With Windows 10 Sun Valley Update, Microsoft will make quite a
few changes to the basic design of the operating system. The
most noticeable change, affecting your apps, is that the window
(container) for Win32 and UWP apps will now feature rounded
corners — just like everything else in WinUI-based apps.
Rounded corners are a common part of mobile operating systems,
but they’re not something that you’ll easily find on Windows
10. After Windows 10’s launch, all apps, tools and other pages
have always used square or rectangular design.
Previous versions of Windows like Windows 7 and Vista have had
rounded corners, but the approach changed when Microsoft
switched to their ‘Metro’ user interfaces with Windows 8, which
relied heavily on straighter look, sharp edges, live tiles, and
Recently, though, Microsoft’s design team decided to ditch
sharp corners for rounded corners.
It looks like Microsoft is also planning to change the padding
around the minimize, maximize and close window controls, with a
new screenshot from Microsoft Build 2021 developer conference
keynotes confirming the new look.
As you can see in the above mockup, Microsoft is dropping edges
on apps like Chromium Ege to replace them with smooth, rounded
corners. To improve the rounded corners experience, Microsoft
will also modify the padding of minimize, maximize and close
Microsoft has also posted a mockup of Microsoft Teams and
Outlook PWA for Windows with the same rounded edges,
padding changes. If you look closely, the corners of the app’s
window are rounded.
The current version of Microsoft Edge, Teams or Outlook
features sharp corners, giving it a more formal and modern
look. This new look is in contrast to macOS, which also uses
rounded corners in its design language.
Context menu with rounded corners
In the preview builds, Microsoft has quietly enabled rounded
corners/edges for the context menu (right-click menus) within
Windows 10’s Task View.
These modern menus are expected to be widely used in the new UI
instead of the classic right-click menus. There’ll be rounded
corners for interface panels and menus too, and they gravitate
towards a more Mac-like appearance.
As you see in the below concept, Microsoft is also exploring
new icons, fonts, and animations for the Windows apps.
Ahead of the
June 24 event, Microsoft’s enterprise apps like
Sysinternals tools have already been updated with a code that
detects the upcoming OS colours/theme assets.
It appears that these advanced tools are looking for new system
colours, themes and other personalization settings and
attempting to rely on assets currently missing from the preview
builds of Windows 10.