Microsoft is planning to announce UI refreshment for Windows 10 that is supposed to make Windows 10 more modern than ever. The concept screenshots of forthcoming UI have been leaked. As you guys can see in the concept images, the left pane of the Groove Music has got glassy UI, which is a familiar UI element for the who used Windows Vista and 7 Aero Glass style. The new UI elements will be available to all the existing Windows 10 users as a minor software update later this year. Yes, despite the navigation bar changes and the addition of smooth transition animation, the report said that it will rollout as a minor update that builds on current Windows 10 UI (a.k.a MDL2).
Microsoft has codenamed it Project NEON. The concept has already been demoed internally to the engineers. To remind you, Windows Vista and 7 had Aero Glass style, which essentially blurs out navigation areas of foreground apps to provide slight transparent look but it was ditched in Windows 8 and Windows 10 for some reason. The exact same concept was introduced by Apple in a recent version of macOS. You can check out the images for a better idea. The Project NEON will basically bring back legacy Aero Glass Style with new beautiful animations.
Microsoft is introducing new components to achieve this – “Side-Nav Acrylic,” “Background Acrylic” and “In-App Acrylic,” respectively. The navigation bar in the Groove music app in the posted screenshots use Side-Nav Acrylic component. The acrylics will work with Conscious UI and Connected Animations to provide more liveliness to the UI with user interactions. We are expecting to see the majority of the Microsoft’s modern apps with new UI elements such as Groove Music, Mail, Weather, etc. Meanwhile, third-party developers may also bring this new UI to their apps. Lastly, Project NEON will also focus a lot on 3D and HoloLens interactions.
Microsoft is planning to clear obstacles for bringing these meaningful UI changes across the OS with Redstone 3 release, which will be released after Redstone 2. If you aren’t familiar, Redstone 2 is set to rollout as Creators Update in April 2017.