Microsoft has released another preview build (version 17623) for Windows Insiders. However, these will not be included in the upcoming Spring Creators update which is expected in April 2018 and are likely to be rolled out afterwards. The latest build brings some good news for photographers and gamers.
Preview Build includes features which are still in beta and are released early for users or developers who have signed up for the Windows Insider program for testing.
Windows 10 will now support HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format), a new type of file format which uses advanced codes to compress images without compromising on the quality. HEIF images are half the size of a JPEG image which means users will have more free space on their PC. Also, uploading images on cloud will take less time. Despite the small file size, HEIF images reproduce contrast and colours better compared to JPEG as it supports 16-bit colour range which is twice of what a JPEG image supports. Microsoft isn’t the only company that is trying to leverage the benefits of new image format. Apple’s MacOS and iOS also support HEIF and HEVC (video version of HEIF) files. It also supports image sequences, which means it can hold several images in a single file, like a GIF image, but with a smaller footprint.
Microsoft is extending the Safe Remove feature available on peripherals connected through USB to external GPUs connected via Thunderbolt 3 connectors. External graphics not only improve the gaming experience on laptops which do not have discreet graphics but has storage of its own. With safe remove experience, gamers can remove an external GPU without worrying about any data loss. Thunderbolt 3 allows faster data transfer compared to USB 3.0 or USB Type-C, which makes it ideal for gaming peripherals. Users can access this feature in Taskbar->Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media-> eject GPU. This will open a box, similar to a task manager, showing a list of all the games and apps which are using the graphics, providing users the option to close them before removing the GPU.
Microsoft has added two new options in the new Privacy Settings page for Windows 10. Microsoft was criticised for not offering users enough options to maintain their privacy. The existing tools were scattered all over the OS. The Privacy Settings page shows all the options at one place. The two new options available to users are called Inking & Typing and Find my Device. The former allows users to prevent Microsoft from accessing users input data such as keyboard hits for diagnostic purposes, while the latter allows users to find and lock their lost Windows 10 PC remotely.
With the new Preview, Microsoft is trying to make Edge browser as the default web browser for all links in the Windows Mail app. This means if a user clicks on a link, the page will open only on the Edge browser, even if it is not their default web browser on that PC. Microsoft claims this will provide users with a more secure and consistent experience. This can be annoying for users who use Google Chrome or some other web browser for their unique features. Windows Mail is an email app and supports all major email services such as Outlook.com, Exchange and Gmail.