We've known about Microsoft's plans to overhaul Windows 10 since the autumn, when redesign plans were anonymously leaked – along with the project's codename, 'Sun Valley'. But new information has now come to light, which paints a fuller picture of what Microsoft's revamp ambitions might be.
Thanks to a job advert, we now know that something major is on its way. The advert has since been altered to remove telling tidbits of company strategy, but the phrase "sweeping visual rejuvenation" should give you an idea of how lofty Microsoft's plans are. We wonder if the results will be good enough to shake up our best computers for graphic design roundup.
Windows Latest (opens in new tab) first reported on the job listing (opens in new tab), which originally said: "On this team, you'll work with our partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers."
Pretty ambitious, right? This advert (now altered) points to plans for a deliciously far reaching redesign, which Windows Latest also reported Microsoft confirmed would "build delightful, polished, iconic experiences for the future of Windows".
After the release of Apple's macOS BigSur, we think it's about time Microsoft brought something new to the game. But what exactly could this redesign involve?
Microsoft's current design language is the Fluent Design System (launched in 2019 – catch up here), and it's about to enter a new era, with improvements across the board. These updates will apparently apply to animations and transitions, as well as all major desktop elements encompassing the Start Menu, Action Centre and File Explorer. Plus, the rounded corner aesthetic ushered in with the Fluent Design redesign will be further expanded across the UI. It seems no stone will be left unturned.
Users' responses have been mixed, with some applauding the decision to redesign Windows 10, some sharing concerns and many referencing the ill-fated redesign of Windows 8 days:
I feel like windows 8 was a bit lost like it was a great tablet ui but why did they think it would work on a PC when most don't even have touchscreenJanuary 4, 2021
Ffs, Windows 10 is great. We don't need a visual overhaul. They will end up making it look a lot like MacOS cuz BLUR. Ffs Windows 10 is great the way it is. No need of any visual changes.January 4, 2021
One more Microsoft tweet — the original story says that the Windows 10 UI redesign is rumoured to take after Windows 10X, which is the company’s web-first platform. Dreadful.This tracks: https://t.co/65BlNGTGF4January 4, 2021
We hope Microsoft goes bold with this update, and makes something truly innovative, original and, dare we say, a true contender for macOS' clean and accessible interface (check out the most recent BigSur news here).
According to Windows Latest, the new UI may reach beta testing soon, with minor UI improvements ready for roll out as soon as the end of February. Watch this space for more.