Hands-on with Windows 10X: New Action Center, Start Menu and more

Windows 10X new look

Microsoft’s plan for Windows 10X development had already been
derailed in 2020, but now it looks like the company is finally
ready to launch the operating system. That means
we’ll have to wait until Spring 2021 before we can see the
OS on an actual device from Microsoft partners, such as Dell
and Lenovo.

As we move closer to the launch, we keep getting glimpses and
teasers of what the future might look like for Windows. Today,
we got hands-on time with the latest RTM candidate for Windows
10X, which was leaked online earlier today.

The very first thing you do upon booting Windows 10X is
creating a Microsoft account if you don’t have one already. In
Windows 10X, Microsoft account is a requirement and users
cannot configure a local account.

Once signed-in, the world of Windows 10X is now open to you
with a blank desktop, a centred taskbar with three different
sizes: small, medium and large.

Windows 10X uses components from both web and WinUI, which
makes the operating system look overly different compared to
the current Windows 10 experience. For example, Action Center
has been completely redesigned in Windows 10X.

New Action Center in Windows 10X

Microsoft has also removed ‘system tray’ from the taskbar and
Action Center can now be used to change the volume and
brightness.

Windows Action Center

Volume and brightness controls are at the top, while the quick
settings for Bluetooth, WiFi and Power are in the middle, which
you can customize by right-clicking on the icon.

The approach is very much like ChromeOS and Microsoft has also
removed the legacy components from Windows 7-era. This means
you cannot access the Registry Editor, Group Policy Editor,
Control Panel, Windows Run and Task Manager too.

File Explorer

With Windows 10X,
Microsoft is developing a new modern File Explorer and it
appears to be based on React Native. By default, File Explorer
has been designed for browsing your OneDrive files, but you can
also browse your local storage, and sync files between your
local and online storage.

New File Explorer

The new File Explorer interface looks familiar because it’s
based on the OneDrive website and it uses web components with
Windows 10 integration.

Consistent design language

The entire UI is designed from the ground up and Microsoft is
maintaining a single consistent design language across the
operating system.

Windows 10X app switch

It’s also full of round corners and web controls, which means
you’re going to find visually appealing Fluent Design on the
Start Menu and Action Center.

Windows Search

Windows 10X also comes with a new search experience, which is
built right into the Start Menu. The search experience seems to
be faster than before and it is still able to display a
combination of local results and web results generated by Bing.

Windows Search

Bing integration in Windows Search provides quick access to the
search engine, but disabling Bing (eliminating web pages from
the search results) is currently not possible.

Goodbye live tiles

Live Tiles have been a part of the Windows desktop experience
since Windows 8 and Windows 10X has now proclaimed the death of
Live Tiles in favour of static icons.

Windows 10X Start Screen

Start Menu in Windows 10X is similar to Microsoft Launcher for
Android and it will display app icons in a clean way.

You can still customize the Start menu and browse the all apps
list.

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