This afternoon, Microsoft release a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which is build number 10041. Just a few days ago, they promised to ramp up the builds, which have been stagnant since the January release. I have been running that build on my main computer since it was released, and several bugs have lingered which I kept hoping would be sorted out with a new build. Unfortunately it took almost two months to get a new build, and it is too early to see if some of the bugs have been sorted out.

For those in the Insider Program, if your computer is in the “Fast” ring for Technical Preview updates, you can get this update through Windows Update. Microsoft will not be providing ISO files for fast ring builds, but will continue to provide ISO files for slow ring builds. There is no update yet on when the next slow ring build will be though.

Fast ring updates should be coming out much quicker now, so for those that want a more stable machine, the slow ring may be the safer bet. Microsoft is hoping to have at least one or two new builds per month. Due to the frequency increase, we may not give a full breakdown on changes unless a new feature emerges which needs some discussion.

The one big feature that was supposed to be in the “next” build was the new Spartan web browser, however some technical hurdles with the code have prevented this for build 10041, although we are promised it for the next round. For those that have missed it, Spartan is a new branch of Internet Explorer, which keeps some of the components but ejects a lot of the legacy code in an attempt to have a leaner, faster browser. Early results from the new ECMAScript engine were promising, with results that are comparable to Chrome. It will be the default browser in Windows 10, with Internet Explorer being moved to the background for enterprises which rely on its features only. As with previous builds, some of the new Spartan capabilities can be tested from within Internet Explorer too.

For build 10041 though, there are a few changes. The Start Menu has been tweaked, and now has a transparency effect. The login is now a new look and feel, which is actually quite nice. Virtual Desktops have gotten a big update. One of the things that I did not like about Virtual Desktops was that any apps open on a virtual desktop would be on the taskbar, which clutters the taskbar on the desktop you are on. You can now filter the taskbar so that a taskbar will only show the apps running on that desktop. Because this is just a filter, those that prefer it the old way will be able to keep it as status quo.

The much touted Cortana personal assistant is now available in many more markets. Microsoft has China, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain listed as new markets for Cortana, but I can confirm from my chair in Canada that Cortana is now in Canada as well.

One of the things that people have lamented from the days of Windows 8.1 was the ability to choose networks. The Charms settings for Wireless was very easy to use, and quite effective. Windows 10 now has a “Windows 10 style” flyout window, which is similar to the Action Center notification window in look and feel. The UX of both are still works in progress, but the initial functionality is there.

One of the more interesting additions, which is very much welcome in my household, is a big change to how Windows Update can get updates. Windows Update will now be able to pull the update files from sources other than Microsoft, including devices on your local area network. Apps will also be available, so when you have a multi-PC household, as long as one of the devices has already downloaded an app or update, your computer will no longer need to traverse the internet and be limited by your ISP or more importantly the possibility of limited data usage on mobile networks. With some apps being in the multi-gigabyte range, this is a huge change and very welcome.

The new build is still not finished code, so be aware that there are quite a list of known issues. For the complete list, or if you run into any issues with the new build, be sure to check out the source link.

Source: Windows Blog

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  • thatsrich - Thursday, March 19, 2015 - link

    I got build 10041 overnight, and I have no apps that I can see. Neither the "windows" button nor the start button does anything. Also, cannot type into the Cortana "ask me anything" field.
  • zodiacfml - Friday, March 20, 2015 - link

    That Windows Update is very cool. I don't have to worry about Windows Updates in a school I work for with thousands of Windows devices. I would like to know about phasing out WimBoot as I am working on it as a new image on W8.1.
  • AiponGkooja - Friday, March 20, 2015 - link

    I thought Spartan was built from the ground up, not a "branch of Internet Explorer"?
  • gerryinspain - Friday, March 20, 2015 - link

    Seem to download OK but the installation failed with an error code 0x80070241
  • Bulat Ziganshin - Saturday, March 21, 2015 - link

    all screenhots are flat and b&w. it seems that you downloaded windows 1.0 rather than 10
  • IlllI - Sunday, March 22, 2015 - link

    i hate how the shut down button is so high on the start menu. is there some way to move it back down to the proper place? ie lower setion of the start menu?
  • 3ogdy - Friday, March 27, 2015 - link

    That THEME, Microsoft, THAT THEME. Are we ever gonna move on from Windows 95? Like, in this century at least? How about firing the ones responsible for such retarded theming and bringing some actual progress to the table theming-wise. It was all progress until Vista and arguably Windows 7...then it all went to hell.
  • evilpaul666 - Saturday, March 28, 2015 - link

    I've not received the Spartan browser update and I don't know if the executable has the same name, but I get a bug where IE appears on the Task Bar twice, both referring to the same window, but the unpinned one is unresponsive.
  • Shiitaki - Sunday, March 29, 2015 - link

    So Microsoft is doing the the regular BS of ignoring what needs to be fixed, and reinventing the wheel?

    The biggest 2 issues with Windows updates is that they are NOT rolled in to ISOs so that reinstalling is a BITCH! And the other is the computer won't install updates until you go to USE IT!

    These two issues are HUGE! Easily solved, because Apple already has done this. Having devices sharing the update files is nice, but not nearly as important as the 2 issues I've mentioned.

    As far as settings go, Microsoft really needs to spend the rest of the time fixing that cluster @#$% and drop the web browser thing entirely at this point. Only an idiot would use Internet Explorer or whatever they change the name too at this point, it's simply a downloader for a real web browser. I have heard nothing about Spartan that improves the user experience, only the same nonstandard BS Microsoft pulls in breaking industry standards with a reinvention of html to conform to what Microsoft want's, incompatibility.

    Microsoft needs to start selling software that makes life better for the person USING the computer, not the companies selling computers, not the enterprise, but the end user. Internet Explorer used to be the one to use because Microsoft managed to get webpages optimized for IE in instead of the standard. But today there is no advantage to use IE, only significant downsides. It's only benefit is that it's the default that comes preinstalled, one of it's bigger issues.

    My Mac installs updates in the middle of the night when I'm not using it. And when I sit down in the morning to where I was, in the app that I left open, I see the notification of the restart. In comparison Microsoft is at least 10 years behind, and apparently distracted solving no ones problems, unless you are an ISP burden with Microsoft update traffic. Maybe the Redmond campus pays their internet bill by the megabyte? Again, not making life better for the consumer by solving the big issues.

    And if you only use your computer occasionally, this update BS is a huge deal. Because it means you have to wait for updates to finish often before the computer is even usable. Having to restart dozens of times after a fresh install because a software engineer at Microsoft is too lazy to roll the updates in to an ISO is simply unacceptable. And while they are at it, driver curation, do it and stop being lazy. There is no reason for Intel chipset drives to not be in install images once they have been on the market for 6 months. That's simply poor customer service.

    Microsoft can't even bother to host the ISOs themselves!

    And yes, reinstalling is a big deal because it is how many Windows problems are solved.

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