Image: Microsoft

Windows 10 isn’t the worst-looking operating system out there, but certain aspects of its user interface are in dire need of an overhaul. These would include archaic icons, many of which date back decades and have become major eye sores – but changes are finally afoot.

Microsoft has begun rolling out the first of its Fluent Design icons to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, adding a colorful element to built-in apps such as Alarms & Clock, Calculator, Mail, and Calendar. Many of them seem inspired by Android’s Material Design language, but they’re a definite upgrade from the “flat, monochrome” icons that were previously employed.

Image: Microsoft

The Fluent Design System introduces “depth and color to our iconography,” explained Microsoft. “These additional cues are subtle, but they make a world of difference when scanning an interface. We live among multiple operating systems, constantly switching between tasks, priorities, and identities. The addition of color also gives a cohesive design language across platforms: the icon that’s familiar in Windows 10 is the same on Android, iOS, and Mac, providing a wayfinding path across your digital life.”

Windows Insiders in the Release Preview and Fast rings can enjoy these visual upgrades immediately, but the new icons won’t roll out to other users until the next major update. That would be Windows 10 20H1, which is set for release in Spring.

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  1. I like these new icons. I’m no longer opted in to the Insider builds, but it’ll be cool when they get released in a future public revisionary update.

  2. I do too. Lately it’s begun to feel like we’re all going back to 8 bit / monochrome days with so many designs it’s nice to some pizazz again.

  3. I never understood why Windows went for the “Fisher Price My First Computer” look with Windows 8. We have power to spare to have a snazzy interface. As long as it runs well and we don’t loose too much performance with it, I think people are fine with it. Even if there not, just make it a setting as they had done in the past.

    It’s not complicated.

  4. I kinda liked Aero on Win7, but I would admit it looks a bit dated by today’s standard.

    I don’t mind Win10, but it doesn’t exactly grab me. I never did get used to Live Tiles, I only very rarely use the Start Menu in the first place.

  5. Dont see a greatness per se…, it reminds me of Chinese cheap devices i have used for some reason.. but okay . Feels like a discussion from 1998 or something.
    I always thought ms would go perhaps experimental with touch screens like a sphere on which most used apps would be in the visible front and active programs would be in like a cylinder with the middle one being the selection ( its not new, but make it cool visually). So on.. a but if crazy on top of more normal windows… But no we got fisher Price… Glad thats dead for sure.

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