Windows 11 now no longer lets you use the old Windows 10 Start Menu

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Digital Trends 09 July, 2021 - 07:10pm 45 views

Is Windows 11 released?

When you'll be able to get Windows 11 It will begin rolling out to all compatible PCs and new PCs around the 2021 holiday season, according to Microsoft, and will continue rolling out into 2022. However, several hints suggest that Windows 11 could arrive as early as October. CNETWindows 11: What to know about the beta download, new features, device compatibility, price and more

The shift happened in the second build of the Windows 11 beta software, which is now available through the Windows Insider program. Among other notable changes to the Start Menu, Microsoft has apparently removed the option from Settings entirely, leaving you with the bright and shiny new Start Menu whether you like it or not. And yes, that means there’s no option for left-aligning the Taskbar either.

There are a couple of caveats, however. First, there is actually a way to get back the Windows 10 Start Menu, but not so straightforward. The folks at Tom’s Hardware have discovered a backdoor method that involves tweaking a registry. Obviously, anything involving a registry change isn’t recommended and could cause some serious issues with your device. Then again, you’re on beta software to begin with, so you should be treading lightly anyway.

Secondly, it’s important to keep in mind that Windows 11 is still in its early stages of development. While the central features and design elements are likely here to stay, we’ll likely see a host of changes made between now and its eventual release date toward the end of this year. Because the ability to revert back to the Windows 10 Start Menu was already available in the initial builds, it’s not hard to imagine Microsoft bringing it back.

That’s especially true if there’s an uproar around its disappearance. Judging by the hostile reaction some have had toward the new Start Menu, it won’t be a surprise if Microsoft changes its mind once again in this regard. Giving people the option to switch between the old Start Menu and the new one has few downsides. It’ll make the traditionalists happy and encourage more of them to upgrade when the time comes.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Microsoft decides as additional builds of Windows 11 roll out over the coming months.

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Windows 11 has new keyboard shortcuts #shorts

MSPoweruser 10 July, 2021 - 06:20pm

Here are the new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

BetaNews 10 July, 2021 - 06:20pm

With the upcoming release of Windows 11, there is a lot of attention focused on certain areas of the operating system -- notably centering of the Start menu, the arrival of widgets, and the visual tweaks that Microsoft has introduced.

But there are also new keyboard shortcuts. These provide easy access to many of the new features of Windows 11 and are a faster way of getting around than using a mouse or trackpad. Not only are there completely new shortcuts to learn, but some key combinations have changed from Windows 10, and have inherited new functions in Windows 11.

There are not a huge number of new keyboard shortcuts to learn in Windows 11; not at the moment, anyway -- it is possible that more will be added as development continues.

In all, there are four shortcuts. This may not seem like many, but it's still worth consigning them to memory as they can dramatically speed up get around Windows.

The list of new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 is presented here alphabetically:

Windows + A -- opens Quick Settings, the same as clicking the volume / network icons in the taskbar

Windows + N -- opens the Notification Center to the right of the screen

Windows + W -- opens the Widgets pane to the left of the screen

Windows + Z -- opens the Snap Layouts pane to the upper right of the currently active window or application

If you've become used to Windows + W opening the Windows Ink workspace, you're going to have to retrain yourself and remember its new function -- if you decide to embrace widgets, that is.

Image credit: rawf8 / Shutterstock

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New Windows 11 Build Removes Classic Start Menu Option

Tom's Hardware 10 July, 2021 - 02:35pm

A registry hack that gave back Windows 10 Start is gone.

As we explained in our recent tutorial on how to get the Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11, all you needed to do was create a DWORD (32-bit) registry value named Start_ShowClassicMode in the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced key and set it to 1. However, as of the new update, this hack no longer works and you're stuck with Windows 11's Start menu.

If, like me, you dislike the Windows 11 Start menu, this update is a real downer. Microsoft has not officially said why it took this feature away or if it has some plan to bring it back. However, if past policy is any indication, the Redmond Software giant rarely allows users to bring back the Start menu from a previous Windows version.

However, there's a sizable cottage industry in software utilities that replace Windows 10's Start menu with custom UIs, and we would expect these utilities to do the same for Windows 11 at some point. Stardock's Start 10 is one of the leaders in this space, allowing Windows 10 users to get a Windows 7-style Start menu. However, I just tested Start10 in Windows 11 and it failed to work (it put a Start button in the lower left corner but when I clicked it, nothing happened).

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Microsoft gives us a closer look at Windows 11's design elements

WindowsLatest 10 July, 2021 - 12:26pm

Windows 10’s most notable change is the addition of a new Start Menu, notifications center design borrowed from Windows 10X. The Start menu is centered, and Microsoft is also implementing rounded corners everywhere. Additionally, Windows 11 is getting a new Mica material that aims to improve the look and feel of the app windows.

According to Microsoft, Windows 11 aims to create a new design that truly feels like Windows, but it comes with an interface that is softer and decluttered. For example, it uses the Mica effect that allows the inactive app windows to fade into the background to help users stay focused.

Microsoft says they have tried to reduce clutter and touched all-important corners of the operating system. “We really wanted to design from the ground up without forgetting where we started. That iconic silhouette, the taskbar, the Start Menu. We heard from users, they wanted something that felt a little more natural,” the company said.

On its YouTube channel and Instagram, Microsoft has also given us a closer look at new animations for app icons and buttons.

For these new icons and apps, Microsoft looked at things like dimensionality, depth, light, typography, geometry and shape.

“New materials, new icons, new behaviours and interactions. Down to the literal pixel. We’ve thought about things in terms of natural lighting,” Microsoft said. “Good design. Good design is not just functional. It’s got to also be beautiful. Then when you touch the icon you also look at the topography and how do those fit together nicely.”

Mica is also one of the biggest changes that you’ll see on Windows 11. According to Microsoft officials, Mica is a material that would pick up the colour from your wallpaper and apply it to the title bar and other areas of the app, as shown in the below images.

Mica is noticeable only when it’s in focus and then it fades into the background when that the window is inactive.

Windows Settings, File Explorer and other Windows 11 features are already using Microsoft’s new Mica material along with Fluent Design. In fact, Microsoft has already started working on a new design for Chromium Edge with Mica and Fluent Design to match the look and feel of Windows 11.

The updated design for Chromium Edge is under development and it will eventually get better. In addition to Edge, we’re also expecting similar design improvements for other Microsoft apps.

Upgrade to Windows 11, and You'll Get 10 Days to Roll Back to Win 10

PCMag 10 July, 2021 - 11:45am

Microsoft says Windows 10 users who move to Windows 11 will have 10 days to change their minds.

Microsoft said in a support document that Windows 10 users who upgrade to Windows 11 will have 10 days to easily roll back that update. After that 10-day grace period you "will need to back up your data and do a 'clean install' to move back to Windows 10," the company said, though it didn't explain why that was the case.

ExtremeTech spotted this information about rolling back from Windows 11 in a PDF that Microsoft provided to MSI and, presumably, other PC manufacturers. The report said that moving back to Windows 10 during that 10-day period will be as simple as going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and selecting the build of Windows 10 you want to restore. Unlike performing a clean install, this process should leave all of your files intact without requiring any additional steps.

This limited rollback window is actually more permissive than major updates to Windows 10. Installing one of the biannual updates currently removes system restore points associated with previous versions of the operating system; having 10 days to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10 without having to perform a clean install is an improvement. (So long as it's made clear to consumers when they update rather than being communicated in a document sent to manufacturers.)

Windows 11 is expected to debut later this year on new devices, but Microsoft has indicated that PCs already running Windows 10 won't be able to upgrade until early 2022. The company reiterated that point in the PDF shared by MSI. "The upgrade rollout plan is still being finalized, but for most devices already in use today, we expect it to be ready sometime in early 2022," it said. "Not all Windows 10 PCs that are eligible to upgrade to Windows 11 will be offered to upgrade at the same time."

That means the easiest way to use an official release of Windows 11 before 2022 will be to purchase a new device. Microsoft said that "PCs with Windows11 pre-installed will be available later this year" and that "many different manufacturers will offer a variety of devices that will run Windows 11" to be sold by "a broad selection of retailers." Those devices won't have an easy way to shift to Windows 10, however, so patience and impatience will both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

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Nathaniel Mott is a writer and editor who has contributed to The Guardian, Tom's Hardware, and several other publications in varying capacities since 2011.

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Vista is the evil twin of Windows 11: here's why

TechRadar 10 July, 2021 - 05:00am

There’s an old myth that says – as with Star Trek films – you can tell the quality of a good Windows update by whether it falls on an odd or even number.

Both Windows 8 and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier both weren’t received well, but Windows 7 and Star Trek VIII: First Contact were received well – and it’s a dilemma that’s lasted for years.

However, it looks as though Microsoft wants to bring back Windows Vista for a new audience, and it seems like it  could be on the right track, as long as communication with users is clear.

However, development was reset in 2005, with many features, including WinFS, scrapped. What we got was unfortunately a bloated release in late 2006 in the form of Windows Vista, with widgets (called Gadgets in Vista) that were barely useful for the desktop, with a huge installation size for its time as well as an Aero interface that demanded a lot from many graphics cards than what was needed – and that’s not even the whole list of complaints.

This was known as the sixth version of Windows, so some users weren’t holding out much hope for this update anyway, and their doubts were only proven when Vista was not well received. It wasn’t long until Windows 7 arrived in 2009 to a more positive reception.

However, while Vista brought a lot of baggage, it did have potential at the time. For all of its troubled development and bloated features, it hinted at something more. While Windows 8 was the true fork in the road with its huge start screen and the desktop relegated to a tile, Vista was a trier.

However, most of the reception to Windows 11 has been positive, especially as Microsoft were adamant in 2015 that there would not be a Windows 11 or 12. While the upcoming update of Windows 10, called ‘Sun Valley’ was showcasing some redesigned icons and explorer windows, Windows 11 looks to be a substantial update, justifying the name.

If Windows 11 proves anything, it's that the last few months have shown me that the reception of Windows Vista could have been so much better if development went smoother, and the communication was once again clearer.

Both Vista and 11 are two sides of the same coin to me – both with similar aims, but with muddled communication from Microsoft.

The company should clear up the confusion of the processor requirements and TPM fast. Even almost two weeks on since the announcement, we’re not crystal clear on just which PCs are eligible for an update.

Windows Vista showed promise but faltered at the last hurdle with a bungled rollout, high system requirements and a bloated operating system. Windows 11 shows even more promise, but risks tripping up if Microsoft still isn't clear as to whether TPM will really matter once it's released later this year.

As Star Trek’s Dr Spock once said, in a twist to his catchphrase: ‘The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many’. And it seems like Microsoft may be relying on its high-end users here to update to Windows 11, even at the expense of more casual users who don’t update their machines every year and may miss out on a useful update such as Windows 11.

Microsoft has been known to learn from their past mistakes, such as Windows 8 and the announcement of the Xbox One. But with the release of Windows 11 already looming, users will be looking to see if the company will release clearer information on how to upgrade their machines, and avoid the repeat of Windows Vista.

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Latest Windows 11 update focuses on the taskbar

PC Gamer 09 July, 2021 - 04:29pm

The first Windows 11 update looks to make it easier to find what you need.

The most significant and notable update in Build 22000.65 is a search bar in the start menu. Other improvements include optimized snap layouts for smaller displays and updated Power mode settings.  

There still seems to an ongoing issue of certain features and apps getting lost in the upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, such as Cortana or Internet Explorer.

The blog post mentions that the first Windows 11 Bug Bash is running from now until July 14th, where users can report various Windows 11 bugs in the preview build. 

We recently learned that, after making the switch to Windows 11, users will only have ten days to roll back to Windows 10 if they want.

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