The latest version of the Windows 10 preview adds UI improvements, bug fixes and eBooks ahead of Creators Update
Microsoft is adding ebook support to Windows 10 with Windows Insiders gaining early access to the feature, alongside a number of new UI elements.
Users will be able to purchase ebooks from the Windows Store and read them from the Edge web browser. A dedicated hub for reading material will appear alongside bookmarks, history, downloads and reading lists for easy access.
Font, text size and themes can all be customised and users will even be able to ask Cortana for help and view embedded video and audio. In addition to purchaseing books, users will also be able to read DRM-free EPUB files and PDFs.
Windows 10 eBooks
The addition brings the Windows platform in line with its competitors, most notably Apple, which sells eBooks via iTunes and has a dedicated application for mobile devices.
“With Books in the Windows Store and Microsoft Edge, everyone can discover and read their favourite content,” said Dona Sarkar, software engineer at Microsoft Windows and Devices Group. “This is a first step towards empowering people like entrepreneurs, students, creators, educators and others to learn and achieve more.”
The preview build adds a lighter shade for the Cortana search box, bigger text for notifications and custom accent colours for all settings, and also includes a new feature that automatically frees up space by deleting temporary files that are no longer used.
One of the main features of the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update is power management and Microsoft is testing the UI for a new slider that lets users balance battery life with performance. It doesn’t do anything just yet, but Microsoft wants feedback from users.
“Some of our Windows PC OEM partners have asked for the ability to give people a number of options for how to ‘tune’ their PC for different scenarios,” added Sarkar. “A person playing a game, for example, might be willing to have a few less FPS when on a long flight if it gets them more battery life – whereas the same person playing the same game, when near a power supply, may want top-end CPU performance to eek out every ounce of performance they can get.”
Windows 10 Creators Update, the second major upgrade for the operating system, will introduce support for 3D in Microsoft Paint and PowerPoint, mixed reality features combining augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) alongside sharing improvements and greater privacy controls. It could roll out as early as April.