It's been nearly two weeks since the last Windows 10 Insider Preview, which was build 18334. Microsoft released build 18342 to the Fast ring today though, and it builds on top of features that were introduced in build 18334.
The features, however, are quite mysterious. Microsoft only describes them as "gaming improvements", offering a chance to play State of Decay for free. While the game arrives via the Microsoft Store, State of Decay was never offered through the Store, so it's likely that the company is testing deployment of Win32 games through the Store that you'd normally get through a vendor like Steam.
The other part of the new features has to do with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. You can now access your Linux files from within Windows 10, and this feature was first introduced in last week's 20H1 build.
Here's the full changelog:
Improving Gaming on Windows 10
Thanks to everyone who signed up to try out our new Windows gaming technology in Build 18334. With today’s new build (Build 18342), we have some fixes that we can’t wait to have folks try out: the game now runs correctly with parental controls enabled, and the install process is more stable (including a fix for the game being stuck in “Pending” instead of downloading).
- If you have already tried State of Decay and everything worked: we’d appreciate you uninstalling State of Decay and then trying the install again, to make sure everything still works.
- If you have already tried State of Decay and something didn’t work: please try again and see if your issue has been addressed. If not, it would help us a lot if you let us know using the Feedback Hub in Windows (instructions here in this post). Even if you already sent feedback on the issue before, it’s very helpful to know that it’s still happening on a new version of Windows.
- If you were not able to get a slot for State of Decay: we’ve opened up more slots now, so just go to the Xbox Insider hub and click Insider content to join. NOTE: we’re still limiting availability as we roll out, so we recommend joining right away. If you miss out this time, don’t worry, we’ll be adding more again soon!
- If you are trying State of Decay for the first time: just do the following:
- Install the Xbox Insider Hub app on the PC you’ll be flighting on.
- Sign in to the Xbox Insider Hub with your Gamertag. If you don’t have a Gamertag, see instructions.
- Select Insider Content in the upper left.
- Scroll to the bottom and select the Windows Gaming program (in the System section).
- Join the program.
- Follow the instructions in the previous post, skipping any steps you’ve already completed above.
If you see any problems downloading or installing the game, or if important functionality like game saving isn’t working, please be sure to use the Feedback Hub to tell us. And thank you again for helping us find any issues!
Linux Files inside of File Explorer
We added the ability for users to access Linux files in a WSL distro from Windows. These files can be accessed through the command line, and also Windows apps, like File Explorer, VSCode, etc. can interact with these files. Access your files by navigating to \\wsl$\<distro_name>, or see a list of running distributions by navigating to \\wsl$. You can learn more about this here.
Other Updates for Insiders
New Chrome Extension for Timeline: We’re pleased to announce an extension that collects activities from your Google Chrome browser and adds them to your Timeline in Windows. You can download the new Web Activity extension now from the Chrome Web Store. Just sign-in to the extension on your Chrome browser with your Microsoft account, visit a site in Chrome, then watch it appear on Timeline – and pick up where you left off. Your Chrome activities will also sync with Timeline on Android devices using the Microsoft Launcher app. Give the new extension a try and let us know what you think in the Feedback Hub. This is just one of many updates inspired by Insiders to make Timeline even better!
Obviously, this build is from the Windows 10 19H1 development branch, and the development of new features is winding down. The version number is 1903, meaning that we should see an RTM build in March, followed by a public release in April.