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Microsoft's Windows 10 Preview Build 16241 Now Available, And It's An Early Look At The Fall Creators Update

14 July 2017, 8:08 pm EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Microsoft has now released a slew of new updates and improvements to Windows 10 via Build 16241 for Insiders in the Fast Ring. Improvements to Windows Shell, Task Manager touch-ups, and mixed reality upgrades are among the included features.  ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )

Microsoft has begun rolling out Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16241 for Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, giving a slick preview of what's to come in the forthcoming Fall Creators Update.

For this release, Microsoft focused on the Windows Shell user interface components, in addition to a bevy of changes for Task Manager.

Here's a list of what's new:

Windows Shell Improvements

Password reset: Microsoft added the ability to recover your pin and password directly from the lock screen. Brought from the Cloud Self Service Password Reset functionality on Azure AD Premium, Microsoft has now integrated it into Windows. For those on MSA or AADP accounts, simply click "Reset password" to reset your password right from the lock screen, Microsoft explains.

Acrylic Material: The noise layer of Acrylic Material has been softened. Acrylic Material, for those who don't know, is part of Microsoft's new and pretty Fluent Design System. Check out Microsoft's lengthy blog post on Build 16241 for some comparison photos showing the adjusted noise layer.

Task Manager Improvements

Microsoft has refined the design of the Task Manager's GPU section, which is hidden under the Performance tab. Starting with the update, the GPU name moves to the left-hand side for each GPU. There will also be a total GPU memory text counter at the bottom of the Performance tab.

Microsoft has also refined Microsoft Edge labels inside the Task Manager. Additional processes will now have labels, and the company said it'll continue revising the labels based on user feedback.

Delivery Optimization Advanced Options

Chances are, if you've signed up to become one of Microsoft's Windows Insiders, you regularly get software updates, including this one. That doesn't mean that you like under-the-hood processes hogging your network, though. So Delivery Optimization Advanced Options, which comes with Build 16241, will allow you to manage how much bandwidth Windows can use for updates.

On a regular day, Windows throttles its updates so as not to interfere with your internet activities. But Windows has blind spots too — it doesn't know how much bandwidth devices in your network use, for instance, so it can't include them in the equation. With Delivery Optimization Advanced Options, you'll be able to manage that data.

Moreover, to show just how much data Windows requires, this build includes the new Activity Monitor, which can track data coming in and going out your network.

Mixed Reality Improvements

The newest build also bundles along a number of improvements to mixed reality, which target Microsoft's mixed reality devices that have yet to ship. It remains a question whether Acer's mixed reality devices will be ready in time for the Fall Creators Update, though Microsoft seems hard at work to bring support for such peripherals.

The latest build includes support for USB motion controllers, in addition to a slew of other improvements such as speech commands and a better teleportation experience.

Build 16241 is also Microsoft's bug bash build, for the record.

"We're really excited to do our 2nd (and final) Bug Bash for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update! The Bug Bash will start at 12am (Pacific Time) on Friday July 14th and will run a full week ending at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on Sunday July 23rd," writes Dona Sarkar, a software engineer at the company's Windows and Devices Group.

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