Windows 10 Preview 20161 shows new Start Menu design, Alt+Tab behavior

There has been some speculation, even worries, about how the Windows 10 Start Menu would be changing but Microsoft is now calming those fears by confirming that nothing much is changing. At least nothing yet as far as big sweeping design and behavioral changes are concerned. The latest preview build for Insiders shows off a slightly refreshed Start Menu but it's the new multi-tasking behavior that may have some users a tad annoyed instead.

Confirming the most recent leaks, the new Windows 10 Start Menu is simply getting a color change, making the tiles reflect your chosen light or dark theme. Microsoft notes that if you want to add a bit of color to that, you'll have to turn on Windows' dark theme first and make sure that accent colors are shown for the Start menu, taskbar, and action center.

In contrast, multi-tasking via Alt+Tab won't be getting a visual change but will instead change how it behaves, at least if you're using Microsoft Edge. Every tab you have opened in Microsoft's browser will show up as a separate item when you Alt + Tab, making it easier for users to jump right into the tab they want to get to. Of course, if you have dozens of tabs opened, it will easily become a mess. Fortunately, Microsoft will let you whittle that down to the last three or five tabs or go back to the old, tab-agnostic behavior.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20161 introduces other changes like graphing mode to the previously plain Calculator app. Windows 10 will also now automatically switch to tablet mode when removing the keyboard on detachable 2-in-1 devices like the Surface Pro while also removing the confusing Tablet Mode quick action toggle on devices that don't have touch screens anyway.

Microsoft notes that these builds are not tied to any upcoming Windows 10 release, so it may even end up rolling out before the Windows 2H20 release later this year. Even more importantly, these aren't written on stone so there may still be changes coming, for better or even for worse.