Microsoft Makes Significant Windows 10 Design Changes

Ankit Meena January 9, 2017
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Microsoft

In recent years Microsoft MSFT +0.87% has talked a lot about how it ‘cleaned up’ Windows. How Windows 8 then Windows 10 successively cut back on animations, shadows, and transparency effects introduced by Windows 7 ‘Aero’. Well now the company is taking a trip back to the future…

MSPoweUser has managed to attain an upcoming build of Windows 10 and it contains the first changes introduced by ‘Project NEON’ – a user interface upgrade. And guess what? They look a lot like Windows 7 Aero with a dash of Windows Phone and Android’s Material Design thrown in for good measure.

While this news will no doubt cause a chuckle or two, Microsoft should actually be commended. In my opinion, Windows 10 went too far with its minimalism and the new focus on animations, depth and consistency is a welcome return to a more intuitive interface.

MSPowerUser points in particular to a new component called ‘Acrylic’, which adds blur to the background, sidebar and navigation within an app (as seen above).

Acrylic is combined with Microsoft is calling the ‘Conscious UI’ and ‘Connected Animations’ where the former reacts to whatever is behind the current app or window and the latter is much like Material Design where the UI animates to show a transition between actions. For example the shrinking of a musician’s image when your start scrolling down their discography in Groove Music.

The changes in Project Neon will be seen throughout Windows 10, MSPowerUser has examples in Outlook Mail, Calendar and says the taskbar will change in future as well. While there’s more significant response to simple actions like a mouse pointer passing over different elements of the UI.

Furthermore, despite the preview build, the early word is the new animations and effects are extremely smooth. Though there’s no information yet regarding the power requirements/performance hit involved.

Needless to say, until the alterations are part of an official final release much could change. When will that release be? MSPowerUser says the first alterations will appear in the (horribly named) ‘Creators Update’, which follows last year’s (equally horribly named) ‘Anniversary Update’. Seriously Microsoft, what’s wrong with Windows 10.1 and 10.2?

The Creators Update will appear in April with a full rollout of Project Neon not due until ‘Redstone 3’ (which Microsoft won’t sensibly call Windows 10.3) in the latter half of 2017. But from what we see here, good things come to those who wait…

Category: Microsoft
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Ankit Meena

Ankit Rajilwar is the founder and editor of The Insight Corporation. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Facebook.

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