on Google Search. The experience for users that prefer new tab page personalization through third-party extensions might vary. The firm is also working to add recipe cards and content from Kaleidoscope, flags for which are also present in the experimental features section in Chrome Canary.
The integration of shopping features into the new tab page of one of the most popular web browsers could help Google further expand its Search and marketplace offerings into its services, making them easily accessible and prominent. The feature might also be aimed at rivaling the recent Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop offerings being introduced by the social networking giant.
Update: A Google spokesperson reached out to clarify that the experiment displays "free product listings" only and does not include any paid ads. Here is the complete statement:
Here's what's fixed, improved, and still broken in Windows 10 build 20241
by João Carrasqueira
As per Microsoft's Wednesday tradition, a new build of Windows 10 is rolling out Insiders in the Dev channel today, this time being build number 20241. As usual, the list of new features is small, but there are some visual changes and improvements to the Settings app.
However, the build also comes with the usual lists of improvements, fixes, and known issues, which might be useful to know before you rush to install it. Starting with the improvements, there are some for Narrator and the Japanese IME:
As for the fixes in this release, there's a pretty long list to take a look at:
Finally, there are still some known issues:
If you're not in the Insider program, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 feature update, version 20H2, just yesterday, and we've rounded up all the new features in it. There are also some known issues for it, but nothing new if you were already using Windows 10 version 2004. It'll likely be a few months before the features in these new Insider builds make their way to the general public.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 20241 to the Dev channel with theme-aware splash screens
by Rich Woods
It's Wednesday at 10am PT, and that can only mean one thing. There's a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build in the Dev channel. This week's build is 20241, and as usual, not much has changed, although there are a few things.
The Dev channel gets weekly builds from the rs_prerelease branch, so it's in a perpetual state of prerelease and it's not tied to a feature update. At some point, features get promoted to the Beta channel, which is actually a preview for the next feature update. Unfortunately, no one actually knows what the next feature update is, and Microsoft isn't talking about it. The most recent update, 20H2, was released this week, and 21H1 might be canceled entirely in favor of a Windows 10X release.
As for what's new in this build, we're now seeing theme-aware splash screens, so you'll see light and dark splash screens instead of accent-colored ones. Here's the full changelog:
It's unclear why only that small subset of apps supports the theme-aware splash screen, rather than anything with a transparent splash screen.
As always, you can grab today's build via Windows Update. If you're not on the Dev channel yet, you can enroll through the Windows Insider Program tab in Settings.