September 26, 2020

New Windows test build makes major changes to Start, Taskbar, and Alt+Tab

Microsoft released a major new Windows 10 Insider test build on Wednesday afternoon, offering dramatically different versions of the Start Menu and Taskbar, and even a revamped Alt+Tab experience with Microsoft Edge.Microsoft released the new updat...

Microsoft released a major new Windows 10 Insider test build on Wednesday afternoon, offering dramatically different versions of the Start Menu and Taskbar, and even a revamped Alt+Tab experience with Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft released the new updates as part of Windows 10 Insider Build 20161, part of the new Dev Channel. Essentially, the Dev Channel is the new Insider Fast Channel—code that Microsoft is not tying to any future Windows 10 feature release. These are experiments, and Microsoft is making these features available to just a subset of the Dev Channel, too.

The experimental UI changes are fairly profound. The Start menu now includes the Fluent Design icons that Microsoft began rolling out earlier, and does away with some of the colored backgrounds that have made up the traditional Start menu. The Taskbar, too, has been redesigned in a purpose-built manner, optimized more for an individual user’s needs. Finally, the Alt+Tab experience now includes individual Edge tabs, and not just the app as a whole.

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