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Microsoft shows new Windows 11 features and widgets

Windows 11 users will benefit from new functions for the Microsoft Store, Teams, and third-party widgets in the future. A handful of improvements are already available for Insiders to try out in the Dev Channel. The new build 25217 is available for download.

Work on the upcoming October update, including Explorer tabs, Suggested Actions, Taskbar overflow, and an extension of file sharing options (e.g. Nearby Sharing) is almost complete. The release is expected in the coming weeks. So it’s time for Microsoft to talk about more new Windows 11 features and get those first few Dev Channel Insiders in the hands.

Windows 11 tweaking continues

With Insider Preview Build 25217, the Redmond-based company is distributing new features for the private use of Microsoft teams and an improved display of Xbox Game Pass games in the Microsoft Store. At the same time, developers are given the necessary tools (WinAppSDK 1.2) to create so-called “3rd party” widgets for Windows 11 in the future, which go beyond the weather, calendar, and news.

In a new blog post Microsoft is talking specifically about the “Sneak Preview Version” of Teams, in which a preview of your own webcam stream is to be displayed in the future directly when you open the app via the taskbar. Video calls are thus still the focus of chat software. Apparently, however, this change only applies to the Teams integration in connection with a private Microsoft account, not the professional one. Last but not least, the Windows 11 update in the dev channel brings various bug fixes, for example for the tablet-optimized taskbar, which the Redmond-based company has been working on for a long time.

In parallel, the Twitter user PhantomOcean3 found out that a hidden feature (ViveTool ID 40887771) within the Windows settings can be used to solve the search for app icons from the taskbar and to place the well-known magnifying glass icon on the left side of the page. It remains unclear when the new functions will reach the average consumer in the final Windows 11 version. Microsoft could deliver so-called moment updates in spring 2023 or hold back some of the innovations for the Windows 11 23H2 update planned for autumn 2023.