Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14942 arrives on the Fast ring -- introduces se ...

It’s been a full week since the last Insider Preview build made its way on to the Fast ring , but it’s been worth the wait.

Arriving just in time for the weekend, the latest release, Build 14942, is much more interesting than its predecessor, and introduces some major new features.

First up, you can now collapse the App list in the Start menu. This is, Microsoft says, one of the top requests from windows Insiders, and you can try it out by going to Settings > Personalization > Start and turning on Hide app list in Start menu .

There’s a big change under the bonnet to be aware of in this build. If your PC has over 3.5GB of RAM -- and most will -- service hosts will now be split into separate processes. While this will mean an increased number of processes in Task Manager, it will also result in increased reliability, better transparency, reduced servicing costs, and higher security. Critical system services will remain grouped.

If you use Windows 10 on a device with a precision trackpad, the new build introduces improvements to gesture and click detection, making it much more reliable. Microsoft has also made algorithm changes to reduce unintended zooming while panning.

InBuild 14926 Microsoft made sure that future OS upgrades would no longer reinstall apps you’d previously removed. In this build, things have been taken a step future. Microsoft says "if an IT-Pro has de-provisioned an app from your OS image (and you haven’t reinstalled it yourself), that provisioning status will now be preserved after upgrade, and the app will not reinstall", which is welcome news.

The Active Hours default range has been expanded for users running Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. While PCs running Windows 10 Home will still be limited to preventing the OS from installing updates in a specified 12 hour range, everyone else will be able to specify an 18 hour block instead.

Elsewhere, Build 14942 introduces form field navigation in Narrator -- so you can use the following commands to jump to form fields:

F and Shift + F: Jump to next/previous form field C and Shift + C: Jump to next/previous combo box E and Shift + E: Jump to next/previous edit box X and Shift + X: Jump to next/previous check box R and Shift + R: Jump to next/previous radio button B and Shift + B: Jump to next/previous button

The letter moves forward and Shift + letter goes backwards.

If you’re interested in icons, you’ll no doubt be excited to learn there’s a brand new Windows Update icon available in this build. Contain your excitement please.

Other improvements in this build include:

Updated Narrator’s reading order for Windows 10 apps which display an app bar on the bottom of the app, for example OneDrive, so now the contents of the page will be read before the contents of the app bar. Fixed an issue where running sfc /scannow in an elevated command prompt would fail at 20 percent with the error "could not perform the requested operation". Fixed an issue resulting in certain areas of Windows 10 app notifications not doing anything when clicked, rather than opening the corresponding app. Fixed an issue resulting in Personalization > Background Settings page crashing or showing a blank context menu when right clicking one of the recent images. Fixed an issue resulting in Windows Defender’s Antimalware Service Executable sometimes using an unexpectedly large amount of CPU. Fixed an issue resulting in the Devices and Printers page in Control Panel loading slowly for users with certain audio devices. Fixed an issue resulting in a small set of users seeing the NTFS partition of their external hard drive incorrectly showing up as RAW format. Going forward from Build 14942, custom printer names will be preserved across upgrades. Microsoft also addressed an issue where the printer queue name wasn’t preserved across upgrade for some printers. Improved framerates when Game Bar is enabled for full screen games.

Known issues include:

Insiders doing web development may find their local intranet server unreachable, as service host separation will leave the IIS World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3Svc) unable to start successfully. To fix this issue: Run the following from an admin cmd line (or edit the registry accordingly): REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W3SVC /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WAS /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reboot the system, so that the W3Svc and WAS services share a service host process.

Photo credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock

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