Development began as early as late 2016 under the codename "Arctic", and was designed as an improvement to and uses some of the elements from Windows 7 and Windows 10. It was announced on July 1, 2018 at a media event under the name Windows 365.
The taskbar supports groupings of icons, which can be done by either right-clicking the taskbar and choosing "Create Group" or dragging an existing icon onto another icon. There can be up to 9 icons in a grouping.
The Start orb design can be customized via the Control Panel.
Gadgets are lightweight, single-purpose applications that can be dragged around the desktop. In Windows 365 they snap to the right side of the screen in a sidebar. Third-party gadgets can be downloaded and installed, but the default gadgets are:
- Calendar - a calendar service
- Clock - a digital and analog clock, with timer capabilities
- Contacts - a contact gadget that lists contacts from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook services
- CPU Meter - a gadget that measures CPU speed, RAM usage, and other specifications
- RSS Feed Headlines - a gadget that can collect data from RSS and Atom feeds
- Notes - a sticky note gadget
- Translator - a language gadget than can translate and speak aloud 73 different languages, provided by Google Translate
- Reader - a gadget that reads aloud text that is entered, for accessibility purposes
- Weather - a weather gadget with 7-day and hourly forecasts, provided by AccuWeather
- Digital World Clocks - a series of clocks that show times in different time zones around the world
- Moon Giant - a moon phase tracker
- Clip Collector - a clipboard gadget that can save up to 120 clips
- Dictionary - a dictionary and thesaurus gadget, provided by Merriam-Webster.
Internet Explorer 12
Internet Explorer 12 is the default web browser for Windows 365. It features a new download manager that lets users choose where to save files; better support for HTML 5, CSS 3, and WebGL; improved security and phishing filters; the ability to pin and group tabs; a Reading View to read without distractions and in a clutter-free environment; slight CPU and RAM usage decreases; support for WebVR; an integrated PDF reader; and integration of Microsoft Rewards and Bing Translator services. It also comes standard with uBlock Origin as an optional content blocker, along with Bing Dictionary as a dictionary service.
- Choose colors using an RGB value or a hexadecimal value
- Blur, Smudge, Burn, and Sharpen tools
- Transparency levels can be set
- Undo limit raised to 50
- Add multiple layers to an image
- Color histogram
- Color correction
- Noise removal
- Red-eye removal
- Can take video recordings up to 5 minutes long, in .mp4 format
Windows Media Player
- Support for more file formats such as .ogg, .oga, and .ogv
- Support for broadcasting/transferring audio and video to a projector or mobile device
Windows Sound Recorder
- Added currency conversion, with support for over 30 currencies
- Re-sizable window
- Can be snapped to the side
- More anti-spam and anti-phishing filters
- Can scan for rootkits
- Syntax-highlighting for 30 programming languages
- Optional dark theme
- CTRL + F finds user-specified text
- Cleanup of unnecessary files and the ability to defragment certain drives
- Combined from "Disk Cleanup" and "Disk Defragmenter"