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Microsoft should trash its new Windows 10 Recycle Bin

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Windows fans have complained about Microsoft’s use of iconography for years. Whether it was the lack of icons to identify key folders on the Windows Vista Start Menu, numerous quirky icons for error messages, or even the mix of modern and old icons in Windows 8 — Microsoft has always failed to fully fix its icon issues. Windows 10 looks like it might finally address concerns over aging iconography, but the new replacements are a startling mix of bright colors and simplicity.

Read next: Our Windows 10 review.

Microsoft is preparing to release an updated Windows 10 Technical Preview with a series of updates to the operating system’s iconography. One obvious change is the Recycle Bin icon that sits on the desktop. Microsoft has tweaked its Recycle Bin several times during the Windows lifetime, but it kept the same Windows 7 version for the Windows 8 release. The new Windows 10 version, revealed earlier this month by Chinese site IT Home, looks like someone created it using Microsoft Paint. I recreated the simple shape in less than a minute in Fresh Paint, and the result is equally impressive (it sucks).

Windows 10 recycle bin drawing
The Recycle Bin isn’t the only icon that’s getting an overhaul. Microsoft appears to be refreshing all the aging icons with "modern" versions. The running theme is flat, simplistic, basic icons that are very colorful. The reaction has been similar to when Microsoft first introduced its Luna visual style to Windows XP. The blue-and-green user interface was dubbed "Fisher-Price" back in 2001, only to be loved by the masses and still used widely 14 years on. Feedback on the initial Windows 10 icon changes has already been largely negative, and these upcoming tweaks will likely generate even more discussions.

Windows 10 is still a work in progress so it’s difficult to judge the entire user interface until Microsoft is ready to show us a complete version. That will arrive in the coming months, but overhauling the entire iconography is a step in the right direction. Microsoft just needs to trash its latest Recycle Bin icon in the mean time, or show testers why it makes sense for the overall UI. If not, it’s about time that the Windows UI task force returned to highlight Microsoft’s inconsistencies.

Windows 10 icons