TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
In a nutshell: Microsoft has announced a couple of changes for its latest Windows Insider Preview Build (20231) released on the Dev channel. A subset of Insiders in the Dev Channel will now be greeted by a new "Customize your device" screen during Windows OOBE (out-of-box) installation that's meant to offer a tailored setup experience. The second change is exclusive to enterprise customers, allowing IT admins to modify file associations on a per-user or per-device basis.
Installing Windows 10 - for the average home user, at least - is usually a simple series of clicks interrupted by a few system restarts. There are also a few privacy-related settings and toggles that users should thoroughly go through, alongside several skippable screens relating to activity history, phone linkage, OneDrive, and Office 365.
Microsoft has now added a new "Customize your device" screen during the Windows setup process, where users can specify how they intend to use their PC once they've installed the OS. "Based on feedback, we're exploring adding a page to Windows setup (OOBE) to help better understand how you plan to use your device and aid in customizing your device given your intended usage."
The feature was announced with the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20231. Microsoft notes that Insiders won't notice any configuration differences at this time, but improvements will be made in the future. As of now, the screen shows six user presets/workflows and, oddly, as BleepingComputer notes, developers have been left out.
While it remains to be seen how (and if) Microsoft can make this a useful feature, an effective implementation would certainly broaden its appeal. It could become a Ninite-style app installation wizard that saves the hassle of finding and downloading third-party software(s) individually, or it may become another way for Microsoft to install bloatware on new PCs, in which case the 'Skip' button is always there.
Microsoft's second feature included in its latest Windows 10 preview build is aimed at IT admins who'll soon be able to streamline their workflow with improved app defaults management. The change, which is a part of Windows Group Policy, will allow them to set default apps for opening various file types or links on company-wide PC deployments on a per-user or per-device basis. Once set, users within the organization won't need to bother with having to choose the right app for the right file/link.
Both these new features are initially being rolled out to a subset of Insiders in the Dev Channel, while a gradual expansion will take place once performance and reliability issues have been ironed out.