Microsoft has pushed out a new build of its Windows 10 Technical Preview, which may turn out to be one of the last updates if rumours regarding the platform's release date turn out to be accurate.
Detailed in a now customary posting on the Windows blog, the new Technical Preview build 10061 for PCs delivers new Calendar and Mail apps, Start, Taskbar, and Action Center improvements, plus enhancements to the Task View and Continuum.
The move follows the release of an update for the Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones earlier this week.
However, the new update comes with a few caveats; it is only currently available to Windows Insider testers on the so-called Fast ring, who have opted to receive the most cutting-edge updates on the understanding that these may not always be stable or bug-free.
In this case, known issues include a bug that prevents Win32 applications from being launched from the Start menu, and one that causes every typed letter to appear twice in the Mail and Calendar apps.
Gabe Aul, Microsoft's head of the Windows Insider programme, explained that testers on the Slow ring are not getting this or an earlier build 10049 because of a bug with long upgrade times caused by installing all Language Packs.
"We'll evaluate how 10061 goes in the Fast ring before deciding whether to push it out to Slow as well. The Language Pack issue is a good example of our approach to the Fast/Slow rings for the Windows Insider programme, and why we have two rings," he said.
Those new Mail and Calendar apps are claimed to offer improved performance and deliver the familiar three-pane email user interface, with a toggle to quickly move between email and calendar views, Microsoft said.
Like Outlook, the Mail app offers rich capabilities from Word to allow users to insert tables and pictures as well as add bullets and colour to text. Both the new Mail and Calendar apps support Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Gmail, IMAP, POP and other email sources.
With the Continuum improvements, the Taskbar is now more optimised for tablets. Entering Tablet Mode causes the Start button, Cortana, and the Task View buttons to expand in size and become more widely spaced to make them more accessible using the touchscreen.
The latest build also introduces a new black system theme across the Action Center, Start menu and Taskbar. The latter two also now have transparency and the Start menu is resizable.
Build 10061 arrives just before Microsoft's Build developer conference in San Francisco, where it has been rumoured that the software giant may deliver the first Release Candidate build of Windows 10.
Earlier this week, the chief executive of AMD appeared to let slip that Windows 10 is scheduled for full release by the end of July, which implies that the platform must be getting close to completion.
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