Windows 10's Start menu is getting a visual refresh

Microsoft is testing a new Start menu with partially transparent background and no colored backplates.


Microsoft has rolled out the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build, giving us a glimpse of a new Start menu that was redesigned to look cleaner and more coherent. Insiders in the Dev Channel will now have access to a refreshed menu that no longer uses solid color backplates behind logos in the app list. Further, the new menu has a partially transparent background, which works with both of Window 10’s light and dark themes. Users can apply their preferred accent color to the redesigned Start frame and tiles, as well, by going to “Start, taskbar, and action center” under Color in Settings.

Windows 10

A subset of Insiders now also have access to a new Microsoft Edge feature that shows all open tabs in one panel simply by pressing Alt + TAB. In addition, Microsoft is changing the default setting for 2-in-1 devices so that users would automatically switch to the new tablet experience with enhanced touch when they detach the keyboard. The current version of the OS shows a prompt first asking non-Insiders whether they want to switch to tablet mode.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft has officially replaced Insider Rings with Channels, making it easier for testers to choose the group they want to join. These experimental features, for instance, are now available to the Dev Channel that gets first access to everything in the development cycle. That also means the features might be a bit unstable or buggy, since Microsoft is relying on early testers’ help to identify performance and reliability issues.

The tech giant has also rolled out one of its most requested features to all Windows 10 users: graphing mode for Calculator. Microsoft, which started testing graphing mode earlier this year, said the company hopes it can “empower students to learn mathematics by improving their conceptual understanding and attitudes towards math.”