Microsoft is finally updating its 26-year-old icons from Windows 95
The redesign is part of a major visual overhaul of Windows 10 coming in October, a preview of which Microsoft made available to developers this week. it shows updates to some of its less-used icons to better reflect the technology of the 21st century. Outdated CRT monitors have been replaced with flat screens, and trackball mice are now touchscreens, for example.
What’s in the refresh?
Microsoft’s twice-a-year Windows updates usually add a few welcome new features (a new screenshot tool, a cleaner Start Menu, etc.). This year’s spring update will be another one of those minor updates that adds polish and squashes bugs.
But the fall update will unleash a full-scale Windows 10 redesign codenamed “Sun Valley,” complete with an all-new Start Menu, File Explorer, Action Center and taskbar. Tablet users will also reportedly get a redesigned virtual keyboard with better access to emojis. And Microsoft is expected to give all Windows 10 elements a makeover to align all of the recently tweaked elements of the operating system in a consistent design — including the new icons Microsoft previewed this week.
Most of Windows’ recent tweaks have been aimed at specific audiences, particularly gamers and corporate customers. But the PC is back as a consumer staple — the work-from-home era brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has made productivity cool again. Microsoft wants to ensure its new everyday users are enjoying the experience of using their PCs.
Apple’s new Mac OS Big Sur takes advantage of the new chip by integrating features people have grown accustomed to on their iPhones and iPads. The convergence of smartphones, tablets and PCs is underway.
This new kind of chip could disrupt the staid PC world, lighting a fire under Microsoft to redesign Windows for new kinds of PCs that it hasn’t conceived of yet. So it’s about time Windows 10 gets a major refresh.