There will be a major UI overhaul in Windows 10 version 21H2

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.

Windows 10 New Icons 4

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.

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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

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6 thoughts on “There will be a major UI overhaul in Windows 10 version 21H2

  1. Zelanium

    Dark mode for traditional applications sounds great. Round corners are a waste of time. Changes to the File Explorer UI sound like a declaration of war. If they want to improve Explorer, bring tabs, more configuration options and dual pane support. Don’t turn it into a fake Android app.

    I won’t upgrade if they ruin Explorer; I also won’t upgrade if I get the useless 10X start menu.

    Reply
  2. TheBocaDeb

    I’ve got some ideas…

    1/ Microsoft should stop trying to fix what was never broke in the first place.

    2/ Microsoft should depricate Nadella in favor of someone who understands useability, real-world testing, and hands-on management.

    3/ Microsoft should drop the hard sell nag screens that Nadella is so fond of because no one pays attention (or blocks them) in the first place.

    As always, sarcasm fully intended. Sergey, keep up the good work! Thank you!

    Debby H.
    TheBocaDeb
    Boca Raton – Florida – USA

    Reply
  3. JB

    I want a selection of desktop environments to choose from.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Wrong OS mate :-)

      Reply
  4. matthiew

    I wish they would put more focus on fixing the current Start Menu, Taskbar, and Action Center. They’ve been buggy for 8 years now.

    Reply
  5. ANDREW BALL

    A return of Windows aero is what I would like to see, none of this depending on third parties for my Vista/7 fix

    Reply

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