Windows 10 to get a massive overhaul in 2021: What to expect

Envy x360 Windows 10
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Microsoft quietly announced its plan for a "sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows" in a newly posted job listing

The company is hiring a software engineer to join the Windows Core User Experience team, whose purpose is to build interfaces for Windows and Surface Hub customers. 

"You will have the opportunity to build delightful, polished, experiences for Windows as well as for our Surface Hub product line," the job listing reads. "You will play a key role in open-ended explorations, prototyping and identifying business opportunities for Windows experiences.  We're looking for collaborative engineers to bring their passion, drive and technical acumen to help us accomplish these goals."

An earlier version of the post included phrases that referenced an impending overhaul of the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft has since removed any mention of a "sweeping visual rejuvenation" after Twitter users discovered the listing. 

Windows 10 upcoming UI update

That Microsoft is planning to give Windows 10 a makeover comes as no surprise. Updates released in the past year have helped modernized Windows 10 by adopting Fluent, a design language that utilizes translucency, color uniformity, motion and lighting. 

The upcoming visual overhaul is reportedly codenamed Sun Valley and will arrive later in 2021, according to a revealing Windows Central report. When it does, Windows 10 will receive a new Start Menu, Action Center and File Explorer, a move that will bring new life to the most prominent and important interfaces seen throughout the OS. 

We're expecting new interfaces with rounded corners, an improved tablet experience, and broader dark mode support, among other major changes. The new UI is expected to debut as part of the Windows 10 Cobalt release for the holiday season.  

These updates will be separate from Windows 10X, an entirely new operating system originally meant for foldables and dual-screen devices. Delayed indefinitely, Windows 10X is still expected to arrive this year as a lightweight version of Windows. Built from the ground up, the OS will strip away legacy components in favor of a fast and contemporary user experience. It will, in some ways, be Microsoft's answer to Google's increasingly popular Chromebooks

As you can see, 2021 is shaping up to be an important year for Microsoft, and we haven't even mentioned the Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop 4, Surface Neo and other hardware expected to arrive this year. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.