Microsoft is planning to refresh the Windows 10 user interface using a new design language. An update that’s referred to internally as Project Neon. Little is known about exactly what Project Neon Windows 10 UI will change, but the screenshot you see above, shared on Twitter by Tom Hounsell, is the best hint yet at how Windows 10 is going to change its look in the near future.
Windows 10 is meant to be the last version of Windows, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to remain a static operating system. Microsoft intends to keep tweaking it as and when necessary, and with the number of devices running Windows expanding, Microsoft clearly thinks it’s necessary.
That’s where Project Neon comes in. It’s meant to refresh the Windows user interface to allow it to exist on new types of device. For example, Microsoft’s own HoloLens devices, other augmented reality and possibly virtual reality platforms, smartphones and tablets, and of course Xbox One. At the same time, Neon must continue to cater to desktop users and hopefully the UI tweaks improve rather than detract from the desktop experience.
Details are thin on the ground, but the focus according to Windows Central seems to be on “fluidity.” So as well as the color tweaks apparent in the screenshot above, we should expect a lot of new animations, effects, typography, and seamless transitions as we load applications, switch between them, and generally multitask.
The next time we should expect to see more information about Project Neon is at Microsoft’s BUILD 2017 developer conference on May 10. However, the Neon APIs are apparently already available to developers in the latest preview builds of Windows 10. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few screenshots and even videos appearing before BUILD kicks off