Windows 10 has been graced with a new preview build for the update due to land in the first half of 2020, and this is the first release which has introduced a lot of changes, albeit none of them are major new features.
The highlights for build 18963 (which is rolling out to testers in the fast ring) include the addition of GPU temperature readings to the Task Manager, so when you pull the latter up, you can see how hot (or cool, hopefully) your graphics card is running at a glance.
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This is only for discrete (i.e. not integrated in the processor) GPUs, but it’s a much-requested feature, and means you don’t have to install some kind of third-party monitoring app to check the temperature of your GPU.
Windows search has also been improved to be more intelligent, and pick up on, for example, spelling mistakes when you’re rifling through files and folders looking for stuff.
Microsoft gives the example that previously, search would have been unable to cope with spelling mistakes like “powerpiont” and “exce;”, and these would have returned no results – but now, search will automatically correct these to “powerpoint” and “excel” respectively.
Interestingly, this feature is not just coming to testers, but the retail release of Windows 10 in English-language territories, because it’s a server-side change (meaning you’ll need to be connected to the internet to benefit from these automatic spelling corrections).
Searching for settings has also been tweaked to add a ‘related:’ line below the best match result, giving you related options and clarifying why the result is being presented to you. Again, this isn’t just for testers, but also for the retail release of Windows 10 – but only in the US. This feature will expand from just settings to include app searches in the coming weeks.
Finally in other non-tester related news, Microsoft is bringing the revamped Search Home experience – which gives quick access to your recent search activities, and most-used apps – to those using the October 2018 Update. It was previously only available to folks on the May 2019 Update.
Notepad has got quite a bit of attention in the recent past (including the introduction of wrap-around search), and as of this preview build, future Notepad updates will be automatically piped via the Microsoft Store. That’s useful because it means Microsoft will be able to update Notepad as it goes along, rather than having to wait for major feature updates for Windows.
Microsoft has also given some users the ability to rename virtual desktops (with these new names persisting after reboot). We say some users, because this particular change is only live for 50% of testers, but will be rolling out to more in time.
There are a load more minor changes, including refinements to streamline the process when you change your Windows account picture, and as ever, check out Microsoft’s full blog post for all the details.
There are some known issues, and probably the most interesting nugget here (which was also acknowledged in build 18950) is a reference to a ‘cloud download’ option when you are resetting your PC in the Windows Recovery Environment. Microsoft notes: “This feature is not working quite yet. We’ll let you know once it is, so you can try it out!”
So hopefully it won’t be too long before you can try out the ability to reinstall Windows via an internet download, as the rumor mill has previously indicated.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).