Microsoft unifying its Windows Experience and Surface hardware teams under product chief Panos Panay was a strong indication that the company was taking the Windows 10 redesign seriously in order to evolve it with emerging dual-screen devices and to bring it on par with existing high-end Surface hardware. In celebration of a major user milestone achieved by the OS earlier this week, the company’s product chief teased a new UI showcasing several new features and changes that users can expect in the future.
Windows 10 design revamp efforts have been keeping Microsoft busy for quite some time now. We’ve seen its Fluent Design language dictate the look and feel of new app icons as well as the Start Menu layout on the desktop. Similar UI changes have made their way to Windows 10X, the touch-friendly dual-screen OS that recently previewed a new lightweight File Explorer.
Although Windows Insiders (and curious readers) have been keeping up with these updates, a recent video posted on Instagram by chief product officer Panos Panay reveals several new features and UI changes that testers and general users alike can look forward to.
Celebrating Windows 10’s recent one billion users milestone, the teaser starts with a short trip down memory lane before showing off the restyled Start Menu with translucent Live Tiles spaced further away from the programs list on the left.
Other noticeable items popping up with the clappy, upbeat tune is a new File Explorer app, similarly styled to its 10X counterpart, alongside new apps for Photo and Calculator, and updated context menus.
Windows heading towards a cohesive design direction (at least on the surface) is a positive development; however, it remains to be seen how long-standing UI/UX challenges such as inconsistent design patterns (Settings/Control Panel) and evolution of legacy apps, among others, are dealt with going forwards.
Another issue, though at a more fundamental level, are problematic OS updates that have increasingly become the norm. Should this trend continue, a more serious bug slipping through Windows Update could now put a billion users (and counting) at risk.