Following the announcement of the first Insider Build for Windows 11 almost a month ago, Microsoft has just released a new update addressing previous issues and introducing even more features promised in the reveal event.
Preview Build 22000.100 is Microsoft’s fourth update released under the Dev channel for Insiders running Windows 11. Apart from fixing a handful of critical issues, the biggest takeaway from the new build is the addition of Microsoft Teams Chat.
Back in June’s reveal event, Microsoft unveiled its Teams app would come integrated into Windows 11 as the native communication platform. So far, we didn’t get to see this feature come to fruition, but with the latest update, Chat from Microsoft Teams has started rolling out to many users.
Along with this nifty inclusion, Microsoft has made several changes to the OS, adding on the initial build to get it closer to the final release. Let’s take a look at the most notable improvements.
Starting with the visual enhancements, the Taskbar flyout that’d pop up after clicking the chevron has seen a design overhaul, now matching the sleek design language of the rest of the OS.
If you like to concentrate on your work by filtering out all notifications, then you’ll be glad to know the latest build enables you to open Focus assist settings right from the Notification Centre.
Another promised feature, apps running in the background that require your attention, have adapted a more pleasant way of notifying you. After flashing for a while, the strobing will stop. The backplate of the app will turn a light red colour, and a small, red bar will appear beneath the app icon to tell you it needs your attention.
Moving back to the Taskbar, the touch keyboard icon now matches the size of the accompanying icons in the left corner of the Taskbar. A minute but important change to harmonize the overall visual aesthetic.
Furthermore, we see one last change in the Taskbar. Clicking on the chevron on the top corner of the calendar flyout now completely minimizes the calendar and just shows the date instead, giving more room to the notifications above to inhabit the entire flyout space.
Lastly, the Windows Store now has a bunch of new animations adding to the seamless feel of Windows 11. These animations “feel fast and fun” and can be seen throughout the store. The primary contender here is the animation that transitions you from the homepage to an app or media content after you click on it.
The app icon slots to the left of the screen and the rest of the info is neatly formatted onto the right. Same thing follows for a movie or TV show; only, the info is displayed beneath the icon instead of on a distinctive right. The transition is now silky smooth and gives the Store a more coherent feel.
What Microsoft Didn’t Talk About
Widgets have seen some love in this build. Microsoft has added a new Entertainment widget that displays new releases. It’s essentially just the Movies & TV app but now showing advertisements for new movies and shows available on the Microsoft Store.
Continuing its drive to adapt a more mature, polished look, Microsoft has updated more elements of the operating system to reflect its current design language. Case in point, the context menus are now rounded and have the frosted acrylic look present throughout Windows 11.
The Task View follows suit with a frosted, blurred background in the latest update instead of the traditional look. Plus, the app thumbnail preview also got the rounded corners treatment and is raised above the Taskbar, just like the new hidden icon flyout menu.
Moreover, the Start Menu now shows a Search bar at the top. Unfortunately, this button isn’t real; clicking on it just opens the dedicated Search menu baked into Windows 11. Areas like these are where Microsoft still needs to work on perfecting everything.
You can check out the official blogpost from Microsoft for a breakdown of the bug fixes in the latest build here.