Microsoft Reveals New Windows UI with Floating Task Bar and Other Changes

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has accidentally revealed a UI design prototype for Windows, offering a potential glimpse at what future versions of the operating system might look like. Slides shown during the company’s recent Ignite 2022 event suggest that the company is planning to introduce a floating task bar, system icons in the top right, a floating search box in the top middle, and the weather in the top left. The changes appear to be inspired in some part by macOS.

Image: Windows Central

From a Windows Central report:

My inbox has since been filled with people asking if I know anything about this design. Is it just a wishful concept by an eager intern or a miscommunication between product and design teams? Normally, I’d have shrugged this off as one of those things, except I’ve seen this design prototype before.

Back when I first began hearing about the Next Valley release, I was also shown preliminary design ideas that were being explored internally. Microsoft is still in the prototyping stages for Next Valley, but my sources tell me that the UI briefly shown off at Ignite yesterday is representative of the design goals that Microsoft is hoping to achieve with the next version of Windows.

Microsoft rolled out its first major update for Windows 11 last month in the form of the Windows 11 2022 Update, introducing a tabbed File Explorer, enhancements to Snap layouts, and more. The operating system launched just over a year ago, on October 5, 2021.

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