In an unexpected development, Microsoft has unveiled a fundamental shift in the deployment of its Windows 11 Beta Builds through the latest Beta Insider Channel build, KB5031459. This update, although small in size, is highly significant as it diverges from the traditional delivery method offering an option to receive ongoing updates, a stark deviation from the previous releases of separate builds. No longer receiving separate Beta builds, users are now provided with an option to receive either gradual updates or a collective stream of updates and new features through an enablement package.
A New Chapter in Beta Builds
From here on out, all Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel will adopt the same build, specifically Build 22635.xxxx, tied to an enablement package. Those enlisted in the Beta Channel desiring to receive the latest updates gradually can access them by activating the toggle button in the settings.
To ensure a phased distribution, new features will make their way to everyone with the aforementioned toggle switched on. For users electing to keep this toggle off, they will still receive new features progressively over time once they reach a state of readiness.
KB5031459: A Closer Look
KB5031459, though labeled as a small build, it brings about notable changes and continuous improvements, redirected to all the users in the Beta Channel. These changes are manifold. Among the modifications under All apps in the Start menu, Windows 11 system components are now designated with a “system” label. The Xbox Game Bar is henceforth listed simply as Game Bar under the Start menu; a change that will come about through a Game Bar update via the Microsoft Store.
Notably, the enhanced screen casting capability introduced recently has been temporarily disabled to rectify certain bugs. However, it is scheduled to be reactivated in upcoming Beta Channel flights.
Further enhancements include an issue that previously led the Start menu to crash on launch if the display language was set to Czech or Slovak has been addressed. An on-going issue impacting the appearance of the taskbar's search icon has also been resolved.
Since March 2023, Microsoft has been rolling out a single monthly update during the second week of the month. This essentially switches Windows updates to only once per month instead of two or three. According to Microsoft, this change is intended to simplify the update experience for Windows 11 users and reduce confusion about which updates are available and when.