New Windows 10 'Control Center' may provide instant access to system settings

Windows 10
Microsoft
Microsoft is working to make Windows 10 look better and work more efficiently, and it showed off a host of new features at its Build 2017 developers conference aimed at doing just that. There is an entirely new Fluent Design System on its way that will let developers optimize apps for different devices, and it is coming in the next major update, Fall Creators Update coming later in 2017.

One of the more confusing aspects of Windows 10 that Microsoft has been slow to address is its schizophrenic nature regarding system settings, with the old school Control Panel vying with the new Settings app for users’ attention. Perhaps to help users gain quicker access to various system settings in the meantime, Microsoft seems to be experimenting with a new “Control Center” concept, as Windows Central reports.

The company released Windows Insider preview build 16199 on May 17, which focused on a number of improvements to some new Windows 10 functionality. Buried in the original blog post announcing the new build was a single screenshot that showed off a new highly focused Action Center pane that would bring a number of key settings in a single location.

microsoft experimenting with windows 10 control center panel concept
Windows Central
Windows Central

The new Control Center would be accessed via a settings cog icon in the system tray and would let users quickly access a number of key settings. It would also include a handy slider for setting display brightness. Microsoft deleted the image, suggesting that it did not actually intend to let this particular cat out of the bag. Windows Central’s sources indicated that the feature is present in Microsoft’s internal testing builds.

The creation of the new Control Center could mean that the Action Center itself might be broken into different tasks, with a completely separate Notification Center and the current Quick Actions moved into the Control Center. Microsoft experiments with many features throughout the operating system’s development and this one, like many others, could be canceled and never make its way into Fall Creators Update.

If the Control Center does arrive, however, it could provide for a welcome improvement in accessing Windows 10 settings. Merging the Control Panel and the Settings app remains a much-desired next step in making the operating system easier to configure, but adding a Control Center could certainly ease the way in the meantime.

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