Windows 11 is getting a controversial Windows 10 feature that some people accuse of being pointless bloat

Good news – Windows 11 users are getting the same additional embellishments for the lock screen that are currently rolling out in testing for Windows 10.

Essentially, these are compact lock screen cards that display various bits of info relating to the weather, finance, traffic, and sports scores. Microsoft is now deploying them in the Release Preview channel for Windows 11 test builds, as reliable Windows leaker PhantomOfEarth noticed on X (formerly Twitter).

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They are currently rolling out in testing, so not everyone will see the cards just yet. As for the functionality itself, it’s the same deal as in Windows 10 – you can either turn off the cards, or turn them on, but you’ll have the lot if they’re enabled.

You can’t pick and choose which cards are shown, and, for example, dump the finance one if you don’t care for it – this is an all-or-nothing scenario.

While PhantomOfEarth pointed out the cards in testing, Windows Latest also picked up on this, claiming that this feature is part of the March 2024 optional update, and it’ll be rolled out fully in next month’s cumulative update as a result. That’ll be for all users of Windows 11, not just testers (if it happens).

Analysis: A better layout, but that’s unlikely to mollify haters

Windows Latest further notes that the cards will be enabled by default when the April cumulative update arrives for Windows 11 (and presumably that’ll be the case for Windows 10 users, too). However, if you hate the idea of these info cards on the lock screen, you can turn off the feature.

What also won’t go down well with some is that clicking the cards opens up more details, but they’re fired up in the Edge browser (and MSN within it). This is another opportunity Microsoft is leveraging to promote Edge in other words (and inevitably it’ll be demanding to be your default browser, from time to time).

The good news for Windows 11 users is that the implementation of the info cards is better, with them being centrally aligned on the lock screen, with the time and date also aligned above. It’s a much neater look than on Windows 10, which seems clunky in comparison, but then Microsoft’s focus is obviously on its newer OS, with worrying about the finer points of layout on the older version of Windows clearly not a priority.

As raised previously when we discussed the Windows 10 incarnation of this lock screen feature, Microsoft will hopefully work on the ability to fine-tune the options in terms of specifying the cards you want, and those you don’t need displayed, rather than being forced to have them all on, or none.

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Windows 11’s new feature for PC gamers banishes the RGB-related bloat

Windows 11 is getting a previously rumored feature to give users centralized control over peripherals with RGB lighting.

This was another of many revelations pertaining to Windows 11 at Microsoft’s Build conference, and was detailed in a lengthy blog post by Panos Panay, who’s Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices.

The feature is called Dynamic Lighting (in the Settings panel) and the promise is that Windows 11 will make it easy to “effortlessly set up and customize devices with RGB lights”.

The ability to control all RGB lighting needs from one central Dynamic Lighting hub in Windows 11 is important, because as Panay observes, if you have multiple devices, it can be a real pain to install a bunch of apps from different manufacturers to deal with the lighting controls for those peripherals.

We’re told that Dynamic Lighting will be going into testing later this month, meaning in the next week, so we’ll get to see it in action in Windows 11 preview builds soon enough.

The workings of the feature were previously uncovered in testing back in February, so this addition is not a surprise.

Analysis: Over the moon, or not interested – which are you?

This is a feature you either won’t care about – if you’re not a gamer, or you hate RGB lighting and think it’s a load of showy nonsense – or you’ll be over the moon that it’s arriving.

While it might not sound like a huge addition to Windows, we can’t underestimate what a boon it’ll be not to have to install multiple third-party apps to control lighting if you have, say, an RGB mouse, gaming keyboard, headset, and maybe some case lights, and so on – all from different vendors.

Those various apps can add up to a lot of bloat for the system – particularly in the case of some of these clients, which can be worse offenders in terms of bogging down the system than others – and you can avoid all this with Windows 11’s RGB hub.

Plus, of course, just having all the controls present in one handy settings panel is just so much more convenient than having to work across multiple RGB-related apps.

With the feature entering testing imminently, we can hope to see the Dynamic Lighting hub inbound with the big 23H2 update later this year, where it’ll certainly help to liven up what’s threatening to be a bit of a yawn-fest currently.

Via PC Gamer

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