Windows 10 is the most dynamic version of Windows yet. Not only does it get rolling updates in between bi-annual major feature updates, Microsoft has also changed its appearance, albeit in small bits and pieces only. Windows 10, however, is due for a major visual overhaul, along with some behavior changes. Microsoft has been teasing bits and pieces of that future but Panos Panay has just given the public its biggest peek yet.
A lot is changing in Windows 10, though Microsoft has mostly talked about the icons and its Fluent design language. The video Panay shared on Instagram was made to commemorate Windows reaching a 1 billion milestone and it briefly chronicles the evolution of the Windows logo through the years. Fortunately, there was also plenty of material when comparing the current Windows 10 to the upcoming new design.
The biggest and most prominent change has to do not just with the icons but the way they are presented in the Start Menu. Colors have shifted away from the tile background to the icons themselves, leaving the tiles more like translucent glass between the icon and the Start Menu’s surface. Live Tiles are also still there but they now have a different representation as Wide tiles.
File Explorer and Calendar apps get their new, clean look while the right-click context menu has apparently acquired a Back action. The items on the taskbar are also getting both a visual change and a cleanup while keeping much of the functionality the same.
Windows is embarking on a new era, and not just because Windows 10 reached 1 billion devices. Microsoft is mixing it up and redefining it to work in different contexts and even different kinds of devices. Unfortunately, all of these admittedly beautiful changes will be lost on users if Microsoft doesn’t clean up its update act.