Windows 10 Insider Preview 17083 puts fonts first


Windows Insiders on the Fast ring are getting a sneek peak at some features destined for the next big Windows Update in Build 17083. The highlights include a heavily revised font preview applet, the ability to look at the data the operating system is beaming back to the mothership in Redmond, and other improvements. The release will also offer an option to correct one of my personal pet peeves with Windows 10: disappearing scroll bars.

The new font preview applet can show off the capabilities of newer typefaces, including color fonts and variable fonts. The "quick brown fox" preview string has been joined by a number of other phrases curated to display a wide variety of characters, and users can input a custom string of their own. Web developers should delight in the addition of a font dialog page that allows them to tweak the various parameters of OpenType Variable fonts. New fonts are available in the Windows Store starting with Insider Build 17083, too.

The private and the paranoid will probably think the new diagnostic data changes are the highlight of the new build. The Diagnostic Data Viewer is a new Windows app that gives users the ability to review the data being sent by the operating system back to its creators. The app separates diagnostic data into categories based on the way Microsoft uses the information. Alternatively, users can take advantage of the app's search and filtering abilities to dig into it. Starting in build 17083, non-administrator users can change their own diagnostic data settings, as well.

Microsoft says it has made improvements to Windows Shell, Timeline, Hello, Hyper-V, and Windows Subsystem for Linux features. UWP app pages in Windows Settings now display a version number. The company also added a host of accessibility improvements, including my personal favorite change: an option to make scroll bars permanently visible, rather than hiding them until the mouse moves near the edge of the window. Scroll bars in the Start menu are apparently the exception, but Microsoft says it is working on fixing that.

The release notes list a couple pages' worth of bug fixes, as well as a number of known-but-unresolved issues. The new features and fixes are limited to Windows Insiders for the time being, but the notes say the new stuff will be part of Redstone 4, the next big Windows 10 update.

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