Microsoft Reportedly Readying Several New Windows 11 Features for Insider Testing

Posted on February 11, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Windows, Windows 11 with 8 Comments

Windows 11 with app logos

As Windows 11’s first big update is now available in preview ahead of its public release later this month, Microsoft is reportedly planning to roll out several new Windows 11 features to Windows Insiders. Indeed, Windows Central is reporting today that Dev Channel Insiders may soon start testing Start Menu improvements, new Windows 11 gestures, and more.

According to the report, some of the incoming new features Microsoft is currently working on were planned for the initial release of Windows 11, but they didn’t make the cut. Anyway, the software giant is now said to have started a new development cycle for the new Windows 11 update coming later this year, which is reportedly codenamed “Sun Valley 2” internally.

One of the new Windows 11 features that Windows Insiders may soon be able to test is App Folders in the Start Menu. This was a popular Windows 10 feature that disappear in the first version of Windows 11, but it’s apparently coming back.

Microsoft may also introduce new gestures allowing tablet users to access the Start Menu and the Quick Settings panel by swiping up from the bottom of the display. “Swiping up from the System Tray will open Quick Settings, and swiping up anywhere else will pull up the Start menu, just like on Windows 10X,” the report says.

The report also reveals that the Windows 11 taskbar could add support for file drag and drop, which has been another popular request from users. Other improvements have already been spotted by Windows Insiders in recent Insider builds, including a new overflow flyout for app icons in the taskbar, as well as a new setting for automatically hiding the taskbar when using a device in tablet mode.

The list of other new Windows 11 features mentioned in the report include a new snapping UX called “Snap Bar,” a new live captions feature, the ability to pin files in File Explorer, as well as a new “Acrylic” blur effects in legacy title bars. It’s now been two weeks since Microsoft last released a new Windows 11 build for Insiders in Dev channel, and maybe the next release could introduce some of the aforementioned new features.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Microsoft Reportedly Readying Several New Windows 11 Features for Insider Testing”

  1. Bart

    Nice to see Microsoft bring missing features to Windows 11 (finally!)

    However, "acrylic" blur? the design of Windows 11 still isn't sorted?!! This saga will continue forever....

  2. rmlounsbury

    Start menu app folders? Yes please!

  3. omen_20

    I don't understand why moving the task bar seems to be more difficult or lower priority than these changes. Horizontal task bars look ridiculous on ultra wide monitors.

    • winner

      You add the taskbar, the ribbon in Office, and pretty soon your workspace is a mailbox slit.

      The perfect formfactor that matches Hololens!

  4. brothernod

    Swiping up from the System Tray will open Quick Settings”

    I’m sure I’m a unicorn here but the lack of this feature was incredibly frustrating on my Surface. There was no way (that I could find) to change brightness or volume while in full screen video and swiping in from the side brought up the calendar which was pointless and a confusing decision.

    It’s like no one on the Windows team uses a tablet. I really expected Panos to bring more polish than Windows 11 has demonstrated.

  5. tentacles

    Really excited about the acrylic title bars. The legacy title bars still existing in some of the apps are just ugly in 2022.

  6. darfnix

    Are these things new features or just User Interface tweaks?

    In the networking area, I would classify improved support for multiple Internet gateways as a new feature, given that nothing much has changed in that area for ages.