In a recent for a senior software engineer, Microsoft remarked that they were planning on making some extensive visual changes to the Windows UI to remind their user base that Windows is still a hip OS, as reported by Windows Latest.
The listing stated: “On this team, you’ll work with our key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers.” The ad has since been altered to remove any references to this Windows makeover, as Windows enthusiasts began to notice it in the listing.
Codenamed Sun Valley, the UI reboot was originally back in late October 2020. According to this report, the planned refresh will most likely arrive as part of Windows 10 Cobalt during the 2021 holiday season, and will be bringing significant updates to user-interfaces like the File Explorer, Action Center, and Start menu. The update is meant to modernize the user experience to match a world that has become accustomed to more lightweight and navigable platforms.
Microsoft has been focusing on its visual and tactile experience with Windows products in recent years, working to improve mouse vs trackpad interactions and touch sensitivity on Surface products, along with releasing and last year. All of these improvements reflect Microsoft’s renewed desire to improve Windows following moves like putting in charge of Windows client and hardware as a whole, and .
Microsoft had previously split Windows after former Windows head Terry Myerson left the company, with most of Windows’ core development being moved over to Azure, the cloud and AI team. Now that development is all back under one roof. With , this was probably just the shot in the arm Microsoft needed to make good on its long promised UI changes.