It's the first week of 2021, and with the holiday season behind us, Microsoft is back to its weekly build releases for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. Today, the company is releasing build 21286, and it actually brings a pretty significant new feature, a news feed for the taskbar. It also packs a handful of other notable changes.
Of course, in addition to the new features, there are some fixes, improvements, and known issues to be aware of, just as with every other build. There's a single item in the list of improvements, which is as follows:
- Based on feedback, (GitHub issue #1495) we’re adding an option to disable automatic controller-to-virtual-key mapping for UWP apps. If you have a need to do this, add the following registry key, with a DWORD value of Enabled set to 0: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Input\Settings\ControllerProcessor\ControllerToVKMapping.
In terms of fixes, the list is fairly long, which is to be expected considering the downtime we had since the last build release. Here's the full list:
- We fixed and issue causing some Insiders to see a popup that says “Your PC ran into a problem and restart in 1 min” after logging in to Windows with either an Azure Active Directory or Active Directory account on Build 21277.
- We fixed an issue where no drives appeared under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes.
- We fixed an issue resulting in some printers getting stuck on connecting when added from Settings.
- We fixed an issue that could result in sometimes unexpectedly being signed out of apps and websites after rebooting your PC.
- We fixed an issue where the Windows Security icon would sometimes be unexpectedly large in the context menu when shift-right-clicking taskbar icons.
- We fixed an issue that could result in MediaTranscoder hanging when transcoding certain files.
- We fixed an issue where audio playing from UWP apps wasn’t ducking after pressing the microphone icon to start Cortana listening.
- We fixed an issue that could result in VPN entries in the network flyout getting stuck at Action Needed until you pressed Cancel and Connect again.
- We fixed an issue impacting touch targeting when resizing windows using touch.
- We’ve made some fixes to our emoji keyword search results based on feedback, including adding a new keyword so that typing “lgbtq” will now return the rainbow flag emoji. Please continue sharing feedback with us in the Feedback Hub under Input and Language > Emoji Panel.
- We fixed an issue that could result in the Read Aloud options in Magnifier being unexpectedly greyed out.
- We fixed an issue where the “Help make Narrator better” toggle in Narrator Settings was disabled for Insiders.
- We fixed an issue so that Narrator will now read Excel cell contents when verbosity is set to 2.
- We fixed an issue where Narrator might not announce whether a combo box was in expanded or collapsed state.
- We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read the names of certain hyperlinks on websites in Microsoft Edge.
- We fixed an issue impacting Narrator’s ability to read code windows in Visual Studio.
- We fixed an issue for high contrast users that could result in Settings crashing when going to Ease of Access.
Of course, because this is an active development build, there are also plenty of known issues. These include hangs and crashes in some games, while others may not be able to launch at all. Here's what you need to look out for before installing:
- We’re working on a fix for an issue Insiders have reported where certain games like State of Decay 2, or Assassin’s Creed, may hang or crash when launching.
- We’re investigating an issue where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may not launch starting with this build. If you play these games, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
- You may experience some rendering / graphic issues after resizing certain app windows. If you minimize all your app windows and open them again it should resolve the issue (Press the Windows key plus D twice).
- We’re investigating an issue where some 32-bit systems may lose network connection after taking this build. If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows, you may wish to pause updates until the issue is resolved.
- When Xbox Game Bar is launched from Start or via the Windows key + G when using a text editor, the computer may appear unresponsive. If you encounter this, dismiss the Xbox Game Bar with WIN + G and end the GameBar.exe process from Task Manager.
- Miracast users may experience very low frame rates in this build.
- We’re investigating reports that starting with Build 21277 where explorer.exe / the Windows shell is hanging and or crashing.
- We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
- Aero Shake is disabled in this build. To enable it, you will need to go here in Registry Editor and create a new DWORD entry named DisallowShaking with a value of 0: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
- Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. We’re continuing to work on polishing this experience.
- We’re working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
- [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout may show as offline even when the user is online.
- [News and interests] Users cannot navigate into the news and interests flyout using keyboard.
- [News and interests] In some scenarios, the news and interests flyout may appear empty with no content.
- [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout cannot be dismissed with touch and pen.
- [News and interests] News and interests uses more taskbar space on the left than expected.
With Windows 10 development back in full swing after the holiday season, we can probably expect to start seeing more changes pop up over the next few weeks and months. Microsoft is expected to have a major overhaul of the Windows 10 UI in a feature update coming in the second half of the year, which Insiders should get an early look at in the near future.