The UI update project is internally codenamed "Sun Valley"
Microsoft is about to bring major interface changes to Windows 10 in 2021. It is expected to reach consumers in the Windows 10 "Cobalt" release scheduled for the holiday 2021 season, and expected to be
Windows 10 version 21H2.
Microsoft is about to update many top-level user interfaces such as the Start menu, Action Center, and even File Explorer, with refreshed modern designs, better animations, and new features. Microsoft is internally referring to the UI update by the "Sun Valley" code name. Internal documentation describes the project as "reinvigorating" and modernizing the Windows desktop experience to align it with existing modern and lightweight platforms.
Maybe the new Sun Valley project is that Microsoft meant by "reinvesting in Windows 10".
What exactly will be changed?
There is no much info regarding the Sun Valley, but sources close to Microsoft point to expect new Start menu and Action Center experiences, most likely similar to what Windows 10X has, but tailored for desktop.
Microsoft is also working on an updated Taskbar built with modern code, and an improved UI for the classic File Explorer app.
Tablet users will get better animations and a more "fluid experience" is on the cards. Pieces of these updates are already in the Dev channel of Windows 10, e.g. an updated touch keyboard. Rounder corners for controls and windows is another thing to come.
Classic apps should receive support for the built-in dark theme, and modern Store apps should receive interface updates and improvements thanks to WinUI.
This change is yet another attempt by Microsoft to resolve existing inconsistencies between the modern and classic Desktop parts of Windows. The problem remains since Windows 8, and Windows 10 has only slightly improved in this area.
Keep in mind that Microsoft can shift the release time or even completely cancel the plan to update the Windows 10 UI, so it is hard to predict when exactly we will see it live. Microsoft is hoping to have most of this work done by the end of the
Cobalt development semester, which is a code name for Windows 10 version 21H2.
Windows 10 version 21H2 is expected to have an RTM build in June 2021 that will eventually become available to OEMs and in the Beta Channel. It should be shipped to consumers in Autumn of 2021.
Via Windows Central