Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 preview build to the Windows Insider  program (membership free on the Windows site.) While there were minor improvements to usability and expected bug fixes, of key interest was an  adjustment to the functionality of Microsoft’s browser.

Gabe Aul, Vice President of Microsoft’s Engineering Systems Team, mentioned the preview on her blog. “Instead of extracting and loading extensions from the local folder, available extensions can now be downloaded directly from the Windows store. This change means that your currently installed extensions will be removed and you’ll have to reinstall once you want from the store, then in future updates your extensions will be automatically re-downloaded and installed.” Extensions noted as available in this build include Pinterest’s ‘PinIt’ Button, OneNote’s Web Clipper and Adblock Plus. Another improvement specific to the Edge browser,  are intrusive web notifications, which according to Aul,  “allow participating websites to send notifications to you via the action Centre, with your permission.” the example used speaks volumes of the evolution of Microsoft’s market. “When your friend sends you a message on Skype for web while you’re busy on the Xbox app,” writes Aul, ” you won’t miss a thing, as a notification from the website will appear in Windows just like an app might send. Click on the notification and you will be right back on Microsoft Edge at the site that sent it.”

Build 14342, also offers new themes, most notably for the GitHub  desktop app which now gives users the option of a dark theme, Microsoft demonstrating its empathy for late-night coders. Users will also discover they can now swipe right to go back a page in the browser, and there is a setting available to allow websites to open desktop apps, although this is not functional as yet. Microsoft has done away with Wi-Fi Sense’s ability to share Wi-Fi networks automatically with contacts, basing the decision on low uptake and the continued cost of updating the code in order to keep the feature working.

Bug fixes and known issues were a long list, Microsoft mentioning the issue relating to the All Apps List on the start menu not containing any apps.  they encourage people to use the search bar while the company finds a fix. As Windows 10 is still free to upgrade to, at least until 19 July, it appears, according to forums that most early adopters feel engaged enough to understand any shortcomings in the system.

Members of the Windows Insider  program already have access to the new build. The free upgrade to Windows 10 is still available until July 19, after which the cost will be set around $120.

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