Microsoft announces Windows 10 Build 17623 (RS5) for Skip Ahead Insiders

Microsoft today released Windows 10 Build 17623 (RS5) for Skip Ahead Insiders. This build comes with new features like support for High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), new privacy settings layout in the set up experience, a safe remove experience for external GPUs and more. Find the full list of features below.

What’s new in Build 17623:

Introducing High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) in Windows 10:

The High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) has arrived for Windows 10 and the Photos app! HEIF is an image container that leverages modern codecs like HEVC to improve quality, compression, and capabilities compared to earlier formats like JPEG, GIF, and PNG. In addition to traditional single images, HEIF supports encoding image sequences, image collections, auxiliary images like alpha or depth maps, live images & video, audio, and HDR for greater contrast. This release Microsoft is delivering essential viewing support (You cannot edit HEIF images in this release).

In order to try this out, you need to join the Windows App Preview Program for the Photos app and make sure you are running the March release of the  Photos app (Version 2018.18022.13740.0 or newer). This version of the Photos app has been updated for RS4 and RS5 to support viewing the primary image inside a HEIF file and to guide the install of dependencies like the HEIF and HEVC media extensions from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, these media extensions enable HEIF viewing in Photos as well as thumbnails and metadata in File Explorer.

Additionally, any application that uses WIC, WinRT Imaging APIs, or the XAML Image control can now add similar support for viewing single HEIF images.

External GPU Safe Remove Experience:

In RS5, Microsoft is introducing a safe remove experience for external GPUs connected via Thunderbolt 3. The safe remove experience allows you to know which applications are running on an external GPU so that you can safely remove to prevent data loss during detach.

To safely remove an external graphics card, go to the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon and click to eject your GPU. If there are applications running on your external GPU, then a dialog will appear with the applications that are currently running. Close the applications to safely remove the device. If there are no applications currently running on your external graphics device then no dialog will appear and you can safely detach your external GPU.

A new privacy settings layout in the set up experience:

This build includes the same changes to the set up experience for privacy settings mentioned last week in RS4 Build 17115. This new design conveys focused information to help our customers make focused choices about their privacy and offers two new settings for Inking & Typing and Find my device. More details about the change can be found in this blog post here.

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Improvements:

The Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Team has introduced new improvements for users to have a better experience with our upcoming release. Microsoft has combed through user feedback and acted to ensure your needs are met. On top of significant performance improvements, Microsoft has added an ability to download documents highlighted below.

Performance improvements: The teams at Microsoft are constantly working to improve performance for their users. Windows Defender Application Guard is no different. In this upcoming feature update, you will notice an improvement in the launch time for Application Guard. Microsoft has made the start process lighter and faster, which will provide our users with a better experience when accessing Microsoft Edge in Windows Defender Application Guard.

Download files to the host: One of the items our users voiced was an inability to “download files from within WDAG” to the host. This created an inconsistent experience for Edge overall as downloaded files were stuck inside the container. In this release, users can turn on a feature to download files from their WDAG browsing session onto the host file system. This feature is available in the Windows 10 Enterprise edition and must be turned on. Once the feature is enabled, users will be able to download files into a folder created in their Downloads folder and open all files on the host.

This build also includes several general improvements and bug fixes.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • For Windows Insiders in the Skip Ahead ring, Microsoft will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge, which provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices. With built-in features for reading, note-taking, Cortana integration, and easy access to services such as SharePoint and OneDrive, Microsoft Edge enables you to be more productive, organized and creative without sacrificing your battery life or security. As always, Microsoft looks forward to feedback from the WIP community.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue where the Microsoft Store may be completely broken or disappeared altogether after upgrading to this build.
  • Microsoft fixed two issues impacting the usability of Windows Mixed Reality on the previous build (Windows Mixed Reality running at a very low frame rate (8-10fps), and a potential crash at startup that could cause Windows Mixed Reality to not work).
  • Microsoft fixed an issue resulting in not being able to interact with title bars using touch when Sets was enabled.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue resulting in the touch keyboard crashing when focus was moved to certain password fields.
  • Microsoft improved the performance of Bluetooth mice when the system is under load.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue from recent flights causing precision touchpads to periodically need a few tries to be able to move the mouse.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue resulting in the Amharic keyboard not working in Win32 apps.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue where EFI and Recovery partitions were unexpectedly listed in Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue optimizing drives in Defragment and Optimize Drives didn’t work in the last few flights.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue resulting in a permanently black window if you dragged a tab out of a Microsoft Edge window, pulled it up to the top edge of the screen, and moved it back down and released it.
  • We’ve updated the Cortana section in Settings to now be called “Cortana & Search”.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue where you couldn’t use touch to interact with the Timeline scrollbar.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue where a failed app update could result in that app becoming unpinned from the taskbar.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue where if focus was set inside Action Center pressing Esc wouldn’t close the Action Center window.
  • Microsoft fixed an issue that could result in ShellExperienceHost periodically waking the device from hibernate if active live tiles were pinned to Start.

Known issues

  • If you open Settings and clicking on any links to the Microsoft Store or links in tips, Settings will crash. This includes the links to get themes and fonts from the Microsoft Store, as well as the link to Windows Defender.
  • If you try to open a file that is available online-only from OneDrive that hasn’t been previously downloaded to your PC (marked with a green checkmark in File Explorer), your PC could bugcheck (GSOD). You can work around this problem by right-clicking on these files and selecting “Always keep on this device.” Any file-on-demand from OneDrive that is already downloaded to the PC should open fine.
  • The Emoji Panel keyboard shortcuts don’t work – for now, you’ll need to use the touch keyboard to enter emoji. If you right-click on the taskbar you’ll find an option to show the touch keyboard button and go from there.

Via Microsoft Blog.

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