Windows 10 will be returning to a look from the Windows 7,
Vista and XP era as Microsoft is planning to embrace rounded
corners for top-level windows.
Up until metro UI-based Windows 8, Microsoft has been using
aero effect and rounded corners across all app windows.
However, the approach changed after Windows 8 was released with
sharp corners and live tiles.
According to a new clarification issued by Microsoft on
Windows 10’s highly-anticipated WinUI will also bring
rounded corners to top-level windows and pop-ups of apps, but
implementation will be up to the app developers.
This means you can expect app windows with rounded corners,
similar to the default layout that we had on Windows.
As you can see in the mockup screenshot of Teams desktop app
below, Microsoft is clearly replacing the sharp edges that
served as the foundation of Windows 8’s Metro UI.
This restyled UI is part of the Fluent Design makeover, as the
company itself confirmed in its GitHub project.
Rounded corners are supposed to go live in the second half of
2021, but as it typically happens when major changes are
released, Microsoft will first allow testers in the Windows
Insider program to try the new UI before others.
If we’re lucky and Microsoft sticks to its own internal
schedule, we might get a glimpse of Windows 10’s new UI in the
preview builds by Spring 2021 (Q3-Q5).
The other big aesthetic changes are coming to Windows 10 app
icons. Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced a new standard
icon shape that looks a lot more colourful and curved.
The design language is still Fluent Design, but it’s constantly
evolving and it now puts emphasis on shadows and round edges.
It’s also worth noting that new rounded corners design is
already a part of key Windows 10 apps including Calculator,
Alarms & Clock, Calendar, and even Windows Terminal. In fact,
new rounded corners design is actively used in the new
Chromium-based Edge browser.