Saturday, March 2, 2024

This change to Alt + Tab in Windows 11 is making people very happy


Microsoft is testing a key change to the multitasking system in Windows 11 that many people are likely to appreciate. In the latest Windows Insider Dev Channel release, the company is tweaking the Alt + Tab experience so that it is no longer full-screen.

According to Microsoft, this change is currently an experiment only with select users. It changes things up so that when you want to switch between one of your open apps with Alt + Tab and go to another app, you’ll no longer get a full-screen blurred effect.

Brandon LeBlanc/ Microsoft

This effect has been distracting for some people, as it could hide an open app and content being worked on. Based on feedback, the new experience is a lot cleaner. It keeps the background in focus and shows all open apps on top of a thin strip bar.

Microsoft is looking for feedback on the experience, and so far, the reaction has been very positive. Windows fans appreciate the care put into the feature. Other commenters indicate that even though they’re not included in the test, the change is much preferred over the existing layout.

Because Windows 11 Dev Channel builds are not linked to a specific release, this experience might not make it to the next version of Windows 11, which should be coming at the end of this year. It is, though, a high possibility. Microsoft has tested a lot of Windows 11 improvements in the Dev Channel since the operating system first launched.

The list includes a new voice access experience, new ways to set a default web browser, and an improved Start Menu with more ways to change recommendations. Some other changes like an improved media player and new editing controls in the Photos app also have also rolled out past the Dev channel and to all Windows 11 users.

According to rumors, Microsoft is looking to focus on cleaning up the dark mode in Windows 11, as well as opening up the Windows 11 widgets feature so that third-party developers can integrate with their own cards. Paired with partner Qualcomm, even Windows ARM devices are said to be a focus for Microsoft this year, perhaps as a response to Apple’s M1 MacBooks and devices.

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