Windows 10 Build 20161 has been released to the testers in the
Dev channel of the Windows Insider program. The preview build
includes a new look for the Start Menu, alongside some other
tweaks to notifications behaviour and taskbar in certain
Microsoft says that the new Start Menu redesign won’t show up
for every Windows Insider and the company is gradually rolling
it out to the testers.
First and foremost, Start Menu’s new design isn’t a massive
change but more work is in the pipeline.
As far as I know, Microsoft wants to make the interface of
Windows 10 look more cleaner and uniform. Microsoft is also
internally testing other UI changes that will bring the OS in
line with Windows 10X, which is a new operating system for dual
and screen hardware.
Microsoft is not planning a radical design overhaul for the
operating system. In future, you can expect subtle changes to
the Action Center, taskbar, and even File Explorer.
Start Menu is being altered to remove hotchpotch of different
colours for a more uniform appearance. The Live Tiles are still
part of the operating system, but the static tiles will now
carry the same colour background for an appearance that matches
light or dark theme.
The new experience is called “theme-aware tiles” that removes
the colour backplates behind the app icons and either use a
transparent light, dark or accent backplate.
The above screenshot compares the default look of the Start
menu. As you can see, Microsoft has also removed the
backgrounds of the icons on the recent apps list for a cleaner
The new Start menu will emphasize the Fluent Design language
seen throughout the modern areas of the operating system.
The changes are good and more noticeable when you apply the
accent colour to the Start Menu.
As we already mentioned, more work will be done and it will be
interesting to see how the Start Menu will evolve on Windows
It’s also worth noting that the new Start Menu isn’t tied to
any particular version of Windows 10, but we’re expecting it to
arrive with Windows 10 21H1 given that the second update of
this year is supposed to be a minor one with improvements and