Microsoft introduces a new Windows 10 start menu that less emphasizes the live tiles. The software giant drew attention to the updated design that is now available for Windows 10 testers earlier this year. "We are updating the start menu with an optimized design that removes the single-color backplates behind the logos in the app list and gives the tiles a uniform, partially transparent background," explains Microsoft in a blog post.
Essentially, reducing the color of the block-like tiled surface in the start menu makes it slightly easier and easier to scan for the apps you use every day. It's a subtle change, but it certainly makes the Start menu look a little less messy and avoids that many tiles have a similar blue color.
The old start menu compared to the updated one.
In addition to an updated Start menu, the latest Windows 10 build includes some important changes to Alt-Tab. "As of today's build, all of the tabs opened in Microsoft Edge will be displayed in Alt-Tab, not just the active tabs in every browser window," explains Microsoft. This seems to be a change that can be a bit confusing for experienced Windows users, but thankfully Microsoft allows you to go back to the classic alt-tab experience.
Microsoft has experimented with alt-tab changes in Windows 10 builds in the past when the company intended to add tabs to each app. There will likely be plenty of feedback on alt-tab changes, especially if Microsoft plans to enable them by default when the next major Windows 10 update ships later this year.
New alt tab interface.
Microsoft is also making some minor changes with this new Windows 10 build. The standard appearance of the taskbar is now also more personalized, as the Xbox app is pinned for Xbox Live users or your phone for Android users. This is limited to creating a new account on a PC or logging in for the first time so that existing taskbar layouts remain unchanged.
Notifications now have an X in the upper right corner so you can quickly close them. Microsoft is also improving the Settings app in Windows 10. Links that normally take you to the system part of the Legacy Control Panel page will now go to the About page in Settings. This is where the advanced controls that are normally found in this part of the Control Panel are housed, and Microsoft promises that "further improvements will follow that bring the Control Panel settings closer".
Changes in the Windows 10 taskbar.