Microsoft is said to be working on a visual overhaul for
Windows 10 that’s set for release this October/November. The
update is internally known as the Sun Valley, also known as
‘version 21H2’, will introduce a “sweeping visual
rejuvenation of Windows,” including a new interface for Start
Menu, significant improvements for Explorer, and more.
Microsoft is constantly testing out new UI features for Windows
10, and on apps like Alarms & Clock, we’ve been seeing quite a
few different adjustments as of late. One of the most notable
alterations appears to be the introduction of rounded corners,
but it looks like the update will also include a new “floating”
Reports have suggested that
Microsoft is working on a floating Start Menu, which will
appear visually separated from the taskbar. So far, we’ve only
seen Windows 10’s rumoured Sun Valley design in unofficial
Today, we’re getting our first look at the actual code in the
preview builds, which confirms that the leaks were accurate.
The new UI for taskbar jumplist (right-click menu) places menus
within a floating box. The feature is currently hidden behind
the experimental flag “JumpListRestyledAcrylic”, which can be
activated if you debug the ShellExperienceHost.exe using Visual
Studio and set “JumpListRestyledAcrylic” to visible.
Instead of being attached to the taskbar, right-click menu for
pinned/open apps, flyouts, etc will now float above the
taskbar, leaving a visible gap. The same floating design is
also coming to Action Center, Clock flyout, Volume flyout, and
WiFi flyout. However, at the moment, the design is only
live for the jumplist menu.
Microsoft is still developing the floating UI feature and it
currently works partially, as shown in the below GIF.
The floating menus are something we’ve already seen in preview
builds of Windows 10X and other operating systems like macOS.
These overhauls will be part of the Sun Valley update and the
final version will not have the borders. You can expect them to
look and work better than the current implementation.
At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be any options to turn
off the floating interface in Windows 10. However, the default
functionality of core components won’t be radically different
from the current version and it shouldn’t bother most people.
For enthusiasts, Microsoft is believed to be working on bigger
changes, including a new optional Start Menu.
According to reports,
Microsoft is set to hold a ‘What’s new for Windows’ event in
May. This special event could also be a session at the big
Build 2021 conference, which is set to begin in the last week
Previous reports have suggested that Windows 10 Sun Valley
update will be finalized in May and begin rolling out to
consumers in October or November.
Before Sun Valley launch, Windows 10 is expected to get version
21H1 “Spring 2021” update with quality improvements.
The experimental flag was first noticed by Dan,
highlighted by Rafael
on Twitter, and confirmed by our team.