Windows 10 Project Neon to give Microsoft’s interface a fresh new look

Windows 10 is getting an overhauled interface with a new look that boasts some considerable changes – including various animations – and it’ll be arriving later this year.

Project Neon, as it’s known, won’t be a major change to the OS, but it will make quite a number of interesting tweaks to polish things up across the board.

According to MS Power User, which managed to get a look at the UI in its current state – bear in mind it’s still a work in progress – Neon will bring back some of Windows 7’s Aero Glass (transparency/blur) effects along with animations, while shooting for simplicity (although animations are arguably at odds with the latter goal).

At any rate, the changes look fairly nifty, with one of the main constituents being named ‘acrylic’, which basically allows for blur effects to be added to the background of app windows and sidebars, for a more modern UI look (actually, we probably shouldn’t use the term ‘modern’ here given past history – let’s try ‘contemporary’).

This is tied in with what Microsoft calls ‘conscious UI’, which is basically a way of saying the sidebar acrylic adapts to what’s behind it in a context sensitive manner.

Getting animated

As mentioned, there will also be animations, with an example given being the Groove app, with the picture of the artist shrinking as you scroll down the page through to the lists of their songs.

Moving your mouse pointer over menu items will highlight them with a subtle backdrop, and the overall consistency of the UI will also be tightened up, which can never hurt.

Of course, a lot will depend on how these effects are actually implemented, but MS Power User assures us that the animations are ‘stupendously smooth’ no less. Let’s just hope that they don’t have too much of an effect on performance when it comes to slower PCs.

All of this is still relatively early work on the interface, mind, and things may well change by the time Project Neon is actually unleashed with a major Windows 10 update – it’s scheduled to arrive with the second big update landing later this year, following the Creators Update which is due in April.

Image Credit: MS Power User

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).