Via a new version intended for testers, Microsoft tries changes and brings improvements to Windows 11

In recent days, there has been talk of a hypothetical arrival, from 2024, of a no less hypothetical Windows 12. With this new OS, Microsoft would also like to review its rhythm of updates to its operating systems.

But that does not mean that the work around Windows 11 is already finished, quite the contrary. At the end of the year with the tabs of the file explorer, or perhaps later via another update, many new things are to be expected.

A rich Insider Preview Build 25158 for Windows 11

Testers can now grab Preview Build 25158 to try out the new features before they are released to the general public. Available in ISO format, this new version multiplies in particular the welcome additions and the tests which prove that Microsoft hears the criticisms around its operating system.

First, widgets get notification badges in the taskbar. What make them more useful and dynamic.

Still on the interface side, the unloved taskbar should soon get a makeover. Microsoft has in any case started to test several displays of the search within it. Users will see the search button appear randomly as shown below: as an icon, a normal search box or a large search box. We imagine that once the update is deployed definitively, it will be possible to choose between these different displays. This way of trying ideas with users in order to validate them or not is a new method currently being tested at Microsoft.

Changes under the hood too

Visible, these changes are not the only ones in Build 25158. Still in test, DNS over TLS (DoT) is arriving. The feature allows, as its name suggests, to encapsulate encrypted DNS traffic in a TLS tunnel.

Finally, with this version Microsoft has deployed many fixes and small changes to refine its OS. The complete list can be found in the dedicated post.

For testers in the Dev Channel, a new version of the Camera app has also been pushed alongside, and the Media Player regains the ability to play and import audio CDs (in AAC, WMA, FLAC and ALAC formats) .

What’s new for Windows 12 in 2024?

In 2021, Microsoft made a big impression by unveiling Windows 11, the new version of its operating system. And today, as the rollout continues, rumors are already circulating about Windows 12.

A new cycle, with new versions every 3 years?

More specifically, Microsoft would like to release a new version of its OS every three years. Thus, while Windows 11 was released in 2021, the firm would plan to release its successor, Windows 12, in 2024. But that’s not all. Apparently, Microsoft would also like to release updates to the current version more regularly.

Would deliver new features on a more frequent basis, up to four times a year. Moreover, Microsoft would have already tested this system by deploying new functionalities for the taskbar.

As usual, the info is still to be considered with caution, since it does not come from an official source. Moreover, Microsoft could still backtrack at this stage.

Good news for users

But in any case, it would be good news for Windows users who will be able to enjoy a new version of the operating system more often, while enjoying new features more frequently on the current version. As for Windows 12, the Windows Central article does not provide any information about what’s new in this OS.

Nevertheless, in February, we relayed another source which had already published information about this future operating system. According to this, Microsoft would do a big cleanup, abandoning the old elements that are part of the foundations of all versions of Windows, including Windows 11.

In any case, the new cycle mentioned by the Windows Central article would be a significant change for Windows. As a reminder, when Windows 10 was launched in 2015, Microsoft indicated that it would be the last version of the operating system. Yet last year, the firm released Windows 11. And now we learn that another version could be released in three years.

On the other hand, concerning the updates of the current version, with the old system, the engineers of Microsoft had to wait for the great annual update of Windows to deploy their novelties. But with the new system mentioned by Windows Central, these would have several occasions per year, which will allow these new features to reach users more quickly.

Finally, it should be noted that, still according to the same source, Microsoft plans to cancel the major Windows 11 update for 2023, codenamed Sun Valley 3, in favor of the new system.

Microsoft wants to display badges on its widgets in Windows 11

The latest Insider build of Windows 11 rolling out to the Developer Channel makes the widgets even a little more dynamic. Microsoft now displays notification badges.

Microsoft released Windows 11 Build 25158 a few days ago in the Developer Channel to members of its Insider Program. They can now display badges indicating the number of notifications waiting to be viewed.

After opening the widget dashboard, a banner displaying the notification in question is visible. This new feature will be rolled out gradually to Insiders.

Microsoft has also announced that it is testing different variations of the search box integrated into the taskbar. Again, only Insider members using a build from the developer channel are affected.

Therefore, depending on the device used, Insiders should have a noticeably different taskbar. Microsoft has unveiled several examples of what the future Windows 11 taskbar search box might look like.

On the illustration published on the blog dedicated to Insiders, Microsoft offers three variants for the search field: two respectively displaying Search and Search the Web, and a third contenting itself with a simple icon representing a magnifying glass.

Finally, this new build introduces a new protection protocol for Windows DNS client requests. In addition to the DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol, it is now possible to use the alternative encrypted DNS over TLS (DoT) protocol. Less flexible than DoH, the DoT protocol “may result in a slight performance improvement depending on the network environment,” Microsoft says on its technical blog.

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