Microsoft has released a new development version of Windows 11 that modernizes the File Explorer details pane, improves Windows Spotlight’s lock screen functionality, and expands the deployment of the “notification badge” in the Start menu.
These improvements are rolling out with Windows 11 Insider Preview build 23451 until recently dev channel restarted flight of the 23000 series versions.
“We’re introducing a modernized details pane in File Explorer (ALT+Shift+P) designed to help you easily access related content, stay up to date with file activity, and collaborate without even opening a file. ,” said Microsoft’s Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc.
“When a user selects a file in File Explorer and activates the pane, a modern pane displays contextual information about the file, including file thumbnail, status and share button, file activity , associated files and emails, and other information.”
To activate the new details pane (which will replace the old File Explorer details pane), you must click on “Details pane” in the View menu and activate it using the button on the right from the command bar.
With this Windows Insider build, two different designs (or treatments, as Microsoft calls them) for Windows Spotlight are now also being tested.
One of the designs will feature a more detailed and richer user interface (UI), with full-screen and minimized modes available. Both will feature 4K portrait images and provide the ability to learn additional details about each desktop image.
Windows Spotlight designs will vary on different PCs in the Insider Dev Channel and will only be available in English.
Expanded Start Menu “notification badge”
Microsoft also announced today that it will start expanding the rollout of what it calls the “notification badge” for Microsoft accounts – which some may consider ads for the company’s other products, including Microsoft 365. and OneDrive – in the Windows 11 Start menu.
It was in test since at least November 2022, and some of these “notifications” are already shown to users who have installed the March 2023 Preview Update or newer updates for Windows 11.
“A Microsoft account is what connects Windows to your Microsoft apps, backs up all your data, helps you manage subscriptions, and allows you to add additional security measures so your account is never locked out,” Langowski and LeBlanc today. .
“With this feature, we give customers quick access to important account-related notifications.”
On systems where the new “badge treatments in the Start menu” are rolled out, ads will appear in the Windows 11 Start menu logout flyout.
Microsoft says users can manage these notifications by going to Personalization > Start in Windows 11’s Settings app.
Redmond also announced last month that it started testing new treatments in the Windows Start menu for users logged into local accounts.
The tested list includes, but is not limited to, the following prompts:
- Sign in to your Microsoft account. You will be able to backup your device and keep it more secure
- Use Microsoft 365 for free. Sign in with your Microsoft account to use productivity apps and cloud storage
- Protect your account. Log in to customize your security and profile settings in one place
- Access your files from anywhere. You will get 5 GB of cloud storage for free when you log in
It is also important to note that features tested in the Dev Channel may be heavily modified before being released to general customers or may never be released.