Over the weekend I was “lucky enough” to need to build a couple of new Windows boxes, and the timing coincided nicely with the release of Windows 10 build 1511. For those who didn’t pick up on it and who also happen to care, the 1511 is a combination of “2015” and “11 – November”.
The first thing I noticed during the installs is that you’re now prompted during install to select your options for some of the more contentious privacy related options in the OS. By these I mean the sharing of typing and writing data with Microsoft, the open sharing/joining of wireless networks, and the torrent-like sharing/seeding of Windows updates with other Windows users. Being prompted for these during installation felt appropriate, and should reduce the amount of privacy rage that these options were generating previously – however I should note that I was installing the Enterprise edition of Windows 10, so it’s possible that other editions don’t have these prompts during installation (I really hope they do).
Once installed it didn’t take long to notice the new window snapping options! As someone with large monitors, I use the window snapping a lot, and the improvements here are very welcome. The main one is being able to resize 2 snapped windows at once by dragging the joined border. This is a neat little feature which is really going to save me a lot of time. I also ended up in the Multitasking options and disabled “When I snap a window, show what I can snap next to it” which probably existed before now, but I’d never found it. The combination of the new resizing feature plus disabling the suggestion option makes snapping feel much more productive.
In the “features I’m never going to use” category, nested virtualization was added in this update. This means you can run Hyper-V servers inside virtual machines that are running under Hyper-V, which should be great for anyone looking to simulate Inception using virtual machines.
In the same category, you can now show more tiles on the start menu. Personally, this isn’t something I’d ever want to use, but it’s optional so maybe it’ll make someone happy. Go to “Settings > Personalization > Start > Show more tiles” if you’re that someone! On top of this there’s a few subtle visual changes to the taskbar/toolbars which seem to work nicely.
A word of warning is that upgrading apparently resets/changes the file associations for some people. As I was performing completely new installs, this wasn’t something I ran into, but others have reported it, so be prepared to re-associate all the things.
Overall the new release feels stable so far, and although there’s nothing major that’s been added, the small refinements feel good and there’s apparently a bunch of bug fixes that have been done under the hood. ARS Technica sums it up by saying “If you were holding back waiting to take the plunge and make the upgrade, now is probably a good time to do it”, which seems like a good summary to me.