Windows 10 build 17123 is now in the Fast ring - here's what's new

Microsoft today released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17123 to the Fast ring, making it the second new Redstone 4 build this week. The builds are beginning to roll in more frequently now, since we're just a week or two away from the feature update being finalized.

That also means that the team isn't focusing on new features, and instead is working on fixes. There is one new feature that's promised, which is HEIF support in Windows 10. In order to get it in the Photos app though, you'll need to sign up for the App Preview Program. Here's the changelog:

Introducing High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) in Windows 10

The High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) has arrived for Windows 10 and the Photos app! HEIF is an image container that leverages modern codecs like HEVC to improve quality, compression, and capabilities compared to earlier formats like JPEG, GIF, and PNG. In addition to traditional single images, HEIF supports encoding image sequences, image collections, auxiliary images like alpha or depth maps, live images & video, audio, and HDR for greater contrast. We have heard your feedback that these features and the ability to share photos easily with other platforms is important to you. This release we are delivering essential viewing support (You cannot edit HEIF images in this release).

In order to try this out, you need to join the Windows App Preview Program for the Photos app and make sure you are running the March release of the Photos app (Version 2018.18022.13740.0 or newer). This version of the Photos app has been updated for RS4 to support viewing the primary image inside a HEIF file and to guide the install of dependencies like the HEIF and HEVC media extensions from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, these media extensions enable HEIF viewing in Photos as well as thumbnails and metadata in File Explorer.

Additionally, any application that uses WIC, WinRT Imaging APIs, or the XAML Image control can now add similar support for viewing single HEIF images.

Click here to open Feedback Hub and send us feedback on the HEIF experience with the Photos app and Windows 10.

Microsoft didn't say anything in the notes about the watermark or expiration date being gone, so we know that this still isn't going to be the RTM build. Rumor has it that that will arrive next week, so stay tuned.

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