Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17017 to all users on the Fast ring. Previously, the Fast ring was reserved for Fall Creators Update, and there was an option to Skip Ahead to the next development branch, although it was limited and that window closed within a couple of weeks.
So, this is the first Redstone 4 Insider Preview to reach all of the Fast ring, which means that another window is closing. If you were planning to get off of the Insider train when the Fall Creators Update comes out, you have to do that before you install this build. Otherwise, your only option will be a clean install.
There are some new features in this build:
Introducing Cortana Collections: Cortana now saves you time and stress by noticing and remembering things for you and putting them at your fingertips. Cortana can gather things you’re interested in such as items you shop for, restaurants, recipes, and books you’d like to check out, movies and TV shows you want to watch – and puts them all into neatly organized lists from which you can pick the ones you like best. Cortana is always learning, so the more you let Cortana help you, the more Cortana does for you. Check out the quest we’ve set up for more info on how to try this out and let us know what you think! (Available for EN-US Insiders only.)
Simplifying actions between Cortana and Action Center: In the previous feature updates of Windows 10 (including the Fall Creators Update), there were two places to go to see the next action you might need to take: Cortana and Action Center. We heard feedback that this was confusing as it wasn’t clear where to go. The fact that Cortana’s insights and recommended actions lived outside of Action Center also made it impossible to focus Cortana’s user interface on Cortana’s natural language and search capabilities. To fix both of these problems, Cortana’s proactive content is going to migrate to Action Center so that you have one place to go to find out what action to take next and to see the important insights Cortana has for you. This frees up Cortana’s user interface to provide tips, educating customers about what can be said to Cortana, and to provide tools for search so that you can get the information you need as quickly as possible. You will see the first part of this change starting with this build with Cortana no longer offering proactive content. Over time, you will see the proactive content that used to be available in Cortana show up in Action Center.
Startup Settings: The list of apps that are configured to run at startup or user log-in is currently maintained via the Startup tab in Task Manager. As part of our ongoing effort to consolidate our settings experience, now you can configure them in Settings! In our new Startup page under Settings > Apps, you can see all startup tasks installed for the current user, and enable/disable each of them. We will also display the impact they have on your startup time, as shown in the below picture.
Obviously, this is just the beginning. Microsoft will be adding many more features to Redstone 4 in the coming months, and it will likely hold an event to show off the big features.
But the big news is that now, everyone has access to the Redstone 4 Insider Preview builds, rather than the few that managed to enroll their PC in Skip Ahead while it was available.