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Microsoft planning to overhaul Windows to signal it is ‘BACK’

The update will ‘deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experience’ according to a job listing

Adam Smith
Monday 04 January 2021 17:44
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Microsoft faced criticism for its Productivity Score feature, which critics dubbed a workplace surveillance tool
Microsoft faced criticism for its Productivity Score feature, which critics dubbed a workplace surveillance tool

Microsoft is apparently planning a redesign of its Windows operating system that would include “a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences”.

A now-edited job listing was posted by the company, looking for a senior software engineer who would “work with our key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences”.

The advert also said that such a redesign would “signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers.”

According to Windows Latest, the changes to Windows 10 will include an overhaul to the Start menu, File Explorer, and built-in apps in order to make them more modern and give them a consistent user-interface between all software.

This also includes making a computer’s transition between tablet mode smoother, switching from a mouse-and-keyboard setup to touch-based use.

It is also likely that Microsoft will update its computers based on the announcements from Build 2020:  a search-bar similar to Spotlight on Apple’s computers and “Fluid Office” – a competitor to Google’s suite of online office applications such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides. 

This update would allow components to be created and inserted into documents, which then can be updated and editable at any time, no matter where they are created or how they are shared. 

These can then be incorporated into other Microsoft products, such as Teams (its collaboration platform and Slack competitor).

A new version of Outlook, called “One Outlook”, also leaked today.  "One Outlook (or 'Monarch') is the new version of Outlook designed for large-screen experiences. That includes Windows Desktop (win32 and UWP; Intel and ARM), Outlook Web Access (OWA) , and macOS Desktop," according to a description on the One Outlook Dashboard, as reported by ZDNet.

It is possible that this will be available as a preview by the end of 2021, but it’s likely that it will not replace the main Windows 10 apps until 2022.

Microsoft did not respond to The Independent’s request for more information about the new update before publication.

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