Windows Dressing: Psst... Fast Ring folks, whispers Microsoft. You're in this for the cool icons, right?
Fluent, fluent everywhere but not a patch that works
Good news everyone! While Microsoft seems unable to deliver a patch that won't leave Windows 10 in a parlous state for some users, it does possess the will to fiddle with the icons. Again.
While the new Fast Ring Windows Insider Build, 19569, might still hang during installation for some users, and using the nifty clipboard history function can leave input broken if you don't paste anything, it has had a jolly good slapping with the wet fish of Fluent Design.
Microsoft has been pushing the design language for a few years now and last night published a lengthy medium post chock full of phrases like "design choreography" and "cohesive design language" detailing the history of Windows' icons and showing off yet more petite pictures to represent core in-box apps.
To be fair, this is no bad thing – Office has already received a buffing, which can result in a jarring taskbar with icons that are bang up to date nestled with others that are carrying more than a whiff of Windows 7 (or even XP) about them. A consistency in approach over platforms (Windows, IOS and Android) is also to be welcomed.
However, while seeing the evolution of the calculator icon is all well and good, a glance at the Windows Device Manager shows just what a mountain the gang has yet to climb.
Designers working tirelessly over Surface Studio machines aside, the new Fast Ring build contains a number of fixes. Issues some users were having with OneDrive burning through CPU cycles while not actually starting have been dealt with, as has the problem of SCSI drivers not being recognised with "certain third-party virtual machines." Start Menu problems and an occasional
SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED GSOD were also fixed.
The very useful cloud recovery option for Reset this PC is, alas, broken, and, amusingly for a build so heavy on the new pictography, one of the "known issues" is that "The Documents section under Privacy has a broken icon (just a rectangle)."
But is it a Fluent rectangle?
Naturally, we're pleased to see efforts progressing in applying lipstick to the pig improving the consistency and modernising the appearance of Windows 10. But we have to sound a note of caution – this month's patch Tuesday was a bit of disaster, and Microsoft took the unusual step of pulling code from its update servers as it became clear it wasn't going well.
Standalone security update (KB4524244) has been removed and will not re-offered. This does not affect any other update, including Latest Cumulative Updates (LCUs). For more info click here: https://t.co/YDJs6R5zem.— Windows Update (@WindowsUpdate) February 15, 2020
Knowing that there are nicer icons lurking somewhere on the disk is scant comfort to a user left staring at a poorly PC after yet another iffy update has done its thing. ®