Windows 11 has been official for a few weeks now, but we’ll still be waiting a while for the final version to drop. Current projections suggest Microsoft will officially release the new OS in October, but only new hardware will be eligible at this point.
According to the Microsoft website, the free upgrade for existing Windows 10 PCs is ‘scheduled to begin late in 2021 and continue into 2022’. As with Windows 10 feature updates, we’re expecting Microsoft to throttle up availability in order to manage demand – that could leave many people waiting a long time to update their current PC.
However, the Windows 11 beta (or Insider Preview, as it’s officially known) allows users to try out the new features well ahead of time. Microsoft isn’t enforcing the new hardware requirements yet, so anyone who signs up to the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program can try it out.
The purpose of this is to test out the functionality of these early builds and provide feedback, which can be used to inform Microsoft’s development of the software. These have been impressively stable and bug-free so far, but we still wouldn’t recommend installing on your main device.
The latest Windows 11 Insider Build is currently 22000.71, which was released on 15 July 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Windows 11 Build 22000.71 new features
There are relatively few new features in version 22000.71, but they’re significant ones.
The first is a dedicated Entertainment widget, which can be added to the new Widgets menu in Windows 11. It directly integrates with the Microsoft Store, providing a quick overview of featured films and TV you might like. This adds to existing options from the likes of Weather, Calendar, To Do and Traffic.
Windows 11 already streamlined the context menus (which appear after a right-click) and rounded their corners, but this update gives them a so-called ‘acrylic’ design. This gives it a semi-transparent background which automatically adjusts based on what’s being displayed behind it.
Taskbar previews, where hovering over an app on the taskbar displays a shrunk-down version of that window, has been a fixture of Windows for many years. It’s now been updated to be in keeping with the new visual design elsewhere in Windows 11.
SplitButton functionality within the taskbar is also being tested, which acts as a hybrid between a drop-down and regular menu. It means a default choice can be selected at the click of a button, but all the other options are still available with another click. It’s not clear how this will be implemented in the Preview Build.
In a separate blog post from 20 July, Microsoft also confirmed that the new Teams integration will begin rolling to Insiders. This includes dedicated functionality within the taskbar and the ability to reply to notifications without opening the app, but it’s only available to the small percentage of Dev Channel members at the moment.
Windows 11 Build 22000.71 bug fixes
These Windows 11 early builds might have been relatively stable so far, but there are still plenty of bugs being reported. Here are all the ones Microsoft has listed:
- We fixed an issue where if you drag app icons on the Taskbar to rearrange them, it was making the apps launch or minimize when you released the icon.
- Using a long press with touch on an app icon in the Taskbar to open the jump list should now work.
- After right-clicking the Start icon in the Taskbar, clicking somewhere else should now dismiss the menu more reliably.
- Shift + Right-click on an app icon in the Taskbar will now bring up the window menu like it used to and not the jump list.
- We’ve addressed an issue that was making your mouse move slowly when hovering over the Taskbar previews.
- We’ve included the fix for an issue when using multiple Desktops where an app icon in the taskbar might give the appearance of multiple windows being open when that wasn’t the case on that Desktop.
- When using the Amharic IME you should no longer see an unexpected X next to the IME icon in the taskbar.
- The issue where if you click on the input indicator on the Taskbar and it would unexpectedly highlighted Quick Settings has been fixed.
- When you hover over Task View, the preview flyout for your Desktops will no longer pop back up after using Esc to dismiss them.
- We made a fix to address an issue where explorer.exe might crash after hovering over the Task View icon in the Taskbar.
- We fixed an issue where the selected date in the calendar flyout was out of sync with the date in the Taskbar.
- We made an update to address a scenario resulting in some Insiders not seeing the lunar calendar text in the calendar flyout when enabled in Settings.
- This flight addressed an issue that could unexpectedly make the Taskbar background transparent.
- Right-clicking the focus assist icon in the taskbar should now show a context menu.
- The issue from the previous flight where icons in the taskbar corner were getting crushed against the top of the Taskbar has been addressed.
- The tooltip for the location in use icon in the Taskbar should no longer appear blank sometimes.
- We fixed an issue making Settings crash on launch periodically.
- Using the volume mixer sliders in Sound Settings should be more responsive now, as well as the page responsiveness as a whole.
- We fixed an issue resulting in Disk and Volumes Settings’ change size option being clipped.
- There was a non-functional verify link under Backup Settings – this has been fixed.
- The Power and Battery Settings page should no longer be reporting that battery saver is engaged in it’s not.
- The Power and Battery Settings page should also now not crash when launched from Quick Settings.
- We fixed a grammatical error in the Sign-in Settings text.
- The “I forgot my PIN” link was unexpectedly missing in Sign-in Settings when a PIN was set up and has now been returned.
- The issue where the Move option under Apps & Features in Settings wasn’t working reliably should be addressed in this build.
- We’ve mitigated a problem where some of the colors in Settings weren’t updating after switching between dark and light mode, leaving unreadable text.
- We’ve done some work to help improve the performance of Settings when switching between light and dark mode.
- We addressed an issue where some of the elements of the Themes page in Settings would end up crowded together when the window size was small.
- We resolved an issue where the Pen menu toggle under Taskbar Settings was not in sync with the actual state of the feature.
- Changes made to “Dismiss notification after this amount of time” in Accessibility Settings should now persist.
- Some of the icons you could enable in Taskbar Settings were erroneously labeled Windows Explorer even though that’s not what they were – this should now be fixed.
- The Connect text in Quick Settings has been updated to say Cast.
- Clicking the command bar button twice should now close any dropdown that appeared.
- The new command bar should now appear when “Open folders in a separate process” is enabled under File Explorer Options > View.
- This build addresses an issue where right clicking a file and selecting Open With > Choose another app might launch the file in the default app rather than opening the Open With dialog.
- Fixed an issue the desktop and File Explorer context menu would stop launching.
- We fixed an issue where the option to verify your account in Search wasn’t working.
- Hovering over the Search icon on a secondary monitor will now show the flyout on the correct monitor.
- Search should now work if you open Start and start typing after having gone to the apps list and back.
- When using the Outlook client with a Microsoft account, Calendar, and To Do updates should sync faster down to the widgets.
- We addressed an issue where if you added multiple widgets quickly from the widgets settings, it could result in some of the widgets not being visible on the board.
- We fixed a bug where widgets could all become stuck in a loading state (blank squares in the window).
- The traffic widget should now follow the Windows mode (light or dark).
- The title of the sports widget should no longer mismatch with the content of the widget.
More information is available in the Windows blog post for Build 22000.71, which lists several further issues that have been fixed and information for developers.
What’s still to come?
Many of the features announced at the Windows 11 launch event have already made their way into these preview builds. However, we’re still waiting for the redesigned Microsoft Store, complete with Android apps via the Amazon Appstore. A handful of other stock apps are also still awaiting a refresh for Windows 11, while there’s still no native option to move the Start Menu icons back to the left.
We’re also still waiting for the new Teams integration to roll out to all members of the Insider Program’s Dev Channel.
Related articles for further reading