Microsoft kicks off 'Windows as a service' with new Insider build

Compressed memory, and look, now you can change the colors!

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Less than a month after releasing the General Availability version of Windows 10, Microsoft is back with a brand-new experimental build of the OS for its Windows Insider guinea pigs.

Build 10525 started shipping on Wednesday to Windows Insider members who subscribed to the Fast release ring. By comparison, the release version of Windows 10 is Build 10240.

In a blog post announcing the new build, Microsoft's Gabe Aul explained that this was the beginning of what Redmond has been describing as "Windows as a service," where new features will be rolled out on an ongoing basis.

The changes this time around are mostly minor. For example, Aul gushed that there are new options for customizing the colors of your desktop UI, which he said "really highlights both how your feedback influences the product development as well as illustrating how some things will get implemented at different times depending on when we're trying to stabilize and drive quality vs. when we're open for new feature work."

On the more technical side, another new feature being tested is an update to Windows' memory manager that allows it to compress unused memory pages, rather than writing them to disk. This should make the system more responsive when it's running low on memory, although Aul cautioned that it will also make the System process look like it's using more memory than it did previously.

Naturally, there can't be a new Windows build without a few bugs. This time around, the mobile hotspot feature has quit working and devices won't be able to get valid IP addresses from your PC. Also, video playback in the Movies & TV app might give you problems until you update the app from the Windows Store.

Aul added that Microsoft is pondering possible changes to how the Windows Insider program works as it goes forward, post-launch, including adjusting how the release rings work. It has also included the Insider Hub feedback app with the build by default, after removing it from the release build.

"We're putting plans together now, so you won't see any changes immediately, but they will come over time," Aul said. ®


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