Major Windows 10 update nears as Microsoft stops adding features

New updates will be focused on bug fixes not flashy new stuff

surface pro 3 running windows10
Blair Hanley Frank/IDG News Service

Microsoft is hurtling towards the consumer release of its big Windows 10 Anniversary Update with the latest beta build for its operating system that launched on Tuesday. 

The launch of build 14366 signals a temporary end to Microsoft releasing new features for Windows 10, according to a blog post by Dona Sarkar, the voice of the Windows Insider Program. The focus of this update is on a "Bug Bash" event this week that's supposed to help beta testers find bugs so Microsoft can fix them before broadly releasing its big Anniversary Update. 

Over the next four days, users of the beta build will be able to go through step-by-step guides inside Windows 10 to try and find bugs. Microsoft will be publishing a series of "quests" through the Insider Hub app that's only available to its Windows Insider public beta testers that will walk people through different processes to look for bugs.

"Limited" quests will only stick around for 24 hours after publishing, so people who want to get the badges that come from completing them will have to act quickly. Then, there are "Advanced" quests that may ask users to tweak their computers' settings in order to try things out.

Those people doing Advanced quests will be responsible for getting their computer back to the way it was before they tweaked settings for the quest, even if nothing went wrong. If something does go awry, they’re responsible for fixing their own computer. Microsoft has made it clear that these are not for the faint of heart. 

The result of all that should be that the version of Windows 10 that rolls out to consumers soon has fewer bugs, assuming that all goes according to plan. There will likely still be bugs with the update, since that's the way of software, but a bug bash like this should help Microsoft to test for issues on a wide variety of hardware.

This release includes a couple of minor new features, including a browser extension for Microsoft Edge that lets users access Office Online, and an update to the Windows Store that's supposed to make it perform better. 

Ahead of the bug bash, Microsoft has added a ton of new fixes to previous problems with the Windows 10 beta. French users will get access to this build, since the Windows team found and eliminated the bug that caused large swaths of interface text to get rendered in English. (They were blocked from downloading the last one.)

Microsoft also gave users back the ability to access their privacy settings. In the previous beta build, the Settings app would crash when users tried to navigate to the privacy tab. 

Overall, Sarkar named 21 different bug fixes in her blog post, and it seems like there are a lot more on the horizon. 

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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