Microsoft brings Jenny, Aria, and more interface tweaks to new Windows 11 Insider build

Exorcising the ghost of Windows past

Microsoft has dropped another Windows 11 Insider build into the hands of unpaid testers, demonstrating it is serious about tidying up the mismatch of user interface cues in its flagship operating system.

Build 22543 arrived in the Dev Channel last night and while the company was keen to trumpet the arrival of more natural voices for its Narrator ("Jenny" and "Aria") and new keyboard commands, the updated visuals are a welcome bit of polish – particularly in light of the ravaging of Notepad and Task Manager.

After finally sorting out hardware indicators for the brightness and volume, today's emission brought tweaks to the media controls on the lock screen (for some Insiders) so it looks more like the design in Quick Settings when they are signed in.

Other nice touches include a confirmation flyout when one hits the keyboard shortcut to mute one's call and an acrylic background on the new input switcher. Resizing app windows in snap layouts is also improved.

None of the changes are particularly earth-shattering by themselves but after finding yesteryear's user interface after only a cursory scratch of the operating system, one can see the cohesion the designers are going for. Something that Windows 10 never entirely achieved.

There is also a raft of fixes, including one for an explorer.exe crash when dragging and dropping a file from a zipped folder and a boom when switching to the performance tab in Task Manager (although there is still no official sign of the shiny new Task Manager spotted by eagle-eyed testers.)

Ultimately, with Microsoft insisting that Windows 11 must have more stringent hardware requirements than Windows 10, the continued polishing will go some way to assuaging the inevitable "Remind me, why did I have to buy a new PC?" when the ghost of Windows past makes an occasional appearance. ®

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