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Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14279 for PCs, including new features

Last week, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14271 for PCs. Today, it's rolling out another new build from its Redstone development branch, for PCs in the Fast ring: build 14279, which includes a handful of new features for Windows Insiders to try.

Significantly, Microsoft is adding new language and region support to Cortana with this latest build, as it explained:

With this build, we are enabling Cortana for the Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil) or French (Canada) languages! If you’re running the Windows 10 Insider Preview in these languages – give Cortana a try and let us know what you think. For each new market and language, the Cortana Team works to develop a custom experience that is relevant in each individual market and language. For instance, in Brazil – Cortana is fond of pasteis which is a common food found in many regions across Brazil. And in Mexico, we added local flavor to reflect the accent and language of the country. But our work is never complete and a big part of our development process is getting feedback from you. These are early versions that we will continue improve based on your feedback and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Cortana can now also help you to remember important bits of information without the need to stop everything and set a full reminder for yourself:

With Cortana, you can now save useful information like the name of a book you want to read (ex: “remind me to read [insert book name]”), or a to-do item without a due date (ex: “remind me to wash the car”). You have the option to set specific details like location, time, and people at a later time so that Cortana will surface it when its most relevant. You can always view and edit all of these in the same place you see your reminders in Cortana today.

...and Microsoft points out that, in future builds, Cortana will be able to retrieve these details upon request, "just like a real personal assistant would".

The company is also tweaking the Windows 10 logon experience in build 14279. Until now, there have been separate background images for the Lock screen and the logon screen itself, but this is now changing:

We’re merging the experience so there is just a single background – your Lock screen background. This is similar to the behavior seen on mobile. If you have a custom Lock screen background set, you will see your Lock screen background is now used for both the Lock screen and logon screen. If you’re a Windows Spotlight user – hold tight, you’ll see this change soon in a future build. We’re also working on some additional tweaks here to make the transition between the Lock screen and logging in much smoother.

...and finally, there are improvements that should make a few Windows Insiders in Japan happy too:

We have improved performance of IME especially on typing response. So your typing experience will be smoother than before. We also extended our prediction content and you can select wider variety of candidates from prediction candidate list.

In its blog post today, Microsoft also highlighted other recent additions in the Windows 10 ecosystem, including Sway integration with the operating system's Photos app, along with the latest updates to the Xbox app (beta) revealed earlier this week.

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