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By | Neil McAllister 17th December 2014 21:50

Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Next build to be a major update

Microsoft says Windows Insider program members shouldn't be upset that no more Windows 10 Preview builds are coming this year, because the build that's expected to arrive in late January will be awesome – literally.

According to a blog post by Microsoft engineering manager Gabe Aul, Redmond devs are so excited about that upcoming build that they've dubbed its internal build branch "FBL_AWESOME."

"Yeah, it's a bit corny, but trust me that every Dev that checks in their code and sees that branch name gets an immediate reminder of our goal," Aul said.

That goal is so ambitious, he explained, that all of the Windows development team's resources are now working nonstop on stabilizing, integrating, and testing all of the many new goodies that are now in the pipeline, and releasing an interim public build would only be a distraction.

This isn't the first time your humble Reg vultures have heard similar talk. Earlier this month, our antipodean agents in Sydney were told to expect a major, consumer-oriented Windows 10 progress update in January, at which point Microsoft would shift gears to addressing the needs of business users and sysadmins.

Since then, Microsoft has announced an event to be held on its Redmond campus on January 21 where it says it will discuss "the next chapter of Windows 10," so it wouldn't be too surprising if that's when the new, ballyhooed build of Windows 10 arrives, also.

Aul was mostly tight-lipped as to what new features users can expect from this "awesome" next build, but he said Microsoft developers have already fixed more than 1,300 bugs, thanks to feedback from participants in the Insider program.

He added that there are now more than 1.5 million registered members of the Windows Insider program and that around 450,000 of them are considered "active users" of the Windows 10 Preview – meaning they're using it daily.

"In fact, Windows Insiders are using Windows 10 preview builds more actively than participants in preview/beta programs for any prior release of Windows," Aul said.

Preview guinea pigs have also submitted requests for UI changes, he said, and many of these have been incorporated into upcoming builds. You'll be able to change the default folder that opens when you launch File Explorer, for example, and there will be an animated transition when the much-anticipated new Start Menu opens.

But the really brave testers, Aul said – or the really foolhardy ones – are those who installed Windows 10 builds 9888 and 9901, two unofficial builds that leaked to the internet. Aul doesn't really mind testers using these builds, but he advised that anyone who installed Build 9901 shouldn't expect to get the next official build via Windows Update. That's not because they're cut off from future updates – it's a bug in Build 9901, and they'll need to install the next official build by hand. ®

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