Microsoft is said to be working on a major overhaul for Windows 10 due for release in the second half of this year. A recent job listing was also spotted that hinted at a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows”, providing credence to reports about the revamp. While glimpses of what the upcoming designs might look like were provided by the updated Alarms & Clock app and the latest News and interests section in the Insider builds, that’s all there is to work with, currently.
Now, a new report from Windows Central’s Zac Bowden sheds light on the possible changes coming to Windows 10. The information comes from sources close to the Redmond firm’s plans, based on which the publication has also created a few mockups. Changes and refreshes are expected to be made to the Start Menu, taskbar, Action Center, in-box apps, and more, along with new OS features.
Windows 10X Action Center mockup | Image credit: Windows Central
As reported earlier, the focus is expected to bring about a consistent user interface for the various parts of the OS, including consistent design elements such as rounded corners – something that some apps like Calculator have already begun receiving. The firm is also reportedly aiming to simplify the taskbar design by moving icons into a redesigned Action Center – a component that might be shared with Windows 10X. The Action Center is said to sport individual sections for media, notifications, and quick settings.
Windows 10 Sun Valley Start Menu mockup | Image credit: Windows Central
Unsurprisingly, the Start Menu too will feature rounded corners and an updated design. Bowden speculates that the firm might offer users the option to switch between live tiles and a simplistic menu – like the one expected to debut with Windows 10X. The Start Menu, Action Center, and context menus on the taskbar – such as the Jump Lists might hover over the taskbar and could be “visually separated”. The OS is also said to bring some new animations for a more fluid experience.
As for OS features, the company is reportedly planning to bring improvements to Settings in the way of a new battery usage chart – akin to what is present in mobile OSes – that provides granular power consumption information. Multitasking abilities are also said to be getting a few new features, with Snap Assist gaining the ability to let users snap two Edge tabs side-by-side and improvements to scaling when moving across different displays. There also could be a new “dashboard” feature in the Task View area that displays users’ account summary and calendar information.
Windows 10 Sun Valley Snap Assist mockup | Image credit: Windows Central
Other enhancements reportedly in the works include improvements to voice and pen input capabilities, a new “gesture layer” aimed at making touch-based navigation easier by introducing trackpad-like gestures to navigate through the OS, and the ability to allow users to uninstall many in-box apps – a feature aimed at “power users”.
Microsoft is expected to start testing Sun Valley bits with Windows Insiders in the next few weeks. The firm is reportedly planning to sign off the final build sometime in June, with a public release expected to happen in October. It will be interesting to see how this update shapes up. As with all rumors and internal reports, plans could change at any time and the company could decide to delay any of the reported features if they are not ready in time.
Source: Windows Central