Wednesday , August 10 2022

New Search Experience & File Explorer Tabs Coming

Microsoft has revealed several new Windows 11 features that are being tested. That’s something we’ve written a lot about over the last few weeks, but it’s true once again.

The company has released another new preview build to members of the Windows Insider Program’s Dev Channel – that’s the first stage anyone with a Windows 11 device can test it for themselves. Not all Dev Channel functionality will make its way into a final version, but it’d be a surprise not to see these features arrive at some point.

Arguably the most significant change is something Microsoft chose not to highlight in its official blog post. As developer Rafael Rivera highlighted, the Windows 11 File Explorer will now support multiple tabs. This works in much the same way as a web browser, with a horizontal list at the top of the window. Twitter user Xeno demonstrates the UI with lots of tabs open:

It’s a small but significant change which should help streamline many users’ workflow. For some people, this will also apply to Microsoft Family and Clipchamp apps, which will now be pre-installed on Windows 11. The inclusion of browser-based editing software Clipchamp comes just six months after Microsoft acquired the company.

These are available alongside various smaller updates and the usual set of bug fixes in Build 22572.

More new features on the way

From early next week, a significant upgrade to Search will also begin rolling out. Known as ‘Search highlights’, relevant information will now be displayed each time you go to type in the search bar. This includes calendar events, trending searches and articles that may be of interest.

Connecting a work or school account transforms this into a Microsoft 365 hub, with details on colleagues and recent activity. However, there is a caveat here: Microsoft has made it clear that not all Insiders will have access as feedback is carefully monitored.

Elsewhere, the new dedicated Microsoft Defender app is now available to everyone…in the US. This is only a preview version, but offers an early look at the security software that will soon be rolled out to all Windows 11 devices. Currently, some Microsoft Defender features are built-in to Settings.

Microsoft Defender

However, it remains unclear when the final version of all these new features will become available. Microsoft may choose to delay rollout until the 22H2 feature update, which is expected to arrive in July.

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