Fresh from nudging the October 2020 Update out of the door, Microsoft has emitted an update to next year's Windows 10 in the form of a fresh Insider Dev Channel build.
Build 20241 has seen a return to form for the Windows team: anti-virus has been broken once again. This time it is Malwarebytes Web Protection, with the discovery that network connectivity was severed for some running build 20236. The solution? Turn it off or roll back Windows 10.
Other issues include Windows PowerShell failing to launch on Arm PCs and the Surface Pro X. The advice is to use the x86 version or give PowerShell 7 a go. "The icon is prettier," bantered the team. A great comfort to IT pros wondering how Microsoft managed to break things on its own hardware.
Still, this is preview code, and the issues list (and even longer fix list) is a reminder that there is a distinct possibility that things might go the shape of a pear when running it.
In terms of new functionality, we were pleased to see some attention lavished on Windows 10's defragmentation tools. An "Advanced View" checkbox has been added to show all volumes (including those that are hidden) - the BSOD Bobs warned that this is a work in progress and so may do, er, not a lot for some users.
Once complete, however, it will be a useful addition. More detail in the "Current status" column to indicate why a volume can't be defragged is also welcome as, at long last, is support for hitting F5 to refresh the view.
Disk tooling aside, the build also fiddled with the appearance of the OS. Having tinkered with the tiles in the Start Menu, theme-aware splash screens are now supported in "eligible" Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. Thus if users are running the dark theme mode, they need not worry about a sudden splash of brightness turning them to dust. The opposite applies to light themes.
The update will, however, only be rolled out to a subset of Insiders "to help us quickly identify issues that may impact performance and reliability."
You lucky people. ®