Windows 10 10036: Updates to the Start menu - transparency and beyond

The last build of Windows 10 to be released by Microsoft was 9926 and with today's leak of version 10036, we can see quite a few updates to the Start Menu. Before we go any further, it is worth pointing out that 10036 is not nearly as stable as 9926, so proceed with caution if you plan on installing this version of Windows 10.

The big change is transparency and as you can see above, it adds a bit of visual flair to the menu. We do know that this will either be a love or loathe type feature and would welcome the option to be able to disable this feature in future builds.

When you expand the Start menu to become a Start screen, it is apparent that the opacity of the menu is changed to be much closer to 100%. Due to this, the Start screen is much harder to use because the background colors are closer to the text of the tiles. Take a look at the image above to see how this increased opacity impacts the text of the tiles.

Aside from transparency, Microsoft has updated the headers for tile groups in the Start menu as well. In 9926 (left) the headers had ellipses and now in 10036 (right) they are two bars. Also, the header bar now highlights when you move the mouse over it which makes it easier to move the group of tiles. In 9926, you had to click the header bar near the right side which was a bit confusing and often lead to renaming the bar instead of moving it.

At the top left of the menu, the user icon is now smaller and at the top right, the expand icon has been changed as well from four arrows down to two. Also, the 'File Explorer', 'Documents' and 'Settings' links no longer have icons next to them and are plain text.

One small change is visible at the bottom of the menu, the 'All Apps' icon has changed from a down arrow to a hamburger-style stack. Finally, clicking the power button now allows you to select 'sleep'. But, as pointed out by a reader, in 9926 some of you can sleep from this menu, my build would not sleep, so your mileage may vary if this is new for you.

When you dig into it, there are quite a few subtle changes to the menu and with a few more months ahead until RTM, don't be surprised if you see even more updates. If you happen to notice any other differences in this build, make sure to let us know in the comments below.

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