Check out all the features in Windows 10's Insider Preview Build 20161, including the...

midian182

Posts: 5,889   +48
Staff member
What just happened? Microsoft has started rolling out Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20161 to Windows Insiders in the Dev channel, which was previously called the Fast Ring. The new build adds a number of features to Microsoft’s operating system, including an updated Start Menu, though not all Insiders will see them straight away.

Here's a breakdown of all the new features found in Preview Build 20161, which Microsoft says is from its Active Development Branch and not tied to any upcoming Windows 10 release.

A revamped Start Menu

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the revamped Start Menu for some time, and Microsoft recently gave us a taste of what to expect. In the Preview Build, we again see how the solid color backplates behind the app list logos have been removed, while the tiles get a partially transparent background. Microsoft says the new design complements the Fluent Design icons for Office and Edge, as well as the redesigned icons it rolled out last year.

Microsoft illustrates the new Start design in both light and dark themes, and how it looks with a splash of color.

ALT + TAB between Edge tabs

Edge users should appreciate this one. In the latest build, using ALT + TAB will display all tabs that are open in Microsoft’s browser, not just the active one in each browser window. You can choose to show fewer tabs, or turn the feature off completely, by going to Settings > System > Multitasking.

A more personalized Taskbar

Microsoft wants to give new users a better PC experience from day one by testing a cleaner, more personalized default Taskbar that aims to minimize clutter and perceptions of bloatware.

The company says it will “evaluate the performance of individual default properties, monitoring diagnostic data and user feedback to assess an audience’s reception.” It adds that the “experience is limited to new account creation or first logon scenarios. We will not use Programmable Taskbar to alter the Taskbar layout on existing accounts.”

Improved Notifications

Notifications are getting a revamp in the new build by including the app logo in messages, allowing users to see where it’s coming from quickly. You can dismiss these by hitting the X in the top right corner.

“Second, we are turning off the Focus Assist notification and summary toast by default, so we will no longer let users know that Focus Assist has been turned on through an automatic rule via a notification,” added the company.

Better Settings

As part of its ongoing mission to bring Control Panel capabilities forward into Settings, information in the former’s System page is being migrated to the Settings About page. Links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to About in Settings

Other improvements include making device information copyable using a new button

Improving the tablet experience for 2-in-1 devices

Those with a Windows 2-in-1 device will know that when detaching the keyboard, a notification appears asking if you want to switch to tablet mode. This no longer appears in the new build—you’ll be taken straight to the new tablet experience when removing a keyboard. Microsoft is also removing tablet mode quick action on non-touch devices.

Graphing mode

Elsewhere, Microsoft says the graphing mode feature released to Insiders in January is now rolling out to the general public, which should be welcome news for students.

Key features

  • Plot one or more equations on the graph. Enter multiple equations so that you can compare plots against each other and see interactions between the lines.
  • Add equations with variables. If you enter equations with variables (e.g., y = mx + b), you’ll be able to update the value of those variables to see the changes live on the graph.
  • Analyze the graph. Trace plots with your mouse or keyboard and analyze equations to help identify key graph features, like the x- and y-intercepts.

Since the preview, Microsoft has introduced a “brand new dark theme graph and more line customization options, adding error handling for when you try to plot an equation that isn’t quite right, and improving the overall experience when tracing or plotting multiple equations at the same time.”

For a full breakdown of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20161, including updates for developers, fixes, and known issues, head to Microsoft’s blog page.

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mrSister

Posts: 8   +9
Its really worrying how they are bent on destroying the things that work while at the same time they seem to ignore the things that really could use some love.

Meanwhile, core OS applications like the file explorer, text editor, clipboard manager and possibly other pieces of software that feel completely outdated and/or lacking some features that should have been baseline from a while ago
 

kimo1

Posts: 74   +107
What's the public release date of those features?

But you know what I wait for? For Microsoft to delete all these fancy middle panels they added since Vista. You know, back then before Vista, you could easily get to settings you needed. Since Vista, lots of useless fancy shiny middle panels have been added everywhere, forcing user to remember more locations and clicks. Middle panels offer nothing.
If Microsoft wanted, they could have made their operating system godly decades ago. But not a single operating system maker wants to worship anyone but Satan himself.
Next thing you know, Microsoft will make Windows ask you for your COVI-PASS to allow using their product...
 
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Suisam

Posts: 24   +43
Why do they insist on trying to resuscitate a dying Start Menu. I have always seen negative comments about it and honestly I'm not surprised. They keep on pushing this crappy design expecting everyone to love it but all most people want is something like Windows 7 or Vista's start menu without having to install 3rd party programs.

These days I find having a shortcut on my desktop to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ as a better option than the current start menu. Its so much easier to navigate

Also what is with FINALLY adding a copy button to the system panel. I honestly could have programmed that in Powershell in under 5 mins. Nice that they got around to it though.


 
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TheBigFatClown

Posts: 792   +302
The Start Menu is horrible with live tiles. Get rid of all that and it would be "okay". The look and theme would still need to be cleaned up. I think I would prefer something across the bottom like Apple does on MacOS.

Otoh, I have 1 positive thing to say. And that is about the update to the calculator software. The ability to graph equations in the default operating system calculator. Now, that is very cool.

I haven't actually used the feature yet since I'm not on the insider/developer/whatever channel at the moment. But the screenshots look decent.
 

Fox God Records

Posts: 26   +19
I do not need all of the Xbox stuff. I do not need their email client or their browser or their notepad or their media player or their office suite or their Cortana or their post-it notes or their cloud service or their print monitoring or their... what else... Any of it, really. I use the calculator and the file explorer, and that's about it. The rest of it is junk that is either not necessary or is handled better by other programs.

Notepad++, VLC, Thunderbird, etc. Take your pick. All of them are better than what Microsoft forces upon us. I have to double up on all of these because Microsoft embeds the program code in the OS. Weren't they were ordered to separate the OS from the programs back in the '90s? And yet, here we are.

Redesigned tiles are STILL TILES. I'm getting tired of all of these companies locking their designs on cellphones and ignoring desktop users. "But it provides continuity of experience across all platforms. If you use our app on your phone, you will experience our service in the same way on your desktop. It will be a seamless transition between the different platforms."
1) I do not use my cellphone as a web browser, or a gaming device, or a code editor.
2) I do not have a full-sized keyboard, multi-monitor, and mouse setup for my freakin' phone.
3) I did not buy this PC rig to take selfies. It's a serious machine for performing serious work.
4) My phone is for making calls and sending texts. It is not a multimedia device.

But then, I'm not in the demo, am I? I'm a 52 year old guy. I am not part of the "In Crowd" any more. Like the Stones said, "What a drag it is getting old."
 
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Nargg

Posts: 9   +10
At this rate Windows will be back to Aero in about five years. They should just go ahead and make the leap.
It actually never went away, you can still put the start menu to full screen format, basically like Aero in many ways.
 

Impudicus

Posts: 220   +188
Control panel has always been a bit of a mess, but this new settings menus make control panel look amazing. Simple things like click back don't even work as expected. Navigation is about as straight forward as driving down a spiral staircase in the ocean. Hopefully windows 11 is focused on simplifying the OS with the user in mind.