Microsoft plans to release a major Windows 10 update next year that will bring significant changes to the operating system’s user interface. Many top-level interface elements, such as the Start menu, Action Center, and File Explorer, are reported to be affected. The source says that the interface design will become more modern, will receive improved animated elements and new functions.
The changes to the Windows 10 user interface are being developed as part of a project codenamed Sun Valley. It is assumed that they will be included in the next major update of the software platform, which is due out in the second half of 2021. Internal documentation describes the project as “revitalizing” and redesigning the Windows desktop that is necessary to keep up with customer expectations in a world driven by other modern and lightweight platforms.
It is worth noting that in recent years there have been no significant changes in the design and feature set of Windows 10, while other platforms have received a completely redesigned design and updated user interface during the same time. The changes that have come to Windows 10 since the start of Fluent Design are not a significant update or rethinking of the user interface.
On the Sun Valley project, it is being implemented by Windows Devices and Experiences, which was led earlier this year by Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. In May, Microsoft announced its intention to reinvest in Windows 10 and it looks like the Sun Valley project is the result of the work done.
It’s too early to tell what customers should expect from Sun Valley. The source says that the developers will introduce a new Start Menu and Action Center, which will be based on the same functionality as in Windows 10X, but adapted for desktops with a single screen. Microsoft is also working on an update for the Taskbar, which should get an improved interface. Most likely, the updated design will become an evolution of Fluent Design, since a new design style is not introduced with Sun Valley, but a kind of rethinking of previously used standards is provided.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s plans may change until the launch of the updated user interface for Windows 10. Updates can be postponed or radically transformed into something else. If everything goes according to plan, then most of the development should be completed in June 2021, when Microsoft will release an RTM build of the new version of Windows 10 and begin testing it among participants in the Insider program.
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