Windows Insider build 15002 offers a bevy of improvements

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.

Comments closed
    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    After almost three years, just opted out of Insiders Program for my two machines–caused more problems than benefits.

    • yogibbear
    • 3 years ago

    Windows 10 updates are becoming a never ending torment of having to re-do desktop customizations, start menu customisations, default program behaviour customizations and on and on every single time. I wonder if this one will re-enable Edge and decide that it knows best again?

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      What’s the general verdict on this? I’m finding it hard to believe that anyone [b<]*wants*[/b<] to have their customisations, file associations and general windows preferences reset constantly, but more importantly - how are companies whose software products are replaced by default on a regular basis not up in arms about this? Surely there's a legal challenge there? I'm getting sick of disabling windows spotlight, resetting my file associations away from Photos, Edge, Groove, Films & TV applets and disabling the stupid XBOX overlay that interferes with any game I launch. The advertising, sponsored games/apps and constant re-enabling of things I've disabled or uninstalled is unacceptable but there doesn't seem to be any viable, permanent way to stop it without making massive edits to your OS that break other basic functionality.

        • yogibbear
        • 3 years ago

        Companies use a version with access to group policies and a different track for delivering updates. So they sidestep the issue altogether. The regular home users get shafted. We should not have to fork out extra $$$ just to get basic functionality. But because companies don’t even have to deal with the issue it’s hard for all the single voices to be heard by MS, or I guess listened to. Because they gave us this version “for free” so now they’re allowed to re enable advertising and crap on us whenever they like I guess? (Even though we already “paid” the full price for the previous versions).

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          Tell me about it! I’m on W10 Enterprise right now at work, but my home machines are either Home or Pro depending on the version of 7 they had beforehand. It’s irritating enough for a single machine, but when you try to keep a workstation, an HTPC and a laptop all configured the right way, it’s 3x as irritating. I’m tempted to install pirate copies of W10Ent until they stop this ridiculous behaviour.

          I know it’s illegal but I don’t feel I’m the [b<]unethical[/b<] party in this case.

            • tanker27
            • 3 years ago

            It is a main reason I covet my MSDN License.

            • Bauxite
            • 3 years ago

            FYSA, old technet keys still activate 10 Pro from the built in tool. Even though technet is gone for years now, you can still log in and see all your claimed keys.

            No tricks or upgrading required as you can clean install with the default key which is on their own website.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<] never ending torment [/quote<] Not sure if you know what that means... Since release over 1.5 years ago, there's only been 2 major updates that should cause any of that. So twice a year at most for the general public? Now, if you're in the Insider program and on the fast ring, sure, lots of build updates. But that's 100% voluntary, no reasonable complaining there.

    • njoydesign
    • 3 years ago

    Can anyone pressure them to finally fix the problem they created with Anniversary Update and the way it treats sound now? I have an HP Envy 15j with Beats Audio (on IDT chip) and the quality of the audio has become horrendous, through both the headphones and the integrated 6 speakers. No matter what I’ve tried I have not been able to bring it anywhere near what it was on Win8 and early Win10.

    This is my main grievance with Win10 and I actually consider reverting to an older version just because of that..

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      It’s not impossible that that’s a Windows issue, it’s most likely a driver issue. Have you reverted to older drivers to ensure that’s not the case?

        • njoydesign
        • 3 years ago

        Yes I have. I am actually using a win8 driver right now instead of the one offered by MS. After doing a bit of googling I saw that I am not the only one with the issue, and it is not exclusive to HP laptops and IDT codecs, although HP do seem to be the most affected.

          • cygnus1
          • 3 years ago

          What’s the sound actually sound like? Is it making all sounds sound like a super low bitrate mp3 or like AM radio or something?

            • LeoScott
            • 3 years ago

            My wife has an HP envy 13 and it has had sound problems when updates have occurred including the sound dropping out totally after 20-30 seconds, worst case, to distortion. I have had to use restore points to roll back drivers/updates to correct the issue. This is very unprofessional on either Microsoft’s or HP’s part. It is obviously not properly tested before release.

            • njoydesign
            • 3 years ago

            When I’m using headphones, yes, the impression is this. I have been trying to change the quality of the output through windows audio settings, with varying success, but as I mentioned before, I never managed to get it close to what it was before the AU. Same 8.1 driver. What is worse, is that the settings that I apply do not seem to stay in place. There is also the problem with tone (bass/treble) controls, it really likes to reset it the way it wants and I end up with too much bass sent to heads. Normally now I have to set it to -4/0. Also, if I pause a track in Foobar and then play it again, the bass shoots through the roof. Have to stop it and play from beginning.

            When playing through the internal speakers, compared to 8.1 and early W10 it feels like the subwoofer has lost most of its breath. Overall, it sounds quiter than before and much tinnier. Experience varies between apps too. For example, i’m not using MPC anymore, because more often than not the quality is beyond bad and I have not been able to fix that. VLC and standard app seem to fare better.

            The thing is, I was using the same driver before the AU and was very happy with the sound, after the AU, i.e. since last August, it went all bonkers and is a constant source of pain. I also read somewhere that with AU MS changed the way Windows handles audio, and for me this change was definitely not for the better.

            Overall the issue is aggravated by the fact that since Beats were bought by Apple, HP seems to have forgotten they ever released laptops with it. The most recent driver for my laptop is dated 2014 for W7 version and 2013 for W8.1 version.

            • cygnus1
            • 3 years ago

            Have you checked for availability of newer drivers elsewhere, maybe an IDT generic driver? Also, when I have to find drivers for an embedded device that the OEM hasn’t bothered to provide an update for, a lot of times you have to find the PCI ID for the device and search based on that. I know I’ve had to do that for older Realtek devices.

            • LostCat
            • 3 years ago

            IDT don’t play that ‘working drivers’ game.

            • njoydesign
            • 3 years ago

            the point still stands, that same driver was working absolutely fine before the Anniversary Update

    • hasseb64
    • 3 years ago

    Phasing out Flash have been a topic…. 5 years now??
    Why on earth is that shit still plaguing Internet? And why is Adobe still not bankrupt?

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Because of its incredibly lucrative annual subscription model for Photoshop, Premiere Pro, etc. Flash is nothing compared to it big herd of cash cows.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    If click on the action centre, then click on anything in the action centre, the action centre dies.

    Hmmmm. Now my task bar has crashed.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      #SaaS

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    “Edge will start blocking untrusted Flash content by default”

    i trust pr0n played with flash more than i trust MS.

    • eofpi
    • 3 years ago

    Edge’s marquee improvement is something Opera has had for years.

    • Shobai
    • 3 years ago

    One bug that I’d like to see a fix for has been annoying me since at least Win8 days on my work PC:

    I am the main user of a workstation, but have other users irregularly using the same machine while I’m otherwise engaged. The workstation has two identical displays being driven by an HD6950. I have particular applications open on specific displays – sometimes even on a specific side of a specific display [using Win+cursor].

    Suppose I lock the machine and another user logs in. When they are finished, they log out and I log back in: Windows now has my applications switched to the opposite monitor – it appears to keep track of whereabouts on the monitor the application was last, but it will now be on the other display. For example, Outlook might have been docked to the left half of my left hand monitor; it will now be docked to the left half of my right hand monitor.

    I have been through each user’s display options: in every case, the monitors are set up identically with the display Windows calls ‘1’ to the left of the display Windows calls ‘2’.

    Any ideas? Is it an AMD driver thing? Windows?

      • evermore
      • 3 years ago

      Is it moving everything to monitor one? That would make me think it’s disabling the second monitor during the login changes, moving the applications just like if you’d unplugged the screen.

        • Shobai
        • 3 years ago

        No, it’s definitely switching applications between monitors.

        [edit]

        Also, it isn’t a toggle. I just did it again to test: log in as me, configure window positions. Lock. Log in as alternate user. Log off. Log in as me: window positions on opposite monitors. Repeat process: window positions remain on opposite monitors.

          • cygnus1
          • 3 years ago

          edit: disregard my original, missed your detail on which monitor was which. I’m betting something driver related, no idea what though.

      • GTVic
      • 3 years ago

      Download an app that displays desktop mouse coords. E.G. AutoHotKey should have a sample script that can be compiled to do this. Check all 4 corners of all displays for negative coordinates.

      Ideally monitor #1 should be left of #2 and #1 should be main and the top of #2 should be exactly parallel to the top of #1. The key is which monitor is main and whether the other monitor is to the left or right or slightly above/below.

      Negative coordinates may not be supported in some applications. Small negative numbers can be translated into large postive numbers or vice versa and the result can be perceived as invalid resulting in default window positions.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Users can also set a custom schedule, or manually adjust the feature as needed.[/quote<] [i<]But can it be turned off[/i<]? I mean it's a nice thing, but if it'll affect colour and brightness then it should be under complete control and honestly off by default.

      • curtisb
      • 3 years ago

      Yes, it can. In fact, it’sย off by default in this build.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    I think high-DPI mode should be turned on by default for desktop apps, and if an app misbehaves give it an “off” switch in Compatibility Mode settings. Especially for insiders, they can handle it.

    • bthylafh
    • 3 years ago

    Now how about you quit advertising to me from within Windows?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      The Cortana stuff especially makes me crazy. I have “tips” and Cortana suggestions BOTH turned off, but they still show up.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 3 years ago

        Well, I skipped the anniversary update so I don’t have this issue.

        Someone tell SSK, he was asking why i’m refusing to accept MS’ latest conception on my laptop.

          • RAGEPRO
          • 3 years ago

          It’s quite possible to fix even on AE, as long as you’re on Pro or bettter. Group Policy and Local Security Policy are your friends.

            • Ninjitsu
            • 3 years ago

            Perhaps (and I *am* on Pro, thankfully), but this is really not something I want to deal with unless they force my hand.

            Well, that is sort of why i’m dealing with Win 10 at all, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜›

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Guess I’ll have to look into this because it’s maddening.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            So [url=http://www.howtogeek.com/269331/how-to-disable-all-of-windows-10s-built-in-advertising/<]this link here[/url<] goes to HowToGeek, and it's useful, but the real hidden trick is [url=http://winaero.com/blog/stop-windows-10-anniversary-update-from-installing-candy-crush-and-other-unwanted-apps/<]this link here[/url<] from WinAero. (God, I love these guys.) That process using local security policy will stop all Windows "Spotlight" behavior including automatic app installs.

      • Redocbew
      • 3 years ago

      “Hey! You need office on this device!”

      … and whoever said yes to developing you needs a botched root canal.

        • w76
        • 3 years ago

        I still get the exhortations for Office… even though the Office365 package is the very first thing I set up.

      • ozzuneoj
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t get any advertising in Windows 10. I turned off everything it let me turn off, then used some basic tweaks (no registry edits), and I have no problems with advertising, pop ups or other things like that.

      It’d be nice not to have to do anything extra, but from my experience it is possible to turn off enough that there’s nothing obvious going on. Who knows what its doing in the background however…

      • odizzido
      • 3 years ago

      You can remove this but you need to find the files and remove them manually. I never ran 10 long enough to find out but you might also need to deny everyone access to the folders they’re kept in to prevent it from coming back on the non-optional changes to the OS.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 3 years ago

      Unfortunately while people happily buy other programs and operating systems that come with storefronts and other advertising then Microsoft are going to continue to find a way to make it work for them as it’s working for their competitors.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    I know nobody liked the old API, but to go so far as to call it the [u<]GDI[/u<] API sure is harsh!

    • swaaye
    • 3 years ago

    I am still wondering who at MS thought that a brightness slider in the charms bar was undesirable. It’s so incredibly annoying to not have that with a tablet. Yes I know you can go into display settings…

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      There’s a button in the notification menu, though? You can click it and it cycles through brightness. On my laptop anyway. Although you call it “charms bar” so i guess you’re using 8.x…

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      But notifications are the new charms. They’re on the same edge of the screen and everything AND there’s a quick-press brightness control right there.

      You’re literally complaining about a thing being removed that has not been removed.

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, what Chrispy_ said, the function is still there. Also, I think a button is a lot better for most folks than a slider on a capacitive touch screen.

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 3 years ago

        It’s there, but 25% is not enough granularity, especially since some of the increments are not even useful on different monitors. The old press and drag slider thing was perfect both for brightness and volume.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          I think the change is for the better but admit that there’s never one size that fits all. The buttons to tap are definitely better than the slider for smaller form factors like tablets, rather than convertible laptops – and these are the form factors that are most likely to need it. If your particular device doesn’t have useful brightness settings with a 25% range then I’d blame the display not the OS; If your display is so bad that 25% is too dim and 50% sears your retinas, then the hardware has a problem.

          If you want a slider on a larger device there’s always the proper settings menu still.

    • xeridea
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]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. [/quote<] If this actually works, it would be the single greatest Windows improvement ever. This has bothered me for 15 years. I hate organizing 40 or so icons/folders super neat, and having them all get jumbled whenever playing certain games, safe mode, monitor switch, sometimes driver install, the list goes on. Then spending several minutes fixing. Definitely the number one annoyance I have ever had (perhaps other than being forced to use Win8 on a work laptop).

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      In all fairness, the article only states that the icons will move around more predictably… But that doesn’t necessarily mean in a good way! …Think Space Invaders. ๐Ÿ˜€

        • xeridea
        • 3 years ago

        They say it try to keep same relative position, so if some are off slightly that’s still a massive improvement.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        Drop down! Increase speed!

      • Welch
      • 3 years ago

      YES, something so simple that I have people complain about all of the time. This would be very welcome. It is simple, tie icon layouts to specific resolution profiles. I’ve wondered for ages why this was so difficult for them to do?

      • meerkt
      • 3 years ago

      [url<]http://www.softwareok.com/?Download=DesktopOK[/url<]

      • Klogg
      • 3 years ago

      This is the exact reason I started using Stardock’s fences almost 10 years ago. For all the things it does well, it solves the laptop-to-docking-station transition problem perfectly.

      • Oem
      • 3 years ago

      I agree 100%. But I hope you are aware of and using one of the programs that fix this, otherwise you’ve been suffering unnecessarily (and I feel your pain). This program appears to be almost 22 years old, and I’ve been using it for probably at least 10 years if not 15: [url< ]http://www.midiox.com/index.htm?http://www.midiox.com/desktoprestore.htm%5B/url<] This is a problem MS should have fixed in 1997, not 2017, but better ultra-hyper-super-late than never...?

        • xeridea
        • 3 years ago

        Super cool there is a program. I tried to fix with Stardock Fences, but it didn’t really help. Thanks for link.

      • lycium
      • 3 years ago

      AMEN, BROTHER!

      This problem is basically why I’ve been forced into the habit of sorting desktop items by modified date (twice, so the new stuff doesn’t go in the topleft corner), it’s the only way to maintain sanity atmo.

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