If you’ve used Windows 8 – or are perhaps still using it, seeing as the operating system still has a couple of years of support to run – you may well be familiar with the Charms bar, which is essentially just a fancy name for a menu that appears on the right-hand side of the screen carrying some commonly used icons (like the Start button, Settings cog and so forth).
- How to speed up Windows 10
- How to uninstall a Windows 10 update
- Amazon Prime Day 2021 sale is nearly here
In Windows 8, this thin sidebar menu gets invoked by swiping inward from the right side of the screen – on a touchscreen, of course, but it can also be summoned by moving the mouse to a corner of the desktop on the right – and the purported Widgets bar for Windows 10 which Microsoft is apparently testing will work in the same way in that you’ll slide it out.
This is according to Windows Latest, with the website claiming that this new piece of the interface could be destined to arrive in Windows 10 this year, and if it does, it’ll be part of the big Sun Valley interface (21H2 update) makeover (which of course makes sense). Obviously, take this with an appropriate amount of skepticism…
Tenth time’s the Charm?
Rather than Charms, the bar will obviously contain widgets, although exactly what kind of widgets is anyone’s guess. Windows Latest theorizes that it could be icons such as the ‘News and interests’ feature which is currently rolling out (and is present on the taskbar – but it’s causing some trouble here and there), or perhaps widgets to access the likes of stock info or sports scores at a glance.
Desktop widgets are, of course, another throwback for Microsoft in that this concept was used way back in Windows Vista (another version of Windows that’s right up there with the popularity of Windows 8) with its desktop-based Gadgets.
The suggestion of a Charms bar-style design for this supposed new element of the interface of Windows 10 could provoke some concern, given that one of the annoyances of Windows 8 (at least for us) was that it was too easy for the bar to accidentally pop up (when using a mouse on the desktop). Until we disabled it, that is – and presumably, this will also be an option in Windows 10 if Microsoft goes this route.
There may be nothing to this report, of course, or this could simply be a concept that Microsoft is playing around with currently, and may discard down the line.
What we are expecting with Sun Valley is the extensive use of rounded corners for menus and boxes, and floating menus too, with a contemporary modern look overall (still based on Fluent Design concepts). We can expect new fonts, refreshed desktop icons, plus tweaked animations and the like as well.
- These are the best laptops of 2021
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
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).