(Photo: Clint Patterson/Unsplash)Windows 11’s first major update will bring with it a handful of unexpected improvements, according to a popular Twitter user-turned-software investigator.
Twitter user Albacore, who’s known for “looking at software upside down” and being among the first to find hidden OS updates, shared over the weekend that they’d discovered a trio of otherwise unannounced changes coming to Windows 11. Among them was a new focus on environmental sustainability in the form of an unofficially-named “eco score.”
A user’s eco score appears to be represented by five leaf icons, which according to Albacore are filled according to how efficiently the device is using its energy. (In the below screenshot, none of the leaf outlines are filled, and the Sustainability window is blatantly telling the user to conserve resources.) The feature appears to offer “eco recommendations” which can be toggled on and off to help the device save energy, including advanced options like sleep and screen settings that are more customizable.
The bottom of the Sustainability screen also links to ways to recycle the device itself—a worthy addition, given that the average person isn’t schooled in proper electronics recycling and e-waste is a growing concern around the globe. While Microsoft already offers a “global end-of-life” web page that helps users find safe ways to dispose of their devices and packaging, the page isn’t quite as straightforward as it could be, and a bit of extra hand-holding could be useful when it comes to helping Microsoft customers adopt new habits. Microsoft has previously committed to making its direct operations zero-waste by 2030, indicating a general pivot toward more environmentally-friendly practices across the company.
The other two features Albacore uncovered include an updated Focus Assist (soon to be referred to as just Focus) and new wallpaper settings. Rather than being its own setting, Focus will become a part of the Clock app. Users will also be able to adjust their Focus times in Outlook. A screenshot Albacore posted reveals that Windows 11 users will soon have the option to customize their desktop wallpaper with stickers that can be configured using a new Sticker Editor app.
These improvements are expected to roll out with the upcoming Windows 11 update, which is now slated for later this month.