Leak gives us a glimpse of Windows 10’s streamlined new design

Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to make a considerable change to the interface of Windows 10, with the introduction of a new Control Center reached via a taskbar icon – and it’ll contain functions taken from the current Action Center, the idea being to make them more readily accessible.

This all stems from an image Microsoft posted (and then swiftly deleted) along with the release of the latest preview build of Windows 10, which showed a Settings-style cog icon in the taskbar, that folks simply assumed was a new way of accessing the Settings app.

However, according to sources who spoke to Windows Central, the icon will be used to go to the aforementioned Control Center, a new section of the UI which will play host to the Quick Action buttons that are currently in the Action Center – such as the controls for Wi-Fi networks, Tablet Mode, Quiet Hours and so forth. Plus it will incorporate some additional bits for extra convenience including a slider for screen brightness.

As mentioned, this will mean more convenient access to these controls, and indeed you’ll be able to customize what appears in the new Control Center. Remember, though, that this is speculation, and that even then Microsoft is only testing this new spin on the UI at this point (on internal builds of Windows 10).

Image Credit: Windows Central

Image Credit: Windows Central (Image credit: Windows Central)

Husk of a hub?

If the company does go through with the move, it will obviously mean that the Action Center will be really stripped down – all these controls which currently nestle at the bottom of the panel will be removed (in other words, they won’t appear in both the Action Center and new Control Center, but just the latter to avoid confusion).

Effectively, the Action Center will simply become a hub for delivering notifications. And as Neowin spotted, that ties in with speculation drawn from Thurrott.com which claims that Microsoft is considering renaming it as the Notification Center, and giving it a sleeker, more minimalist design.

That would definitely make sense if this is the direction Microsoft is going in. As ever, only time will tell, but this could well be a change which arrives with the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 later this year.

As you’re probably aware, Windows 10 is due a big overall UI makeover with that next major update, which Microsoft is calling the Fluent Design System (previously known as Project Neon).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).