Microsoft has leaked a brand new Start screen experience

Microsoft has shown off a brand new Windows 10 Start screen experience that ditches the live tiles and goes instead with standalone app icons.

The seemingly accidental leak offers a look at an internal-only version of Windows 10 that has been published to all the company’s pre-release Windows Insiders.

The Windows 10 build 18947 has been released for little-used 32-bit systems and shows an early version of a completely revamped Start Menu with large app icons rather than the live tiles we’ve become accustomed to in recent years.

It isn’t exactly pretty, and it looks even worse in tablet mode, but it’s possible this is only a very early interpretation of what the interface will look like.

Related: Best laptop 2019

Windows Central has the scoop with a hands-on video, pointing out the features aren’t intended for the public to see yet. The video makes it possible for users to switch back to the classic version, which suggests Microsoft may be preparing this as an option for Windows 10 desktop, as well as the live tiles.

There’s an array of icons in there, with Microsoft even including some Vista-era icons among the newer ones for its Office suite. Here’s the hands-on from Windows Central:

Microsoft is currently testing this Start menu for Windows Lite, but the unscheduled, accidental roll out today poses the question of whether Microsoft would be willing to drop the live tiles for Windows 10.

Microsoft hasn’t commented on the new version which also includes an emoji picker and a GIF search tool. They’ll be welcome additions, but it’s not clear the changes to the Start menu would go over too well.

If you’re still waiting on Windows Lite, Microsoft is yet to furnish us with the details. However, it’s believed the lightweight operating system will replace windows 10 S as Microsoft’s mechanism for taking on the Google Chrome OS and the Chromebooks. Recent reports have suggested it’ll be a stripped back version of Windows 10 optimised for dual screens.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor