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Microsoft tests improving Windows 11 Start menu directly via dedicated Windows Updates

Microsoft’s goal with Windows 11 is to make the OS more adaptable and customizable. I have written about Decoupling features from explorer.exe is a key part of Microsoft’s plan to make Windows 11 stable in addition to the desktop and the taskbar. Microsoft is testing new updates to the Start menu while continuing work on unbundling features from File Explorer.

Many users will appreciate Microsoft’s decision to only release major updates once a year starting with Windows 11. Since the tech giant only needs to worry about one update at a time, the frequency with which users must install mandatory feature updates has decreased while the quality of those updates has increased.

Microsoft, however, doesn’t want to restrict new features to just the yearly updates, so it’s developing separate updates for a few of them. Web experience packs, which are included in Windows 11, expand the functionality of Widgets and other apps.

If you were concerned that Microsoft wouldn’t release any good news for a while, you can relax. The Start menu will soon receive some minor improvements.

The Start menu in Windows 11 is powered by the process “— Windows.Shell.StartMenu,” and Microsoft is currently testing an updated version of the “Online Service Experience Pack” with only these enhancements.

Windows 11 Start Menu Experience pack
The Windows Fan Club provided the image.

Microsoft has released “Windows.Shell.StartMenu” 3.2.127.0 in the Canary channel, with a single fix.

Microsoft said the update “improves the delivery of user experiences from the cloud” but does not include any new features for the Start menu. The preview update for the Start menu that was released today does not reveal any changes. There appear to be bug fixes that are occurring behind the scenes, so you may not even notice the update.

New features and bug fixes found in the Dev, Canary, and Beta builds could be pushed into production with the help of this crucial test. These ‘Experience Pack’ updates, in addition to the yearly and quarterly Moment feature updates, will eventually bring about direct enhancements to the Start menu.

It’s important to note that the features of the Start menu and other parts of Windows will be prioritized for improvement in these online experience updates. In addition to the Start menu, Online Experience Packs can be used to customize other parts of Windows, such as the Microsoft account, the Settings menu, and others.

According to Windows Latest, Microsoft is working on a way to make the Start menu more flexible for users. You can customize only the icons that appear in the Start menu, for instance, and disable the “recommended” feed entirely. The tech giant is also experimenting with different hover effects and animations for Start menu shortcuts.

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