What you need to know
- Microsoft released its first Windows Feature Experience Pack to Insiders.
- The Windows Feature Experience Pack allows Microsoft to improve features and experiences that are developed independently of Windows 10.
- The recent pack includes improvements to the screen snip feature and the touch keyboard on Windows 10.
Microsoft recently released the first Windows Feature Experience Pack update to Insiders. The pack allows Microsoft to improve features and experience that are developed independently of Windows 10. For now, Microsoft is only using the Windows Feature Experience Pack to update a small number of features, but it will likely expand over time.
This is the first time that Microsoft publicly discussed the Windows Feature Experience Pack. ZDNet reported on the Windows Feature Experience Pack earlier this year, but yesterday's blog post from Microsoft was the first time that the company talked about it publicly.
Microsoft has spent some time separating experiences from the Windows 10 update process. This allows Microsoft to update features independently from major OS updates. For example, the screen snipping feature on Windows 10 is among the first features to be updated as part of a Windows Feature Experience Pack.
Microsoft will test this new update process first through Windows Insiders, but it "[hopes] to expand the scope and the frequency of releases in the future." At some point in the future, the Windows Feature Experience Pack updates will get folded into Microsoft's servicing process for Windows 10 and roll out through Windows Update.
Yesterday, Microsoft released Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.107.0 to the Beta Channel. Here's everything that's new:
- Based on Insider feedback, you can now use the built-in screen snipping experience in Windows (WIN + SHIFT + S) to create a snip of your screen and paste it directly into a folder of your choice in File Explorer to save the screenshot there. Try it out!
- Using the touch keyboard in a portrait posture on a 2-in-1 touch device now supports split keyboard mode.
Windows Feature Experience Pack updates come out through Windows Update, just as normal builds and cumulative updates. If you're a Windows Insider on the Beta Channel, you can grab the first Windows Feature Experience Pack now.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
Let's hope this is the start of something exciting 🤞
I believe soon Windows 10 will become more Android-like, and these feature packs will also be used for UI development. Icon packs, Fluent Design changes could come in an optional, controllable way Independent of what the Azure team needs to deliver to Windows.
I read the headline and wondered if it'd include Encarta. :-P
Ha ha. That was great in it's day.
Just gave me a legit, out-loud chuckle.
Well, it is the Windows Feature eXperience Pack, aka XP.
So it's their modern take on Windows Live Essentials. Nice. Windows Photo Gallery was really good. Sadly it got killed off with the Windows Photo app which isn't the same at all.
It's not really that. The Feature Experience Pack is a system app (so, not on the Store) that includes the Screen Clipping UI and backend (not Snip & Sketch, that’s a separate Store app), the text input application (including touch keyboard, emoji panel and clipboard history) and something called "IrisService" and "SuggestionUI", which I’m not 100% sure what they are. The path is C:\Windows\SystemApps\MicrosoftWindows.Client.CBS_cw5n1h2txyewy.
Hopefully this will enable Microsoft to improve the Touch / Tablet aspects of Windows 10 much more quickly.
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