Windows could get design language overhaul

Project NEON, expected in a major Windows 10 update next year, will give the UI a modern look—hopefully

Windows could be getting a design language overhaul

Microsoft is reported to be working on a new design language, which affects how the UI looks and functions, that will eventually be rolled into one of the major Windows 10 updates coming out next year. 

Windows Central said Microsoft is working on what it called Microsoft Design Language 2 (MDL2), or Project NEON. A design language is a term that refers to a language for how controls, fonts and iconography in the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10 are controlled. It manages things such as switches, toggles, pickers and dialog windows. 

You know and hate MDL1 already. It was Metro, introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7. It introduced the flat, dull UI instead of the more 3D-looking skeuomorphism that iOS and Android were adopting. 

Windows Central said Project NEON has been in the works for over a year internally at Microsoft. It builds upon the design language introduced with Windows 10, with its simple and basic look, but adds some much-needed flair to the UI "that the current design language just lacks." 

Windows UI overhaul needed

I couldn't agree more. In the end, it wasn't the spying that turned me off to Windows 10; it was the downright ugly and amateur look of the UI. WindowsBlinds made it tolerable, but it couldn't change the ugly look of any system pieces, just third-party apps. It was only recently that WindowsBlinds was able to skin Windows 10 system components. 

Windows Central said details are still scarce, but part of the plans are to add more animations and transitions, with the overall goal of making the UI very fluid and "beautiful" compared to the current, almost static UI. They even said NEON serves as a bridge between holographic and augmented reality (AR) and the desktop environment.

All I can say is anything that makes Windows 10 prettier is OK in my book. Windows Central estimates MDL2 will show up in Redstone 3, which should ship in the fall of 2017. Redstone 2, the next major update to Windows 10, is projected for a spring release.

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