Microsoft has released Windows 11 build 25197 in the Dev channel, and this new version of the preview is filled with a whole bunch of new and returning features to go with bug fixes and known issues.
In other words, it’s packed to the brim.
Not overflowing, but this still makes it one of the bigger new releases in recent past.
Things start with the return of the touch optimized taskbar for tablet users, which the company has reintroduced to make users feel more confident when using your device as a slate. The taskbar takes two states, either collapsed or optimized.
And this is how they look:
The idea behind this feature is to ensure that the taskbar is out of your way in the collapsed state to provide you with more screen real estate while also preventing you from accidentally invoking it when you are holding your tablet. In the expanded state, the taskbar allows easier touch interactions.
We also have some welcome system tray updates that affects all types of devices in this version, whereby you will see a rounded focus and hover treatment on all icons in the lower right.
The ability to drag and drop or rearrange your system tray icons is missing with this change, but Redmond promises that it has heard feedback on this and is working to address this in a future preview build.
This is, simply put, a modernization of this experience that Microsoft is currently pursuing as it works to streamline and optimize the Windows 11 user interface.
Continuing on in this vein, the company has begun to roll out animated icons and illustrations in the Settings app. A small cosmetic change this may be, but the software titan describes this as a way to transform familiar interactions from something purely functional to something that are also delightful.
And finally, Microsoft has also announced a small tweak where it has improved the key repeat rate for the traditional touch keyboard layout as well as the default keyboard layout. The new rate of 20 keys per second makes for a more responsive feeling.
There is a long list of bug fixes in this build, too many to list. Likewise, we have also a fairly long list of known issues many of which relate to the new tablet optimized taskbar that Microsoft discovered early.
You can get an idea of what all this in the announcement post.