Microsoft is starting the New Year offering a ton of goodies to its Windows Insiders. Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15002, comes with wide variety of updates, notably improving user experience in Edge, continuing to phase out Flash, improving support for high-DPI displays, and implementing a blue-light reduction feature.
Microsoft says that it's received many requests from users who'd like their tabs in Edge to be organized more cleanly. To help with that, Microsoft is implementing a tab preview bar, offering a quick preview of the content of all open tabs. That bar drops down when users click a small button next to the open tabs. From there, they can scroll through the previews without losing sight of their current page. Microsoft is also including a button to "set aside" one or more tabs, cleaning up the current window. These tabs can be be brought up again later through a side menu.
Microsoft is also continuing to phase out Flash content. Now, Edge will start blocking untrusted Flash content by default. Wherever possible, Edge will default to HTML5, but if users load a site that depends on Flash, a dialogue window will ask whether they want to allow it once or always for that site. Microsoft will also maintain a whitelist of popular sites that rely on Flash, but will gradually shorten it as time goes on.
There's quite a list of updates coming to the Windows 10 shell and Start Menu, but the marquee changes on that front are probably the updates for high-DPI support and blue-light reduction. Microsoft says it's improved the way some applications scale when on a high-resolution display. Additionally, users can now selectively enable these improvements through the applications' Properties window. Selecting "override high DPI scaling behavior" in the Compatibility tab will now override the applications' default methods for handling DPI scaling. Microsoft notes that this will only work for apps that use the old GDI API.
On a related note, desktop icons will now move around more predictably as users change monitor configurations. Now, for example, when users dock their laptop or use a projector with a different resolution than their display, Windows will try to keep the icons in the same relative position.
Microsoft is also bundling in a blue-light reduction feature. By default, this setting will use local sunset and sunrise information to determine when to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the display. Users can also set a custom schedule, or manually adjust the feature as needed.
The update is quite a large one, and it also includes a new screenshot tool, improvements to Payment Request API, organizational tools for the Start menu, and new accessibility options. There's even a new Green Screen of Death, which replaces the BSOD for Windows Insider users and lets MS distinguish between errors stemming from test builds from those in production copies. To check out the full list of changes and currently-known issues, check out Microsoft's extensive blog post.
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