- Microsoft is rolling out the new Start menu design to Windows 10 testers.
- The new Start menu has a more streamlined look and less clutter.
- The Alt+TAB experience is also changing with the new update.
Microsoft has confirmed it is changing how the Start menu on Windows 10 looks. The new Start menu design includes a cleaner look that respects the colour theme of the entire block. Live tiles, which have been the primary element of design on the Start menu, will minimise in dominance while the solid backplates are also going away. Microsoft had hinted at the design change back in February but it has begun rolling out to testers this month.
The major change in the design is the replacement of solid colours behind the logos on the tiles in the Start menu with a transparent background with uniform colour. Microsoft says the new design for the Start Menu is more in line with the company's Fluent Design in icons for Office and Microsoft Edge, and other native apps such as Calculator, Calendar, and more. It is a more streamlined look that borrows its elements from the update to Windows 10 rolled out in February.
Both light and dark modes are supported by the new design, as well. However, Microsoft is also letting users customise the Start menu with their choice of colour. The colour customisation will only work with the dark mode and users can set colours by delving into Settings, then Personalization, and finally, the Color setting. The hues seem to radiate to the entire Start menu and the taskbar, as well.
Besides, Microsoft is changing how the Alt+Tab key combination works on Windows 10. The key combination has served as a productive tool that makes switching between applications easy when multitasking. With the new update, the Alt+Tab combination will work for Microsoft Edge tabs. This means users can switch between tabs opened in Microsoft Edge, in addition to the apps that might be open at a time.
There is a possibility users may get confused with the new settings, which is why Microsoft is letting them turn it off as well. To toggle the setting off, users need to go to Settings, then System, and lastly, Multitasking. The feature currently works with Canary or Dev build of Microsoft Edge on Windows Insider.
The taskbar is also getting more productive and compact with the new update. Microsoft is grouping apps on the taskbar depending on the device Windows 10 is connected with. For example, if there is an Android phone connected with Windows 10 for notifications and other functionalities, the taskbar will group app icons and show a Phone icon, as well. Similarly, the icons will be grouped alongside the Xbox icon when Windows 10 is paired with an Xbox account.