Windows 10 gets two new features in the Beta channel without a new build

Microsoft is testing a new way of delivering new features to Windows 10 users without requiring completely new builds of Windows 10. The company has just released an update to the Windows Feature Experience Pack for Windows Insiders in the Beta channel, bringing it to version 120.2212.1070.0.

Just like new builds or cumulative updates, updates to the Windows Experience Feature Pack are available through Windows Update, and you can simply check for updates to find them. The goal is to use these updates to distribute updates to features and products that are developed independently of the OS itself, allowing new features to be added without the need for a whole new build of Windows.

Here's what's new in this release for Insiders in the Beta channel:

  • Based on Insider feedback, you can now use the built-in screen snipping experience in Windows (WIN + SHIFT + S) to create a snip of your screen and paste it directly into a folder of your choice in File Explorer to save the screenshot there. Try it out!
  • Using the touch keyboard in a portrait posture on a 2-in-1 touch device now supports split keyboard mode.

For now, this new method of delivering features is just being tested, and that's why it's only available in the Beta channel. Eventually, Microsoft plans to expand the scope of Windows Feature Experience Pack updates to more people, and they will just become part of the servicing structure that already exists in Windows Update, existing alongside new builds and cumulative updates.

References to the Windows Feature Experience Pack actually showed up in Windows 10 some time ago, but the company hadn't done much with it until now or said what purpose it would serve. It's been speculated that Windows 10 feature updates may shift to an annual release schedule, so the Windows Feature Experience Pack updates appear to be a way to supplement them going forward. However, Microsoft hasn't been very open with how it plans to move forward with development for either Windows 10 or Windows 10X, so we'll have to wait for the company to clear things up.

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