A “canary” daily build of Windows 10 leaked into the wild on Wednesday, revealing a new, spartan Windows 10 Start menu. It does away with the tiled look and feel of the traditional Start menu, and replaces it with a sea of icons that look more like the “Share” option that accompanies a file.
Images of the new Start menu were captured by various Twitter users. (Unfortunately, PCWorld’s Insider machine was offline at the time. Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar, the face of Microsoft’s Insider program, didn’t have an explanation. The company later confirmed, however, that an “internal preview build was unintentionally released to a broader audience than expected.” Microsoft also said that Insiders will need to use the rollback function to return to an earlier version of Windows 10 by going to Settings > Start > Update & Security > Recovery> Go back to the previous version of Windows 10.)
However, Microsoft has confirmed separately that modifications are coming to the home screen of Xbox. Instead of the “twists” at the top of the screen, where the interface pivots between Mixer, Game Pass, Xbox Community, and Store, Microsoft has added specialized buttons that customers will need to navigate and click.
“We’ve heard your feedback and have continued to iterate on Home to get you into your gaming experiences faster and keeping more of your content front and center,” Bradley Rossetti, the Xbox Insider team lead, wrote. “With today’s update, we’re experimenting with a streamlined user interface.” The new experimental Home rolls out this week to select Xbox Insiders in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead ring, Rossetti wrote, and may drop to other users in the future.
Microsoft also said a bitter change is coming to the Xbox this fall: you won’t be able to speak straight to Cortana. Cortana (which was initially intended to be available via the now-discontinued Kinect camera and later via headset) will be switched off. Instead, you’ll be able to order your Xbox for Cortana, Windows (including the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker), iOS, and Android via the Xbox Skill. Alexa phones will still be able to control the Xbox as well. Microsoft will first roll out the Cortana modifications to its Insider rings, specifically this week’s Alpha Skip Ahead ring.