Today Microsoft released a new build of the next major version of Windows 10, to be released early next year.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18970 brings many new features, but principle amongst them is a new version of the tablet mode for Windows 10.

Unlike the jarring transition to the current tablet mode, the new tablet mode would keep the user on the desktop and do away with the full-screen mode.

The main concessions to fingertip user include:

  • Increased spacing between Taskbar icons.
  • Search box on taskbar collapsed into an icon.
  • File Explorer switches to touch-optimized layout
  • Touch keyboard auto invokes when you tap text fields.

These are of course rather minor but acknowledges that the dream of finger-friendly UWP apps that adapt to various screen sizes are just not happening anymore.

It is likely also consistent with the death of the Start Menu as we know it currently (the leaked version is above), but given how infrequently tablet mode is usually invoked I suspect the old version will not be much missed.

However with Microsoft rumoured to be working on a dual-screen laptop, a lack of a finger and pen-friendly user interface will likely doom whatever advanced hardware project Microsoft is still working on.

Would our readers miss tablet mode? Let us know below.

Update: Microsoft has now clarified that existing Tablet mode feature will continue to exist. The feature that was announced today is a new option.