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Windows 11 blossoms with ‘Bloom’ – a new symbol for a new operating system

The studio builds upon a background in 2D graphic design, with tools and knowledge acquired during university years that involved learning how to work with colors, typographies, shapes, etc. But in late 2010, they shifted their focus to 3D art. In the process they realized that several hours of extra work would yield results close…

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The studio builds upon a background in 2D graphic design, with tools and knowledge acquired during university years that involved learning how to work with colors, typographies, shapes, etc. But in late 2010, they shifted their focus to 3D art. In the process they realized that several hours of extra work would yield results close to reality.

“From then on, there were many years of curiosity, learning and also use that have turned 3D into our own language and visual style,” says Ezequiel Pini, the design studio’s founder and creative director.

While Microsoft’s internal design teams iterated in-house on their ideas for Windows 11, the studio was working in parallel on Surface screens.

“We began collaborating with Six N Five to reinvent the desktop wallpapers for Surface devices a couple of years ago,” says Samuel Clarke, creative director for Modern Life (Windows, Surface, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Edge). “Their unique take on interpreting the physical world through digital techniques brought us together. They create calming and serene scenes that always felt like a perfect fit for how we wanted users to feel when using our products.”

Eventually, the workstreams converged as Six N Five’s dynamic flower struck all the right notes for the Windows 11 designers.

“The thing about Bloom is that it has movement to it,” Koehn says. “It doesn’t look like it’s a static object. You could almost imagine it moving around ambiently changing shape, morphing.”

When it came to their approach to Bloom, Six N Five found inspiration in the premise of examining natural realms and their relationship with the abstract and digital work created by its people. For them, a flower blooming for the first time represented “a new and fresh beginning.”

Flowers – particularly roses – inspired them. But they also found a compass in Windows blue, “a vibrant” hue that Pini says “has been key in this process when it came to coloring.”

It’s a color that was critical to identify with Windows 11 and to signal something new to consumers, says Karina Vivas, director of Windows integrated marketing. “We are purposely using its electric blue color as a creative through line across different elements.”

Windows’ prominence in day-to-day routines also played a big part in the design approach.

“I think we belong to a generation in which the digital world has evolved to the point where it has become part of our daily lives. It is now natural to us, our own extension and work,” says Pini. “There are so many tasks that we practically can’t do without our computer. This evolution will continue to advance over time and, for us at least, Windows 11 represents this evolution towards what’s new.”

With Windows 11, translucency through new materials like Mica becomes more prominent, explains Koehn.

“As our desktops get more and more complex and we have more and more windows open, it’s good sometimes to have the transparency of some materials help you see what’s in focus and what might be in the background,” she says. “We wanted to make sure that the wallpaper of the operating system actually enhanced those materials. So we built those materials in such a way that they really take in the color that’s behind them. They reflect light. If you design the wallpaper in such a way that it has a range of color, it has vibrancy in the right places where you know that you’re going to have materials on top of it, the two actually complement each other really well. And the materials look beautiful when you see Bloom coming through behind it. So that was definitely a consideration as we designed the form of Bloom as well as the color range.”

Bloom was meant to complement the new centered layout of Windows 11, which includes the taskbar and the Start menu. And from a practical standpoint, it was important to the design team to have negative space around the image so that folders and files could be placed on the desktop, reducing visual clutter.

Turns out that centered layout was one of many factors that Six N Five had to work through.

“The most complicated thing was to find a beautiful and harmonious composition which would work not only aesthetically as a wallpaper, but also in coexistence with the central menu of the new operating system,” Pini says. “We started creating loads of images, just experimenting and playing around with the material Microsoft gave us. That was the easy part, but then it was time to choose a path to follow and narrow it down.”

Pini’s studio ended up being in charge of the main image design and animation for the project, while the Microsoft design team helped them with guidelines and sketches to make the piece fulfill all the necessary requirements.

Six N Five also developed two theme packs for Windows 11: one that comes from new explorations inspired by Bloom and one based on the design of imaginary landscapes.

For Six N Five, having such a pivotal role in developing Bloom is “a dream come true.”

“The word ‘Windows’ not only evokes nostalgia for the first contact we had with a computer 20 years ago, but it also continues to be the operating system that we are using 20 years later,” Pini says. “It has been our companion in all this process and professional development since the very beginning. Knowing that this new version of the OS will have an image from our studio, which in turn will be seen by billions of people, is a dream difficult to explain in words.”

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Microsoft

Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25151

Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25151 to the Dev Channel. TL;DR This build includes a small set of fixes that improve the overall experience for Insiders on their PCs. Fixes [File Explorer] Fixed a scaling issue which could result in the tabs being unexpectedly large. Right clicking a…

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Hello Windows Insiders, today we are releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25151 to the Dev Channel.

TL;DR

  • This build includes a small set of fixes that improve the overall experience for Insiders on their PCs.

Fixes

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed a scaling issue which could result in the tabs being unexpectedly large.
  • Right clicking a tab and then clicking somewhere else in File Explorer should dismiss the context menu more reliably now.

[Other]

  • We believe an underlying fix in Build 25145 addressed the recent issue where shutting down via the Start menu wasn’t working for some Insiders (unexpectedly rebooting instead), and as such are removing this from the known issues list. If you are continuing to encounter this issue with the latest updates, please report it in the Feedback Hub.
  • Fixed a high hitting Windows Security app crash.
  • Updated the Exclusions page in the Windows Security app so that file paths now make better use of the available space rather than truncating when space is still available.
  • Fixed an underlying issue which was causing a crash when trying to delete ports in printui /s.
  • Fixed an issue causing printing to not work from UWP apps for some Insiders in the last 2 flights.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[General]

  • We are working on a fix to address reports that the Mica material and Acrylic blur effect is not rendering correct in OS surfaces like the Start menu, Notification Center and other areas.
  • Some games that use Easy Anti-Cheat may crash or cause your PC to bugcheck.
  • [NEW] We’re investigating reports that some Insiders are experiencing bugchecks with error message KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED in NetAdapterCx.sys starting with Build 25145.

[File Explorer]

  • The up arrow is misaligned in File Explorer tabs. This will be fixed in a future update.
  • We’re investigating reports that launching File Explorer in certain ways when using dark mode (for example, from the command line) is showing the body of File Explorer unexpectedly in light mode.

[Widgets]

  • We’re working on the fix for an issue causing Widgets preferences (temperature units and pinned widgets) to unexpectedly get reset to default.

[Live captions]

  • Certain apps in full screen (e.g., video players) prevent live captions from being visible.
  • Certain apps positioned near the top of the screen and closed before live captions is run will re-launch behind the live captions window positioned at top. Use the system menu (ALT + Spacebar) while the app has focus to move the app’s window further down.

For developers

You can download the latest Windows Insider SDK at aka.ms/windowsinsidersdk.

SDK NuGet packages are now also flighting at NuGet Gallery | WindowsSDK which include:

These NuGet packages provide more granular access to the SDK and better integrate in CI/CD pipelines.

About the Dev Channel

The Dev Channel receives builds that represent long lead work from our engineers with features and experiences that may never get released as we try out different concepts and get feedback. It is important to remember that the builds we release to the Dev Channel should not be seen as matched to any specific release of Windows and the features included may change over time, be removed, or replaced in Insider builds or may never be released beyond Windows Insiders to general customers. For more information, please read this blog post about how we plan to use the Dev Channel to incubate new ideas, work on long lead items, and control the states of individual features.

These aren’t always stable builds, and sometimes you will see issues that block key activities or require workarounds. It is important to make sure you read the known issues listed in our blog posts as we document many of these issues with each flight.

Build numbers are higher in the Dev Channel than the Windows 11 preview builds in the Beta and Release Preview Channels. You will not be able to switch from the Dev Channel to the Beta or Release Preview Channels without doing a clean install back to the released version of Windows 11 currently.

ALSO: Because the Dev and Beta Channels represent parallel development paths from our engineers, there may be cases where features and experiences show up in the Beta Channel first.

The desktop watermark you see at the lower right corner of your desktop is normal for these pre-release builds.

Important Insider Links

Thanks,
Amanda & Brandon

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Minecraft Marketplace 5 Year Celebration Sale now underway

Take advantage of the Minecraft Marketplace 5 Year Celebration Sale going on now through July 12. You’ll find more than 200 discounted packs and special doorbuster deals with 75% off selected content. Plus, you can claim 14 free Character Creator Items and a new adventure from Gamemode One: Spellcraft. Head over to Minecraft.net to find…

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Take advantage of the Minecraft Marketplace 5 Year Celebration Sale going on now through July 12. You’ll find more than 200 discounted packs and special doorbuster deals with 75% off selected content. Plus, you can claim 14 free Character Creator Items and a new adventure from Gamemode One: Spellcraft.

Head over to Minecraft.net to find out more and watch the trailer.

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Upgrades coming to Collections in Microsoft Edge

Summertime has arrived, and with that a chance to hopefully slow down a bit, get outdoors and make memories with our loved ones. During this time of year, some of us are also planning travels or perhaps are tackling projects around the house that we didn’t have time for during the busy school year. This…

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Summertime has arrived, and with that a chance to hopefully slow down a bit, get outdoors and make memories with our loved ones. During this time of year, some of us are also planning travels or perhaps are tackling projects around the house that we didn’t have time for during the busy school year.

This month, we’re introducing upgrades to Collections, with new ways to help you organize your ideas and find inspiration – all with the goal of helping you make the most of your time online so you can focus on what matters most to you.

Remember, if you’re running a Windows PC, you already have Microsoft Edge installed, so launch it and check it out and see why Microsoft Edge is the browser that puts you first and helps you do more of what you love. For those who want to try Microsoft Edge and are on a macOS, mobile or Linux device, download it and let us know what you think![1]

Here’s what’s new in web experiences this month:

We’re upgrading Collections in Microsoft Edge

There are so many reasons to love Collections in Microsoft Edge and we hear it all the time through feedback. It’s a handy tool that helps you collect and organize content you find across the web while keeping all your ideas organized neatly into folders. We’re always looking for ways to make great things even better, so we want to share some new enhancements to Collections designed to help you find and do more of what you love. Here is what’s new in Collections:

Collect all the things you love around the web

As the web has become increasingly visual, we want to make it even easier for you to save and organize more than links to websites. Now, you can save images and videos to your Collections as you browse the web – just hover over or right-click the item on a webpage and click the add button to save it to a Collection. Coming soon, you will also be able to share your collections with others so you can collaborate and brainstorm together, whether it be planning that next vacation or remodeling your home office.

Find inspiration at a glance

With Collections, we want to help you collect, organize and share information you find across the web. We also know that a huge part of our journey on the web is discovery and inspiration. That’s why I am excited to announce that we’re starting to roll out the inspiration feed coming soon to your Collections flow. Let’s say you just finished filling your Collections with must-see places for the trip you’re planning to Paris this summer. While in your Collections window, you will not only see your folders, but you will see a feed with content related to your research, helping you get inspired and discover additional places. Cool, right?

That’s not all we’re bringing this month to help you discover new content. Visual Search from Microsoft Bing is also now available when you hover over an image. Visual Search uses advanced computer vision technology to search with images instead of text. The on-hover update allows you to easily search for similar items by hovering over an image you find online, then clicking on the Visual Search icon. For example, when you’re browsing a renovation blog, and come across a light fixture you love, hover over Visual Search to find one just like it online. This is just another way Microsoft Edge can help you stay organized, but also help you find inspiration so you can do more of what you love.

Follow and get updates about the content you love

So far, I’ve covered how you can collect, organize, share and get inspired – but that’s not all. On top of all the cool features we’ve told you about, starting this month we’re also rolling out the ability to follow your favorite content creators on websites like YouTube, Bilibili and TikTok. This will be limited to a few websites to start, and more sites will be added in the future. To start, first be sure you’re signed in with your Microsoft account and then go to the address bar and click follow. To see the sites you’ve followed, simply navigate to your Collections window on the right-hand side of your browser and click on the Follow tab to see the latest updates.


All of these upgrades to Collections will be available on the desktop version of Microsoft Edge. If you haven’t used Collections before, you can start using and enjoying the upgraded Collections now. If you have existing Collections, these updates will be rolling out to you over the next few months, so look out for an update prompt within your Collections pane. Once you click update, you’ll immediately be able to enjoy all of these great upgrades.

Thank you, as always, for reading. Please continue to send us your feedback as we work to create web experiences and tools that help you save time and get things done online, so you can do more of what you love.

[1] You can share your feedback from the browser window by going to … menu > Help and feedback > Send feedback.

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