Windows 10 Sun Valley update reveals ‘refreshed’ system icons with Fluent UI

Since the launch of Fluent Design, there has been a lot of
discussion about Microsoft’s future design direction,
especially for Windows 10. Falling under the banner of the “Sun
Valley” update, the highly anticipated “refresh” for Fluent
Design is now gradually rolling out in the preview builds and
app updates.

In the latest preview builds, Microsoft is enabling new system
icons for Windows 10. Once updated, users will notice a
refreshed Settings app with more rounded corners, which is part
of the Fluent Design refresh.

The current old system icons will lose their sharp appearance
for a very rounded and bulbous look that’s in line with the
Redmond giant’s current plan to make the design more appealing.
Hovering over these icons will also reveal the traditional
Fluent Design effect.

Windows 10 system settings

Microsoft is using Segoe font for Fluent icons and these
changes will be visible in the Start Menu, Settings app and
other pages.

New icons
New system icons vs Old system icons

As shown in the above screenshot, only apps that rely on Segoe
MDL2 assets will support more rounded, simplified and Fluent
icons.

Fluent Design icons

It’s worth noting that the iconography does not change
dramatically between the October 2020 Update and the Sun Valley
update, but the corner radius on buttons will change. For
developers, Microsoft is also working on new guidelines for
spacing, colour, rounded corners radius, and more to improve UI
consistency across the operating system.

I’m also told that
Microsoft is working on minor improvements for the Settings
app to bridge the gap between the modern and legacy Control
Panel pages. However, the Control Panel is not going anywhere,
at least not this year.

Is the Sun Valley update all about rounded corners?

So far, rounded corners appear to be the main focus of the Sun
Valley update, but Microsoft is also working on new features
and quality improvements.

Based on the references spotted in the preview builds, we’re
expecting the following improvements:

In internal documents, the Sun Valley project is also referred
to as ‘Windows 10++’ and we’ll likely see features as the year
progresses and especially as we head into the “What’s next for
Windows” event where
Microsoft is expected to announce the next generation of
Windows and Windows 10X.

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