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New Windows 10 preview looks smarter thanks to Fluent Design, and Edge browser gets improved

Another fresh Windows 10 preview build has emerged blinking into the light, containing some tweaks to the operating system’s interface – with more Fluent Design creeping in – and more work on the Edge browser, too.

Build 17711 has been released to those in the fast ring (and ‘skip ahead’ testers), and Windows 10’s UI has got some attention, with further work on the Fluent Design front.

Microsoft notes that it recently introduced the acrylic (blur) affect to many default menus, and now shadows are being added into the mix for some extra depth. Basically, the idea is to make everything look a bit smarter and more ‘three-dimensional’, as it were.

In this new build, shadows have been introduced to some popup menu controls (such as the right-click menu), although only on a limited set of menus initially – we can expect to see more of this effect around and about the operating system in future builds.

It’s still early days for this new element of the UI, and indeed Microsoft warns that there may be some glitches with the shadow effect right now.

So what’s the story with Edge? It’s now possible to choose a theme color for Learning Tools, and a new Line Focus feature helps to make an article easier to read by giving you the ability to highlight sets of one, three or five lines at a time.

Microsoft has also tweaked the consent box which asks for your permission to save autofill data for online forms, with a better design for this, and more details on why you might want to use this capability under ‘more info’.

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Color us excited

The final major change with this build is that you’ll now find a Windows HD Color page when you go into Display Settings. This allows you to configure certain color capabilities of your display, including using HDR for games, apps, or streaming video (assuming you have a monitor that supports HDR, naturally).

Also, a more minor adjustment is that the Registry Editor has been tweaked so it pops up suggested paths as you’re typing in the regedit address bar, which could be handy for forgetful types.

As ever, there are various minor bug fixes and known issues that you might want to be aware of – check out the full blog post for the details of these.

Microsoft also reminded testers that the big Sets feature has been removed from preview builds (this happened with the last build) as it’s being reshaped, based on user feedback, to return in a future preview build (although the company hasn’t given us any timeframe for that).

Sadly, this is likely to mean that we may not see the feature when the next big Windows 10 update is unleashed later this year. Still, as ever with software, it’s better to get something right rather than rush it out and disappoint folks with the initial incarnation.

And as this is going to be one of the biggest changes that has happened to Windows 10 in a long time, it’s a high-stakes affair.


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