Microsoft

Windows 10 makeover: Microsoft teases its new look

Microsoft has revealed some of the design changes headed to its flagship OS in the near future.

pip.png

The new Compact Overlay feature.

Image: Microsoft

The look and feel of Windows 10 continues to evolve, thanks to the steady stream of updates released under Microsoft's Windows-as-a-service model.

Now Microsoft has revealed some of the design changes headed to its flagship OS in the near future.

First up for Windows 10 is a new feature already found in Apple macOS Sierra, the ability to set a small version of a Universal Windows App window to always stay on top of other windows.

Keeping a window visible in this way could be useful for keeping an eye on video, said Dona Sarkar, software engineer with Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, for example, when checking the web during a Skype conversation or watching a movie while browsing email.

This new Compact Overlay feature is available in the latest preview build of Windows released under the Insider Program, build 15031, and is expected to be pushed out to all Windows users with the free Creators Update in April 2017. Microsoft says it will be taking advantage of the feature in future releases of its Movies & TV and Skype Preview apps.

SEE: Windows 10: What's in the new Start menu and other Creators Update features

Microsoft also revealed a sneak peek at what is expected to be the next major change in Windows design, known as Project Neon, believed to be heading to Windows as part of an update in Fall this year.

During the livestream for the Windows Developer Day event yesterday, showed the slide below, captured by Windows Central, which offered a glimpse at Project Neon design in the background.

windowsneon.png
Image: Microsoft / Windows Central

The tweaks to the design are expected to introduce animations and effects that echo those used in the Aero Glass design found in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

One new feature is rumored to be Acrylic, which will blur the background, sidebar or nav for apps, depending on how a Universal Windows App is being used.

The Project Neon design is expected to be rolled out to Windows 10 in Fall of this year.

Away from design, another new feature in the most recent Insider preview build, and due to land with the Creators Update in April, is Dynamic Lock. This feature automatically locks a Windows 10 PC when the user leaves the machine for more than 30 seconds, which the OS determines by detecting the presence of a Bluetooth-paired phone.

Read more on Windows 10...

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox