Microsoft is planning a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows” that is designed to signal to users of the operating system that “Windows is BACK.” That’s according to a job listing posted by Microsoft recently, advertising for a software engineering role in the Windows Core User Experiences team:
“On this team, you’ll work with our key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers.”
Microsoft quietly removed references to this “sweeping visual rejuvenation” this morning, after several Windows enthusiasts spotted the job listing over the weekend. While Microsoft has been promising visual overhauls of Windows 10 for years, thanks to its Fluent Design system, rumors suggest the company is planning big user interface changes for Windows that will debut later this year.
Codenamed Sun Valley, Windows Central first reported on these UI changes back in October. Microsoft is planning to overhaul the Start menu, File Explorer, and built-in apps in Windows 10 to modernize them and make the UI more consistent. Some of the UI changes will also include updates to the sliders, buttons, and controls that are found throughout Windows and the apps that run on the OS.
Microsoft is also working on improving its tablet mode experience, particularly how devices like the company’s Surface line switch between mouse / trackpad usage and and touch-based interactions.
Microsoft has been working on improving its UI consistency throughout Windows in recent years, and a lot of that will be found in Windows 10X. The company also rolled out new Windows 10 icons nearly a year ago, followed by some minor tweaks to the Start menu a few months later.
All of this work comes as Microsoft has signaled a renewed interest in Windows. Surface chief Panos Panay took on the additional role of looking after Windows back in October, after previously teasing some additional Windows 10 UI changes last year. After a jump in Windows usage due to the pandemic, it feels like Microsoft might be more ready than ever to give its operating system the UI polish it has been promising for years.