Microsoft’s Newest Windows 10 Redstone 2 Build Brings Updated Linux Subsystem, Improved Ink Workspace

Microsoft released a new preview build of Windows 10 Redstone 2, the second major update to Windows 10 that's currently a work in progress (the first was the Anniversary Update, which was codenamed Redstone 1 prior to its release). It's available to Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the program's Fast ring and it brings with it a handful of updates, including improvements to the Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL) and some nifty Windows Ink Workspace updates.

Starting with WSL, there are two large updates to note. The first is official support for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial), which is installed for all new Bash on Ubuntu on Windows instances starting with this newest build (14951). Ubuntu 16.04 replaces Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty), though existing users won't be upgraded automatically. Users in the Windows Insider program can perform the upgrade from Trusty to Xenial manually using the do-release-upgrade command.

Windows Subsystem Linux

The second big WSL update is that users can now launch Windows binaries directly from a WSL command prompt. Microsoft said this was the top requested feature from users on its WSL User Voice page. The benefit here is that it brings interoperability with Win32 applications, more of which you can ready about in the WSL release notes and accompanying blog post.

Microsoft also made improvements to Windows Ink. Beginning with this build, pen dropdowns in Windows Ink Workspace allow you to change the color and width without having to open it a second time. Once you've made adjustments to your favorite pen, you can start drawing right away while the dropdown is automatically dismissed.

Users may want to download version 16.1017.10000.0 of the Photos app that was just released for Insiders in the Fast ring. The new version lets you use Windows Ink with your photos. On top of that, when you save the ink, it replays what you drew, so you can share it as a still image or a video.

While those are the most exciting updates to Redstone 2, the latest build also adds a simplified and more familiar camera interface to both PC and mobile. You can now set a photo timer from the camera dashboard, get to Settings faster by launching directly from the camera UI, access your camera roll with one hand from its new location on the screen, and more.

Keeping in mind that nothing is yet official, it appears that Microsoft is targeting a March 2017 public release for Redstone 2.