Windows 10 Fall Update Threshold 2 November 6th, 2015 Revised November 12th, 2015
It’s here; the first major update to Windows 10 available to current Windows 10 users. Threshold 2 is called an “Update” as Microsoft no longer uses the name “Service Pack”. Please note that not everyone will be updated on day 1, it may take many days as there a currently more than 100 million users who upgraded to Windows 10 from July 30th until now..
So what is in this update that makes it so important? It breaks down in a series of improvements or features spread over months of recent Windows 10 builds released for testing by Windows “Insiders”. Please note that not everything may be included in the public release of the Threshold 2 update.
Today, we reach our next milestone as the first major update to Windows 10 is now available* for PCs and tablets. With this update, there are improvements in all aspects of the platform and experience, including thousands of partners updating their device drivers and applications for great Windows 10 compatibility. Windows 10 also starts rolling out to Xbox One today and select mobile phones soon.
But most importantly, with this free update we have reached the point in the platform’s maturity where we can confidently recommend Windows 10 deployment to whole organizations.
==================================================================== Activation made easier: Prior to Threshold 2, users who needed to perform a clean install of Windows 10 (No prior Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 installed and activated) installation and activation of Windows 10 was a major hassle.
With the release of Threshold 2 consumers can now perform a "Custom" / Clean install directly to a new or empty disk drive and use your Windows 7 and 8.1 product key to activate Windows 10 during the installation process. Since you are using a new drive and not a drive that contains your previous version of Windows you are no longer at risk of losing your current version of Windows during the upgrade to Windows 10 process. Simply disconnect your Windows 7, 8 / 8.1 disk drive and connect a new drive.
Experience improvements in this update include: Performance in everyday tasks, such as boot time now nearly 30% faster than Windows 7 on the same device.
With Cortana, you can use your device’s pen** to just scribble a note in the Cortana Notebook and Cortana will recognize the phone number, email address, and even physical address to help you set reminders. Cortana can also now keep track of your event and movie bookings too, sending you helpful reminders to know where to go and get there on time, plus the option to book and track an Uber**. We’re excited to make Cortana available in Japan, Australia, and Canada and India (in English) with features and experiences customized for each market. Microsoft Edge offers improved performance and security, along with tab preview, which allows you to hover over your open tabs and get a preview of what’s on those websites without leaving the page you’re on. Microsoft Edge now syncs your Favorites and Reading list items across devices so you can easily get back to the content you’re interested in most. And, Cortana will now notify you of the best coupons** from your favorite retailers such as Staples, Macys and Best Buy when shopping in Microsoft Edge.
And much more with improvements to Mail, Calendar, Photos, Groove, Xbox, Store, OneNote, Solitaire, and more!
Insider builds leading up to the release of Threshold 2 Build 10525 (Released on 08/18/15)
We have decided to include the Windows Feedback app in the released version of Windows 10 for all our customers. This was a very popular Windows Insider suggestion – one of our top 10 upvotes. At the same time, we wanted to continue giving our Windows Insiders an exclusive and premium experience when it comes to sending us feedback. So, here’s what you can expect from the Feedback app going forward:
Updated color options! We got a lot of feedback on the default color for Start, Acton Center, Taskbar, and Title bars and that you wanted to be able to change to reflect your preferences. This feature is now available (though still early) in build 10525 for you to try. This is off by default, but you can turn it on by toggling this (Settings > Personalization > Colors):
Memory Manager Improvements: In Windows 10, we have added a new concept in the Memory Manager called a compression store, which is an in-memory collection of compressed pages. This means that when Memory Manager feels memory pressure, it will compress unused pages instead of writing them to disk. This reduces the amount of memory used per process, allowing Windows 10 to maintain more applications in physical memory at a time. This also helps provide better responsiveness across Windows 10. The compression store lives in the System process’s working set. Since the system process holds the store in memory, its working set grows larger exactly when memory is being made available for other processes. This is visible in Task Manager and the reason the System process appears to be consuming more memory than previous releases.
Build 10532 (Released on 08/27/15)
Improved Context Menus We’ve heard feedback about the consistency of menus within Windows 10, so we’ve made some changes to improve these and give them a modern look at and feel. We are still working on it, but you’ll see some good changes with this build. We’re also further unifying the light and dark theming across the OS and are looking forward to you trying these latest changes and providing additional feedback.
Sharing Windows Feedback The Windows Feedback app will now allow you to easily share your feedback with others.
Build 10547 (Released on 09/18/15)
Here’s what’s new in this build:
Improvements to Start: The default for tile groups on Start is to have 3 columns of medium sized tiles, but we heard feedback from many Insiders who wanted the ability to have a 4th column as well, so they could have two wide or large sized tiles side by side in a group. In this build, you can enable this by going to the Settings app > Personalization > Start and enabling “Show more tiles”. And for the Insiders that want more than 512 tiles on Start; we now support up to 2048. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Improvements to Tablet mode: When in Tablet mode, from Task View you can now snap apps to left and right, replace a previously snapped app with another (teeter) and swipe down to close an app.
Many app updates: We’ve released many updates to our apps in Windows 10. For example – we’ve updated the Photos app to introduce a folder view that makes it easy for you to see your OneDrive and PC folders. The Xbox app has also received a pretty big update – you can read about it here from Xbox Wire. And many other apps such as Groove, Mail and Calendar and Maps have also received updates. Make sure to check the Store for updates, and send us feedback on these updated apps.
Other improvements: You can now turn off the Windows background picture in the sign-in screen if you want by going to the Settings app > Personalization > Lock screen and turning off “Show Windows background picture on the sign-in screen”.
Object RTC in Microsoft Edge: For developers, this build also includes a preview of Object RTC in Microsoft Edge. The ORTC APIs enable real-time audio and video communications directly inside Microsoft Edge without the need to install any plugins. You can learn more about how ORTC will work with Skype and Skype for Business over at the Skype blog, and developers can learn more about using these APIs at the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog.
Text input panel improvements: The text input panel now expands as you write to provide more space in Latin languages. The text input panel also no longer opens automatically when you are not in tablet mode or have an external Surface keyboard attached. Additional punctuation support has been added to the suggestions bar to make entering punctuation characters easier. Lastly, improvements have been made to help the suggestions be more relevant.
Build 10565 (Released on 10/16/15)
Here’s what’s new in this build:
Skype messaging, calling and video experience: As we’ve announced previously, Skype messaging, calling and video capabilities will come integrated into Windows 10 through the Messaging, Phone and Skype video universal Windows apps. These Windows applications enable quick and easy, free calling and messaging to other Skype users across phones, over 3G/4G and Wi-Fi tablets and to PCs Wi-Fi. With this build, you can preview the integrated capabilities on your PC while an upcoming Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview build will have these integrated capabilities for you to preview soon on mobile devices. Try things like Quick Reply from Action Center where incoming notifications will come in with the option to reply inline without opening the application. This is an early preview and you can expect some bugs, and more features to come as we deliver monthly updates.
Tab Preview in Microsoft Edge: In Microsoft Edge, you can now hover over your open tabs and get a preview of what’s on those websites. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Syncing Favorites and Reading list items in Microsoft Edge: In this build, you’ll see a first look at the new syncing feature in Microsoft Edge that lets you sync your Favorites and Reading list items. We are still working on refining it, but definitely check it out and let us know what you think.
Cortana improvements: Cortana is able to intelligently understand your inked notes – setting reminders based on locations, times and numbers that she can understand from your digital annotations.
cortana-ink-reminders2 We are also rolling out new features in Cortana to help you keep track of your leisure time, including movie and event reminders. Cortana will keep track of your bookings for movies and ticketed events through your email confirmations. Two hours prior to the event start time, you’ll get helpful information to be sure you know where to go and get there on time, including an option to book and track an Uber ride directly from Cortana.
More vibrant title bars: Thanks to feedback from Windows Insiders, with this build you can now enjoy your title bars with a full color intensity that matches the rest of your theme. Title bars will now appear darker. You can adjust the color by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Colored title bars will appear only if “Show color on Start, Taskbar, Action Center, and Title bars” is enabled.
Improved context menus on Start: You will notice we have made some adjustments and improvements to the context menus on Start including new icons for tile adjustments.
New icons: We know Windows Insiders love new icons – this build has another batch of new icons for devices (check out Device Manager). Registry Editor finally gets a new icon! “regedit-icon”
Device activation improvements: We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key. If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup. Refer to the Insider Hub for more information on these activation improvements including requirements.
Managing your default printer: We are introducing a new mode that makes your default printer the last printer you used. This change helps ensure the best printer is preselected in inbox print dialogs. You can manage this behavior in Settings > Devices > Printer & Scanners to change this to the previous way Windows handled default printers. The ability to set a default printer by network location has been removed.
Build 10576 (Released on 10/29/15)
Media Casting in Microsoft Edge: You can now use Microsoft Edge to cast video, picture, and audio content from your browser to any Miracast and DLNA enabled device on your network.
Cast a video from YouTube: Go to YouTube.com in Microsoft Edge. Click on the “...” menu and the top left, and select “Cast media to device” and select the Miracast or DLNA device you want to cast to.
Cast a Facebook photo album: Login to Facebook in Microsoft Edge and click on the first photo in one of your photo albums to cast. Click on the “...” menu and the top left, and select “Cast media to device” and select the Miracast or DLNA device you want to cast to. Navigate through your photo album by clicking on the forward and backward buttons.
Cast your music from Pandora: Login to Pandora in Microsoft Edge to get to your music and click on the “...” menu and the top left, and select “Cast media to device” and select the Miracast or DLNA device you want to cast to.
Please note: Casting protected content (content from places like Netflix and Hulu) is not supported.
Ask Cortana inside PDFs in Microsoft Edge: You can now highlight text while reading a PDF in Microsoft Edge and right-click to “Ask Cortana” to find additional information.
Updated Xbox beta app for Windows 10: The Xbox beta app for Windows 10 was updated last Friday which includes the ability to easily find and add Facebook friends who are also on Xbox Live to play, chat, and share clips – a top requested feature. In addition to that new feature, voiceover recording functionality has been added to Game DVR, and the Store in the Xbox beta app will allow you to search for and purchase Xbox One games – including Games with Gold and Deals with Gold promotions, and Xbox One 25-digit codes will be redeemable within the app. For more information on this update – check out this post on Xbox Wire.
Build 10586 (Released on 11/05/15) This could be Threshold 2 made available early to Windows Insiders to check for any last minute issues.
Here are some things we have fixed:
The issue where any audio playing (like music from Groove, or videos from the Movies & TV app) gets reduced by 75% for a period of time after a notification pops up from Action Center is fixed.
Pressing the power button on your Surface Pro 3 should put your Surface Pro 3 to sleep instead of shutting it down.
We fixed an issue reported by Windows Insiders where a disksnapshot.exe command prompt window would flash randomly.
Windows should now remember your previous login type. For example, if you log in with a PIN – it will prompt you for a PIN next time instead of another type.
We fixed an issue where Tab previews in Microsoft Edge were appearing as black if the page was not scrolled to the top, and web note clippings were also appearing as black.
Small form-factor devices, like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, that boot with rotation or virtual mode screen size set larger than the physical screen size should no longer experience a bluescreen on upgrade.
Apps and games should download from the Store more reliably.
After upgrading from one Windows 10 Insider Preview build to another Insider Preview build, Skype messages and contacts will disappear from the Messaging + Skype app.
You can get Skype messages and contacts back by navigating to “C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Messaging_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalCache” in File Explorer and deleting or renaming the “PrivateTransportId” file. After deleting or renaming that file, go to the Skype video app and sign out of Skype and sign back in. The Insider Hub might be gone after upgrading to this build. You can get Insider Hub back by going to Settings > System > Apps & features and clicking “Manage optional features”, choosing “Add a feature” and selecting Insider Hub.