Looking back at the Windows 10 April Update

Improved Contact information screen

Most people have only just begun to explore the Windows 10 April Update. But for Windows Insiders, the exploration begun over six months ago, with the first Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds for this release.

So how did your feedback help the Windows 10 April Update get to where it’s at now, and how are Windows Insiders helping us determine what’s next? Let’s take a look!

Your feedback shaping the future

We always know when Insiders have started exploring these builds, because Feedback Hub lights up with their suggestions. We have multiple community and support forums, plus data Insiders let us draw automatically from their machines, but it’s Feedback Hub that’s often the most exciting channel of all.

It’s where Insiders go to post, vote, debate, complain, and sometimes, even compliment. It can make for fascinating reading for our Windows engineers. In fact, it’s amazing how often feedback in the Feedback Hub has inspired us to change plans, reprioritize, rethink, and move in new directions—right in the middle of a development cycle. (It’s more often than many Insiders realize!)

With this article, we wanted to take a quick look back at some of the highlights of this feedback and how they helped shape the latest Windows release. This amazing conversation between engineers and Insiders has been going strong for nearly four years now, when the Windows Insider Program first began. Since then, the success of the program has not only made for a better Windows, but it’s helped make us a better company.

Our feedback loop with Windows Insiders reminds us that the best innovation often comes from simply listening, very carefully, to the customers who use our products every day.  Here are a few examples of how that listening to Windows Insiders has paid off for Windows and Windows fans.

People

  • Checking off another one of our top feedback requests, you can now drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the Taskbar. Display up to 10 contacts or show them all in the overflow.

Emoji Panel

  • Insiders from around the world have spoken, and you can now use the emoji in over 190 locals—152 of which have tooltip support when you hover over each emoji.
  • One Insider asked for the ability to insert multiple emoji at once, over one hundred voted for it, and now this feature is part of the Emoji Panel.

Start

  • See those little icons in the Start Menu, left of your app list? They’re an easy way to get to the stuff you want, faster. We added Document and Pictures to the list, but several Insiders suggested that we make this list even easier to customize, so we did.

Color and Themes

  • It seems you all love Fluent Design as much as we do. Along with multiple new Fluent Design changes across the Windows UI, you’ll also see that we updated the the tab bar and in-active tabs, based on your feedback, to let more color to show through.

Microsoft Edge

  • Instantly mute auto-playing media on websites was easily one of the most upvoted feature requests from Insiders over the past six months. Microsoft Edge displays an audio icon that shows which tab is playing sound. Just select that icon to mute and unmute.
  • Many Insiders suggested that we update full screen mode, so you can access the address bar without leaving full screen, so we did.
  • Now Microsoft Edge can save and automatically fill in your credit card and address information, making it easier to complete online forms.
  • Microsoft Edge can now load extensions even in an InPrivate window.
  • Microsoft Edge has simplified adding and managing bookmarks for EPUB and PDF books, so you can now add bookmarks and manage your list of bookmarks from the same location.

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG)

  • Windows Defender Application Guard was added to Windows 10 Professional in the latest feature update of Windows 10.

Input and language

  • Since we redesigned the touch keyboard back with the Fall Creators Update, Insiders have provided all sorts of amazing suggestions. Improvements based on your feedback include split layout, more languages (we now support 190+), Acrylic, and shapewriting for the wide keyboard.

Install and update

  • We received a lot of feedback from IT professionals telling us that they rely on Delivery Optimization to reduce the bandwidth consumption on their network, so, we added both Group Policies and MDM Policies for more bandwidth control and visibility.

Of course, this is just a small snapshot of the Windows Insider feedback that came pouring in over the past six months. In fact, Windows Insider can proudly claim to have helped shape just about every aspect of Windows 10 April Update—from brilliant feature suggestions to timely alerts on bugs.

What’s next

As we jump into the development of the next version of Windows, your feedback is already having a huge impact, especially on new features like Sets.

Who knows, in another six months, we might be looking back at your feedback and how it made Windows better.