PhantomOfEarth flagged up the change, which is hidden in preview build 23493 and was uncovered using ViVeTool (a Windows configuration utility used for digging into the OS to find incoming features like this).
Build 23493 has updated the system app labels feature in Start > All apps first added in build 23481 (hidden/disabled). Specific apps like Settings and File Explorer are now labeled instead of ‘Microsoft = System’vivetool /enable /id:44571814,44573982 pic.twitter.com/ZTWSbce91cJuly 4, 2023
So what’s the big idea here? Microsoft is labeling its default apps – the company’s own programs for Windows 11, that come preinstalled with the OS – so the user can clearly see which these are.
Previously, we were told that these were given a ‘Microsoft’ badge to indicate they are first-party apps for Windows 11, but now, that label has been changed to ‘System’, meaning stock apps that come with the system.
These are apps such as Settings, Tips, Windows Security, Xbox Game Bar, Calculator, and so forth.
Analysis: A handy touch for the less tech-savvy
You’ll quite possibly never use some of those apps, but still, it could be useful to have an indication of which apps in the Start menu are first-party efforts Microsoft includes with a Windows 11 installation by default.
People who are familiar with Windows will no doubt in many cases recognize Microsoft’s own bits of software anyway, having used them through the years. But for those newer to the world of computers and Windows 11 novices, it’s handy to have this label, so they know what’s what in the list of apps on the Start menu.
It’s worth noting that this feature is still in the very early stages – hence why it isn’t enabled in the preview build yet – and some system apps aren’t labeled as such (when they should be). That will, of course, change, assuming this tweak makes the cut for inclusion in testing (which seems likely).
Another hidden feature recently discovered in build 23493 is Microsoft’s continued work on snap layouts, making this unloved part of the UI easier and more intuitive to use, which should attract more Windows 11 users to have a dabble with it (or that’s doubtless the idea).