Flash fix is believed to patch unreleased zero day flaws in Adobe's plugin for IE 11; Build 9879 fixes BSOD and other issues

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has been toiling away on Windows 10, which is set to debut as a free upgrade in April 2015.  It released a public preview at the start of October, which has seen adoption by millions of users -- ranging from tech-savvier sorts to average Joes with less technical expertise.

Late last month Microsoft released its first major update to the Windows 10 test candidate, Build 9860, which added some new features and a number of bug fixes.  Microsoft noted with that release that desktop users are especially flocking to the more traditional take on the Modern UI, which drops the Start Screen and marks the return a graphically refreshed Start Menu.

On Tuesday Microsoft made the next major update -- Build 9879 -- available for download for so-called "slow ring" users.  The release was announced by Microsoft Windows Manager/Developer Gabriel Aul on his Twitter Inc. (TWTR) company microblog: Slow ring testers are those who upgrade more sluggishly and are more concerned about stability.  Indeed, we saw the reason for this dichotomy on display with Build 9879, which launched several weeks ago to "fast ring" testers.  The early form of the build introduced some painful bugs, including one that triggered the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD).

Windows 10 9879
Windows 10 Build 9879 [Image Source: Neowin]

Fortunately, 90 percent of users are in the slow ring update cycle, according to Windows blogger Paul Thurrott's contacts at Microsoft.

Microsoft released a hotfix for that issue (KB3019269) for fast ring users earlier this week.  Now it's patched the slow ring version of Build 9879 to fix this and a few other commonly encountered problems.  Slow ring users can get the build via Windows Update (direct download in the background) or they can grab ISOs for the build (Windows 10 9879 ISO; US: x86 or x64 | UK: x86 or x64) and simply install from a USB stick or optical media.

The build brings several improvements including:
  • Improved MKV video playback performance
  • Expanded touchpad gesture support
  • OneDrive syncing tweaks
  • Updated Windows animations
  • New "hamburger" App commands menu in Modern UI apps
  • The ability to hide the Search and Task View buttons without registry hacks
Windows 10 app commands
[Image Source: AskVG]

Two examples of the new app commands menu [Image Source:Gizmag]

Alongside the fresh update, Microsoft also released a patch for the Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) Flash plug-in.  Ever the security headache, Adobe's Flash reportedly had a couple zero day bugs which Microsoft and its testers reportedly identified.  This early detection was fortunate as such bugs could have led to serious security risks for Windows 10 users.  The fix, KB3018943, weighs in at 8.5 MB and is being pushed out as a mandatory Windows Update for most users.

Sources: Microsoft's Gabe Aul on Twitter, via Neowin, Microsoft - KB3018943 (flash fix), via Neowin

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