Microsoft are quietly going about polishing the user interface in Windows Mixed Reality in the 19H1 Windows Insider builds. Microsoft don’t mentioned the changes in each build’s release notes so here are some of the changes I spotted in the most recent build (18305).
New Start Menu
The old start menu:
This is a development version from November:
All the Windows Mixed Reality UI elements have a more curved flat UI in 19H1 including the Start menu, it is now a curved card like interface with the user’s account at the top of the card. The more apps list button is now off to the right of the start menu with more space for the apps. There are indicators for wifi, battery, microphone and volume. In the current build the Places button is clashing with the battery indicator, that should be fixed soon.
New UI controls
The new curved Windows have a new Pick Up window button. Selecting this brings up a new app resize / move tool which brings a new halo around the window with which you can resize or move the app.
Changes to the Windows Mixed Reality Portal
When starting up Windows Mixed Reality the first change you notice is the portal now shows the recommended games and apps from SteamVR and Mixed Reality. This highlights some of the best games available for Mixed Reality and what’s new on the platform.
While these are subtle changes but they make a difference and look much better than the old design. There is a still work to be done (like the Places button) and it would be nice to see new features as well as UI polish but there is still some time before 19H1 is complete, the update is due around April this year. Lookout for a hands on video soon.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.