In advance of the major Windows 10 Creators Update (expected this spring), Microsoft released a beta version of the update, also known as Windows 10 Preview Build 15002. And although there are no guarantees that everything featured in the beta release will be incorporated in the final update, there are some significant improvements that are almost certain to make the cut, which is especially exciting given the recent string of underwhelming Win10 updates.  Here are a couple of the front-end changes that we are most excited about.

  1. Microsoft Edge may finally give Chrome and Firefox a run for their money. The question, however, is whether or not people will be open to giving Edge another try. Too many Win10 users experienced the first generation of Edge, quickly moved on to alternate browsers and have never looked back. But, if you’re willing to give Edge another try, you’ll find a few drastic improvements, including a tab preview bar (which is pretty slick) and a new way to store or group tabs that you want to set aside for quick retrieval later. Additionally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the new auto-blocking of Flash (unless a user specifically allows it). Given that Flash is notoriously insecure, this is a notable improvement according to our cybersecurity experts.
  1. Users now have the ability to customize their start menu and notifications. On the start menu, you can now drop several tiles into a customized folder – just drop one app tile on top of another and you’ll be given the opportunity to name this new folder that contains both tiles. You lose the “live tile” effects associated with standalone tiles, but in our opinion the ability to “clean house” outweighs this relatively minor downside. And in the notifications folder you can create subgroups that help minimize the clutter.

In addition to these two upgrades, additional enhancements included in the beta build are

  • Improved scaling, snipping and sharing functionalities.
  • Improved Cortana commands and reminders, including a new auto-suggestion feature.
  • New “refresh” function within Windows Defender (the integrated antivirus program).
  • Ability to manage blue light settings, which may be important for users who regularly use their computers at night and/or in dark settings.

And although this update was not part of Preview Build 15002, multiple sources are reporting that Microsoft plans to bring e-books to the Windows Store as part of the Creators Update release. This will allow Win10 users to purchase electronic books (alongside the existing collection of apps, games, music, TV shows and movies) and read them using Microsoft Edge.

Though we won’t know for sure until the Creators Update is actually released, the latest generation of Windows 10 updates looks very promising. Are you planning to update to the Preview Build 15002 or will you wait until the final update is ready for prime time later this year?

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