Earlier this year, Microsoft teased new icons for its Start Menu which would be part of a wider overhaul of the menu. Now the company has announced the new Windows 10 Start menu design. It is already available for Windows Insiders.
“We are freshening up the Start menu with a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles,” Microsoft says in a blog post.
The emphasis on this re-design seems to be focused on reducing the importance of Live Tiles on the Windows 10 Start. As Microsoft noted in March, Live Tiles don’t mesh well with its new Fluent Design icons.
Live Tiles are perhaps an interesting functionality tool but they left the Start Menu as a multicolored design. When the new icons are placed on a solid color live tile the acrylic transparency of the icons mean they get somewhat lost.
Instead, users would be able to choose to disable Live Tiles to bring the new icons to the forefront.
Coming Next Year
The new Windows 10 Start menu experience is part of Windows 10 Preview build 20161, which is a part of the Dev Channel. You may remember Microsoft replaced the Fast Ring with the Dev Channel alongside the start of testing for Windows 10 21H1.
That means the new Start menu design won’t be available to mainstream Windows 10 users until next year. More specifically, as part of the Windows 21H1 release, which will likely arrive next May. Microsoft is now using this year and calendar section as the new version numbers for Windows 10.