Microsoft’s Project Neon redesigns Windows 10

Default avatar.
February 16, 2017
Microsoft’s Project Neon redesigns Windows 10.
Thanks to Microsoft’s radical redesign of Windows 10, you may not recognize much of the classic operating system’s UI anymore. That’s because the company has decided to go in a new direction, cleaning up the software’s interface for a more minimalist approach. According to a recent tweet by Tom Hounsell, a Microsoft enthusiast and the developer behind BuildFeed—the Windows build tracker—the redesign removes a few of the classic features of Windows that users are familiar with and replaces them with significant changes, mainly to the open windows and taskbar areas. It seems that design elements like the title bar and windows borders—mainstays of Microsoft UIs—have fallen out of favor in this latest update. The screen grab by Hounsell shows that Microsoft is dropping both for Windows 10. As for the well-known close, maximize, minimize, and restore buttons, they’ve been fused into the window itself, so any content goes straight to the edge. Overall, this makes for a crisper and simpler appearance that removes any hints of frills and gimmicks in the design. The taskbar gets a blander look, as it appears to lose color in this iteration. As for the app icons themselves—something really interesting is going on with them, color-wise. While they’re going to automatically show up black, they’ll return to their ‘regular’ colors when each app is up and running in the OS. Also of note is the so-called “Acrylic” element that’s actually not as new as the other design changes in this update. This component is essentially just a new approach to the old “Aero,” which was around during the Vista era; it blurred background apps and interface elements. While the approach is doubtlessly more modern, questions being raised include whether or not longtime Windows users are going to positively receive this new approach, as well as how easily said users will take to the new UI. Needless to say, it’s going to take some time to get used to, both from an aesthetic and functional sense. Designers and users excited about this preview will have to wait just a bit longer in order to get their hands on a usable version of Windows 10 with this redesign. The company has plans to officially reveal this new appearance in a Windows 10 update later this year. Project Neon, as this new redesign is internally known at Microsoft, is only the latest in a memorable history of disputable UI-design decisions at the company. Who could forget 2012’s foray into ultra-simple flat design with the Metro Tile unveiling? That radical redesign was the subject of some criticism, as traditional desktop users felt that it was awkward and hard to use while tablet and mobile users generally felt that it was better. Only time will tell if the company’s Windows 10 design reboot will spark the same type of mixed reviews or will instead be received warmly by a broad base of users this time around.

Marc Schenker

Marc’s a copywriter who covers design news for Web Designer Depot. Find out more about him at thegloriouscompanyltd.com.

Read Next

6 Best AI Productivity Apps in 2024

There’s no escaping it: if you want to be successful, you need to be productive. The more you work, the more you…

3 Essential Design Trends, February 2024

From atypical typefaces to neutral colors to unusual user patterns, there are plenty of new website design trends to…

Surviving the Leap from College to Real-World Design

So, you’ve finished college and are ready to showcase your design skills to the world. This is a pivotal moment that…

20 Mind-Bending Illusions That Will Make You Question Reality

Mind-bending videos. Divisive Images. Eye-straining visuals. This list of optical illusions has it all. Join us as we…

15 Best New Fonts, February 2024

Welcome to February’s roundup of the best new fonts for designers. This month’s compilation includes some innovative…

The 10 Best WordPress Quiz Plugins in 2024

Whether it’s boosting your organic search visibility or collecting data for targeted email marketing campaigns, a great…

20 Best New Websites, February 2024

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so this latest collection is a billet-doux celebrating the best of the web this month.

Everything You Need to Know About Image Formats In 2024

Always trying to walk the tightrope between image quality and file size? Looking to branch out from JPGs and PNGs this…

The 10 Best Logos of 2023 - Ranked

From vintage aesthetics to innovative new color schemes, we’ve seen a lot of creative logo designs this year. In this…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, February 2024

2024 is well underway and shaping up to be an interesting year. So, to help you keep your focus on working hard and…

The Art of Engineering AI Prompts

In the rapidly evolving world of artificial intelligence, the ability to communicate effectively with AI tools has…

15 Best New Fonts, January 2024

In this month’s roundup of the best new fonts, we find a large number of vintage, retro, and revival typefaces. Is it…