Latest Windows 10 build teases major features for PCs

One of the great things about Microsoft's new "Windows as a Service" paradigm is that you won't have to wait N years before getting some juicy features. Sure, Microsoft still does have annual major releases, but, especially if you're an Insider tester, you can get a glimpse of those upcoming treats very early. Microsoft has just released Build 16215 for PCs (and 15222 for Mobile) and it's shaping up to be one hell of release that Windows 10 fans will probably dying to get their hands on.

Let's start first with probably the most controversial and subjective one of all: Fluent Design. Microsoft just recently unveiled its new design language which, while still adhering to some minimalist principles, makes use of a lot of animations and lighting effects. Some might consider it overboard, but there is indeed a visual flair to it. Microsoft hasn't overhauled the entire Windows 10 desktop UI yet, but you can already see some of the changes, especially acrylic translucent effects, in the Action Center depicted above.

Input is one thing Microsoft is hunkering down on this release, both with the on-screen keyboard as well as the stylus. As previously rumored, it has indeed transported its "shape writing" keyboard from Windows 10 Mobile to the desktop. But it seems to be available only on the one-handed touch keyboard mode, which is also crossing over from mobile to desktop.

As for the Pen, Microsoft has amusingly implemented a "Find My Pen" feature, perhaps to make up for the fact that its Surface Pro, in fact most Windows 10 tablets with styluses, don't have a convenient place to keep their pens. It's not that accurate though, because it really only records the time and place you last used your pen. Microsoft doesn't say if it is limited to Surface Pens only.

Personal assistant that can identify real world objects seem to be the rage these days. Cortana is jumping on that train too, but in a much smaller way. Using computer vision, or, as Microsoft puts it, "vision intelligence", Cortana will be able to make out events from pictures of posters or signs that you took and turn them into calendar events. Alternatively, you can explicitly tell Cortana what part of the image to analyze by using your pen.

Microsoft Edge is turning into more than just a web browser. In the latest update, it is also becoming a better ebook reader. Users will be able to highlight, annotate, and edit notes on EPUB books they have, either stored directly or purchased from the Windows Store.

These and more features are getting ready to welcome Windows 10 users in the next major release. While there is also a build for Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft has also mostly been silent on the features specific to smartphones.

SOURCE: Microsoft