Microsoft Announces New Windows 10 Start Menu Design And Updated Alt-Tab
Microsoft is introducing a new Windows 10 Start menu design that will de-emphasize its Live Tiles. The software giant first hinted at the refreshed design earlier this year, and it’s arriving for Windows 10 testers today. “We are freshening up the Start menu with a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles,” explains Microsoft in a blog post.
Microsoft is also changing the default taskbar layout for new installations. If you sign-in to a Microsoft Account when setting up a PC, depedning on whether you have an Android phone already linked, or if you’re installing Windows on a “gaming PC,” the taskbar will automatically pin either the Your Phone app or the Xbox app to the taskbar.
A More Personalized Taskbar For New Users
Microsoft is offering a cleaner, more personalized, out-of-box experience to give you the content you want and less clutter. This provides Microsoft with a flexible, cloud-driven infrastructure to test customer reception of default Taskbar content and tailor these layouts based on user and device signal.
Microsoft says that it will evaluate the performance of individual default properties, monitoring diagnostic data and user feedback to assess an audience’s reception.
Theme Aware Live Tiles In Start
Microsoft is freshening up the Start menu with a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles. This design creates a beautiful stage for your apps, especially the Fluent Design icons for Office and Microsoft Edge, as well as the redesigned icons for built-in apps like Calculator, Mail, and Calendar that Microsoft started rolling out earlier this year.
This refined Start design looks great in both dark and light theme, but if you’re looking for a splash of color, first make sure to turn on Windows dark theme and then toggle “Show accent color on the following surfaces” for “Start, taskbar, and action center” under Settings > Personalization > Color to elegantly apply your accent color to the Start frame and tiles.
ALT + TAB Between Apps And Websites
Beginning with today’s build, all tabs open in Microsoft Edge will start appearing in Alt + TAB, not just the active one in each browser window. Microsoft is making this change so you can quickly get back to whatever you were doing—wherever you were doing it.
If you’d prefer fewer tabs or the classic Alt + TAB experience, Microsoft has added some settings for you under Settings > System > Multitasking. You can configure Alt + Tab to only show your last three or five tabs or choose to turn this feature off completely.
Improving The Notification Experience
Microsoft is making some changes to improve the notifications experience in Windows 10. First, know where your toast is coming from by checking out the app logo at the top. Done with the notification? Select the X on the top right corner to quickly dismiss and move on with your life. And second, Microsoft is turning off the Focus Assist notification and summary toast by default, so Microsoft will no longer let users know that Focus Assist has been turned on through an automatic rule via a notification. This can be changed back to the previous behavior via Settings.
Making Settings Even Better
Microsoft is continuing to work on bringing capabilities from Control Panel forward into Settings. As part of this ongoing effort, Microsoft is migrating information found in Control Panel’s System page into the Settings About page under Settings > System > About. Links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to About in Settings. Microsoft is also bringing new improvements like making your device information copyable and streamlining the security information shown. And don’t worry—if you’re looking for more advanced controls that lived in the System page in Control Panel, you can still get to them from the modern About page if you need them!