Microsoft shows off its Fluent Design changes to Windows 10

Microsoft first unveiled its Fluent Design language earlier this year, promising subtle changes to the company’s software in the future. The first part of Fluent Design will appear in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update release tomorrow, but Microsoft is preparing more in the coming months. Most of the existing changes include subtle additions like blur effects, which is a type of design we saw back with Windows Vista.

All of the new design changes to Windows 10 are demonstrated in a new video from Microsoft. It’s a good showcase of how subtle the changes are, but it doesn’t tease much for the future. Microsoft’s Fluent Design System is designed to be the true successor to Microsoft's Metro design, and will appear across apps and services on Windows, iOS, and Android. Microsoft is focusing on light, depth, motion, material, and scale for its Fluent Design, with animations that make the design feel like it's moving during interactions in Windows.

We’re expecting to see even more changes in the next Windows 10 update, which is currently codenamed Redstone 4. Microsoft has started testing the initial features for this update, which is expected to arrive in March. The biggest addition so far is a new Cortana Collections feature, which will see and remember your browsing habits. As Microsoft progresses its testing, we’ll see more features added, alongside the return of the Timeline feature to improve resuming apps across Windows PCs and iOS or Android.

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All I see is apps being modified in there.

What about explorer and the desktop? Icons etc. are where the real mess in Windows lies.

The real mess is the Control Panel. Its design is coming straight from Windows 7! After having used Windows 8/8.1/10 for many years, I still can’t figure out which settings are accessible in the settings app and which are in the Control Panel.

Yes! Please fix the Settings/Control Panel mess. Why is this taking so long?

They have to rewrite big chunks of code, so they’re prioritising those used by most people..

So, by that excuse, they will NEVER redesign the Control Panel. They’ve been prioritising other stuff for 10 years.

What settings are you changing in the control panel at this point. For me the settings app covers anything I muck around with.

Lot of user account control settings are missing in the settings app (and are often awfully confusing). Network settings as well (though it has gotten a bit better). Hardware controls.

Like half the time where I open the settings app initially I end up in the control panel through some link or search in the settings app.

Try receiving a file using Bluetooth… that scroll menu is straight outta XP

I meant 95/98

I basically never use the settings app. Literally all the stuff I use is in control panel. For example, device manager. Advanced power options. Networking. User account options. The list goes on.

Even within the settings app, almost all of the "more options" links just go to the equivalent app in control panel.

I certainly have nothing against all these options being present in one modern settings app. But they aren’t, and since settings just links me to control panel anyway, I just go to control panel first. The Windows 10 settings app is really only needed for first-time setup, setting things like Windows Hello and privacy settings. These are things I usually don’t need to touch again. Control panel has all the stuff I need to change on a semi-regular basis.

Networking is inside of the settings app(not sure if it is all builds I’m on the fast ring on my MBP and don’t ever touch it on my desktop), power options and device manager are in the start menu jump list. Unless you need to do a lot of weird tweaks to users(someone below seems to change their display name a lot) then that is available in the setting app also.

There are a lot of settings that are not available in the settings app. Something you may not know if you don’t use them a lot.
I have to use them constantly, and I am constantly juggling back and forth. I try and get used to the Settings app, because I know it’s coming whether we like it or not, but if often forced me to go back to the control panel for simple things like changing the name of a user account.
Personally, I think the control panel works just fine and I could completely do without the settings app.

If that’s true, why aren’t they fixing the mail app? The search is terrible and it’s still tricky to move multiple items to a folder at once in touch mode.

I agree. Everywhere else search is instant, and yet on mail you have to click the magnifying glass…

I don’t even use their email app. I just use webmail. Often it’s much more mature than the crappy mail app. That app is too oversimplified. More garbage they just shouldn’t have bothered with.

Other than the weird search UI, I think mail works fine. No, it’s not Outlook but I find more useful than webmail by a loooooong stretch.

It looks pretty nice! I like how the design also applies to 3d (vr) space.

Does it matter? Just search for what you need and it’ll pop up …

I think the point is that it’s somewhat shameful that after over 20 years Microsoft either won’t or can’t figure out how to consolidate things into a nice, neat package. Instead Windows 10 is still using assets and features that debuted with Windows 98.

I’m guessing they can’t because of all the legacy applications that likely rely on code and/or features built 10 years ago and Microsoft doesn’t want to abandon them.

I think part of that problem is Windows users. If they changed the entire control panel all at once, there would be a massive outcry when no one could find things that have always been in the same place for decades. The slow and gradual approach may be technical – the sheer volume of work involved. Or, it may be intentional to ease users into a new paradigm little by little.

You are right and this is the number one reason windows is the way it is. But at this point it is just a huge mess and I don’t really care anymore that they piss of some users. Just get it over with already, Microsoft. Rip the bandaid off and revamp your expolorer, every single icon and all your settings menues. Make them nice, consistent and fully featured. I promise, I will explain to my mom very carefully how to use the new explorer.

This attempt to piss no one off is a typical symptom of products that are designed by committee. They might piss less people off today but in the long run they suffer from severe mediocrity. And no one wants mediocre stuff in their life.

I hear ‘ya, and I wouldn’t mind if they just bit the bullet, designed an all encompassing settings and removed the traditional control panel all together.

On the other hand, I really don’t care. I can find the stuff I need, when I need it. If it eases a significant number of people’s transition, so be it. I have better things to do than worry about two ways to access this or that setting. It’s just not an issue worth getting pissed over.

Now the blind forced reboots after updates regardless of what my system may be doing at the time (3D rendering, 3D printing, controlling a CNC Mill, etc.), now THAT is something to get pissed about!

This. It’s my mantra for any Windows 10 user just coming to the platform, even from other earlier Microsoft OS’es. The search option is so good now…problem being you often hafta know what you’re looking for, and the right terminology to find it.

problem being you often hafta know what you’re looking for, and the right terminology to find it.

This.

There are definitely times where I don’t know the exact name of what I need, but I’d be able to pick it out if it were in a menu.

The search is smarter than that, it doesn’t need exact names. It gives you plenty of related suggestions too, if you need a "menu".

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