Just the way we like it! Microsoft has released a new preview build of its operating system, and Windows 10 build 20161 is one of those rare ones with a ton of new stuff.
And in terms of new additions, there’s a lot to like here. Starting with theme-aware tiles in the Start Menu, along with the ability to switch between tabs in Edge using the Alt + Tab keys. Improvements to the notifications experience, and a more personalized Taskbar are also the highlight.
Let’s start with the Start Menu, which now houses theme-aware tiles as part of the company’s efforts to create a more streamlined design — taking into account the Fluent Design system and the new icons that Microsoft has been working on.
As can be seen from the accompanying images, the redefined Start looks spectacular in both dark and light themes.
Multitaskers also have something to look forward to in this version, and that is support for Alt + Tab extending towards all tabs that are open in Microsoft Edge, not just the active one.
This setting can be turned on and off.
Redmond has also paved the way for a more personalized Taskbar for new users, with tailored layouts based on the user and device signal. So, for example, if you have an Android phone linked, you will see different icons, than a person who has his Xbox Live account connected with his PC.
Improvements have also been made to the notification experience in Windows 10, with an app logo at the top letting you know where it came from.
A bunch of enhancements for the Settings app have also made the cut, as Microsoft continues transitioning capabilities from the traditional Control Panel to the modern app.
And finally, Tablet mode can now be set as the default, rather than an opt in process when detaching a keyboard on a 2-in-1 device.
As usual, build 20161 is up for grabs via Windows Update, as long as you are enrolled in the newly set up Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program.
Oh, and as previously mentioned, this build may be from the Iron branch, but it’s not 21H1. It will only become the 21H1 release when Microsoft starts servicing it in the Beta channel. Until that happens, these new features should continue coming freely.