Microsoft kicked off 2021 with plenty of new features for Insiders to try out.
What you need to know
- Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider build 21286.
- The build includes a news and interests widget built into the taskbar.
- The build also includes several other new features, including the ability to run commands on startup for WSL.
Microsoft released the first Windows 10 Insider build of 2021. Insiders in the Dev Channel can receive Windows 10 build 21286. The build includes several new features, including the ‘news and weather’ widget that we’ve already covered in more detail. That feature is particularly noteworthy as it is part of Microsoft’s Sun Valley effort to reinvigorate Windows.
Apart from the news and weather widget, here’s everything else that’s new in Windows 10 build 21286:
Modernized Storage Spaces Settings
You can now create and manage Storage Spaces from within the Settings app. This includes creating storage pools and storage spaces, adding, and removing disks, and optimizing pools. This new experience provides an accessible, modern experience integrated with other storage features.
Run commands on start up in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
We have added an option that allows you to run any specified Linux command on startup of a WSL distribution. You can accomplish this by editing the /etc/wsl.conf file in your distribution and adding an option titled “command” under a section titled “boot”. This command will run whenever your specific WSL distribution starts up. The example below shows using this functionality to create a method to log the time and date for each startup of this WSL distro.
This command will run when a WSL distribution is first started. WSL distributions will remain running for a few minutes even after the last Linux process inside of them is closed. You can view if your WSL distro is running using wsl –list –verbose and you can manually shut down all WSL distributions using wsl –shutdown.
Improving your experience when transitioning between time zones
Based on feedback, we’re making a couple small adjustments for users of “Set time zone automatically” in Date & Time Settings:
- When your time zone is updated because of a high confidence detected location change, we’ll now send a notification letting you know about it. The notification will include information about the new time zone and clicking it will open the Date & Time Settings.
- If we detect a low confidence location change and there is a single administrator on the device, we will now send a notification asking if you would like to update your time zone – clicking the OK button in the prompt will make the change.
The update is available through Windows Update for Insiders on the Dev Channel. If you need to register as an Insider, you can learn how to join the Windows Insider Program in our how-to guide.