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The inevitability of the Windows 11 UI: New Notepad enters the beta channel

It avoided Aero. Missed Modern. Now the update edges ever closer to release

It is with a heavy heart we report that Microsoft's redesigned Notepad has begun to make its way to the Windows Insider Beta channel, taking one step closer to end users already reeling from the Windows 11 experience.

The makeover was released a month ago for Dev Channel users with the news that no corner of Windows 11 would be spared from the design team. Other than the array of bugs that need patching every month, the loss of Start Menu functionality, some decidedly odd UX decisions, and so on.

Back then Dave Grochocki, lead for Windows Inbox Apps, enthused over the Dark Mode theme, Find and Replace, multi-level undo, and the inevitable Windows 11 design cues. Notepad has endured well over 30 years with minimal tinkering and seen various design fads at Microsoft come and go. However, it seems the poor old thing has failed to dodge the gimlet gaze of the fluent design squad.

Last night's update does not indicate if known issues with last year's emission have been resolved. "You may notice unexpected behavior when using shift-click to select text or when scrolling," warned Microsoft, and very large files continue to prove a challenge. Hopefully any problems will be resolved before non-Insiders are issued the update.

After all, it would be very out of character for Microsoft to take a perfectly working bit of code and replace it with something hopelessly broken. Even if it now supports Dark Mode. ®

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