All three of the Insiders on Arm64 can now muck about with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2
New shiny for Fast Ringers. Oh, and Cortana
Microsoft has updated the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 to support Arm64 devices for the wafer-thin slice of Windows Insiders using the things.
The new build, 18980, for Fast Ring Insiders added the support amid a swathe of tweaks for the developer-friendly feature.
As well as that Arm64 support (for which you'll need virtualization), the WSL2 gang has also updated the custom Linux kernel to 4.19.67 and added support for battery and AC adapter passthrough.
An issue with Symlinks (including those created by Windows for backwards compatibility, such as
C:\Documents and Settings) has been resolved and there is now the ability to set default usernames for the distribution in
Away from the enticing developer-friendly changes, Microsoft's unloved assistant Cortana has received yet more attention, aimed at making "it easier for all Windows customers to use Cortana".
To that end, all lucky Insiders will get to see the Cortana icon and the new app. However, the assistant itself only understands the American version of English right now; Microsoft intends to add more regions and languages between now and the eventual 2020 launch of 20H1.
The release is otherwise light on new toys: all Insiders can now play with multi-select and search when adding optional features and Microsoft came clean and admitted that Paint and Wordpad were to be part of those features for users that wanted to save disk space.
The venerable Microsoft Paint requires less than a megabyte of storage, so if you're that short of space you probably have other problems on your hands. Perhaps the Windows team would prefer to not be reminded of leaner, less bloated times.
The build, which remains very much a preview, also included a long list of fixes. Issues with Outlook were resolved as well as a deadlock that left upgrades freezing at 98 per cent. The cloud reset functionality is also still a little flaky, and Microsoft has suggested users add an extra 5GB to whatever space it thinks it needs.
Finally, Insiders finding an issue with Windows Mixed Reality will have problems stopping the recording of a repro video for feedback submission. The dozen or so users affected will have to wait five minutes for things to timeout. Or a bit longer before someone in Microsoft finally decides to cull the thing once and for all. ®