Microsoft issues crash warning with latest Windows 10 update

Edge browser will frequently drop dead when run on a PC equipped with AMD graphics chips

microsoft edge

Microsoft today released another update for Windows 10, but warned users with an Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) graphics chipset to expect "frequent crashes" of the new Edge browser.

Build 10122 followed its predecessor by three weeks, three times longer than the interval between build 10074 and its precursor, but shorter than the average of 29 days since last fall when it began seeding previews to the public. Two months ago, Microsoft vowed to pick up the pace of Windows 10 updates: Since then it has delivered one every 16 days on average.

Gabriel Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft's operating system group, spelled out the improvements in build 10122, but before he launched into that list, he called out a big bug.

"If you're using an AMD GPU [graphics processor unit] you're likely to run into frequent crashes in Microsoft Edge (still branded as 'Project Spartan' in this build)," Aul wrote on a company blog. "We're working with our partners at AMD on new drivers which should prevent the issue and will update this post once they're released."

Edge is the brand new browser that will be the default on Windows 10 devices. AMD is best known for its Radeon graphics cards and chipsets.

In the meantime, users can avoid the problem by switching to the Windows 10 "slow" ring -- the slower of two release tracks -- to, as Aul said, "sit this one out," meaning build 100122.

Aul touted several changes to Windows 10, including improvements to the Start menu and Start screen -- and how they can be toggled by the user; the debut of a new "new tab page" in Edge; and changes to how the OS maps an app to a specific file type.

The new tab page, which the company showed off last month at its Build developers conference, is a dramatic overhaul of the current thumbnails-only approach used by Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). In Edge, the new tab page -- which appears whenever the user requests a new tab -- is much busier, filled not only with images of the most-frequently-visited websites, but also news and other content from MSN, as well as apps Microsoft happens to highlight.

The latter is yet another hint at how aggressive Microsoft will be in promoting Windows Store apps -- one of the biggest revenue generators in the company's strategy to monetize the increasingly-free OS.

Aul also pointed out that going forward, the updates would fine-tune the new OS, but not make major changes. "From here on out you'll see fewer big feature changes from build to build, and more tuning, tweaking, stabilizing, and polishing," Aul said.

Microsoft has yet to narrow its broad "this summer" release timeline.

Days since last Windows 10 build

Microsoft has lowered the average time between builds to about 16 days since it promised to pick up the update pace two months ago.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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