Windows 10’s new look glimpsed in preview build leak

Surface Laptop 4
(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10’s big interface overhaul which is rumored for later this year (in the 21H2 update) has been spotted again, this time in the form of floating menus.

So, previously it has been rumored that Microsoft is planning to bring a floating Start menu to Windows 10 with the aforementioned ‘Sun Valley’ UI revamp, and by floating we mean that there’ll be a small visible gap between the menu and the taskbar (and Start button) below. Essentially, so it looks like the menu is floating just above the bar.

And according to a new finding posted on Twitter and spotted by Windows Latest, Microsoft is already bringing this floating menu concept to the taskbar in the latest test builds of Windows 10.

It’s not present with the Start menu, but rather with the taskbar ‘jump-list’, which is the menu panel that pops up when you right-click on the taskbar. Note that this piece of the refreshed UI isn’t actually live for testers yet, but is hidden behind a flag in the preview build. This means that theoretically, it should come into play for testing soon – but there’s no guarantee of that.

In its current form, the floating menu – when forced to appear – isn’t fully implemented anyway, and there’s still a visible border around the panel (so it’s not floating as such just yet).

Floating ideas

As Windows Latest notes, these floating menus are expected to be widely used in the new UI, not just with the taskbar and Start menu, but speculation also holds that Action Center and some other interface elements – like the Clock, or Volume fly-out – will work in the same way. Big pinches of salt here, of course, because even if this is actually Microsoft’s intention right now, that could change further down the line.

This could be one of the defining themes of the new-look Windows 10, then, come the big update in the second half of 2021, along with the rounded corners for interface panels and menus that we’ve been hearing so much about for a while now (all of which, it has to be said, gravitate towards a more Mac-like appearance). We’re also expecting new icons and animations for the desktop, too.

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).