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Hands-on with Windows 10 build 17004 showcasing new changes (video)

Microsoft has released a brand new Redstone 4 preview build for Insiders in the Skip Ahead ring that's finally packing some noteworthy additions over the latest Fall Creators Update preview releases in the standard Fast ring. As always, here's our hands-on look at what's new.

Today's hands-on is with build 17004, which is packing a few noteworthy changes and enhancements. Most notably, build 17004 now includes Fluent Design elements in the Start menu, including Reveal which follows your cursor around with light and looks pretty awesome.

Other changes include Microsoft Edge being pinned to the desktop by default, the "Expand" and "Clear all" text in the Action Center now changes color to match your accent color in Settings, and a new color circle in ease of access.

Microsoft has lots planned for Redstone 4, including updates to Cortana, My People, further implementations of Fluent Design in the Windows Shell, Timeline and Cloud Clipboard, and a whole lot more.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

10 Comments
  • it seems like this build is as stable as the fall creators update rtm build
  • As long as these animations don't slow things down, people just want speed, that light circle is just a waste of time, how will lower spec devices mange
  • The animation does not interrupt anything. If your system is ready to launch the app, the app will launch.
  • Windows knows if your device can handle these animations and effects. And turns them off as required. In my 7 year old laptop these animations are off.
  • You can also set it manually, which also means you can turn specific animations and/or effects on or off to fit your preference, or get more performance for gaming.
  • These effects are done on the GPU using light sources from DirectX. Other than allocating an object and setting some initial values, all the code runs on the GPU. And that initial setup litterally takes milliseconds to run, and is run only once. During runtime it is a multiplication operation on the GPU, which is optimized to do such mathematical operations.  
  • Startmenu-fluent reveal. looks overpronounced and bright in this video demo, seen from a distance I think it would look nicer if it was a little more subtle. live tile-fluent reveal- looks nice, but I was really expecting a push for more live tile sizes and personalization options for live tiles, than this design fluent reveal design present for live tiles. But, hey, consistency above all else right? Consistency- loving it more too. Was surprised to see the expand button in action center move to the left. Last build 16288 and earlier build and earlier windows official releases had expand button on the right, which is easier to access and press in handed use. I have to reach out more now to press the expand button. Good for desktop maybe, bad for tablet experience is my first impression. Design for tablet use is less efficient. Expand and delete buttons in action center should be other way around in my opinion. Interesting to know the story how microsoft came up with this idea. Was it an oops moment, or a was there thought behind this change?
  • You know what I find funny... Windows 7 Implemented a very Fluent Design-like effect on the task bar (Highlight following the cursor)... That remained in 8 and was removed in 10. Now they're putting it back... everywhere but the taskbar lol.
  • How can I change the icons of Win32 apps in start menu?
  • Maybe I'm hallucinating.. or maybe I'm from a parallel universe.. but.. this existed in Windows 7. If you hover over one of the task bar icons, it gets a little glowy highlight and if it's active, you get that same glow follows the cursor effect. Same with tab headers where it's even more noticable...