Microsoft hypes up next-gen Windows 10 -- massive and incredible

Posted on Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 18:29 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Over the past two decades, Microsoft succeeded in making Windows a very stable operating system. In the early days of Windows XP, it was common to see a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) several times a month but nowadays it's very rare to encounter a full system crash. One of the biggest perceived issues of Windows right now is that the user interface is dated and not streamlined enough. For example, when you dig a little deeper in the operating system, you're bound to come across various different user interface styles. Just below the surface you have all the modern stuff, but a couple of layers later you can still find Windows XP era remnants.

Microsoft: Next generation of Windows is incredible

Speaking at the digital-only Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft product chief officer Panos Panay hyped up the next major Windows 10 update. Panay referred to it as the next-generation of Windows -- and called it "incredible" and "massive". No further details were revealed about the next-gen Windows though. It's rumored that Microsoft will lay out its vision for the future of Windows at a separate event.

Windows 10's user interface overhaul is codenamed project "Sun Valley" and it's expected to be rolled out in Fall 2021, probably around October/November. Windows Latest provides an early look at the new Start Menu, which incorporates rounded corners and Fluent Design.

Windows 10 Sun Valley Start Menu

Rounded corners are one of the cornerstones of Sun Valley. The Start Menu "floats" -- it is visually separated from the taskbar. This is a style that will also be used for other UI elements like Jump List, Taskbar context menu, Action Center, and more. Other than this, Sun Valley will deliver improved pre-installed apps, a redesigned Action Center, a new app switching experience, new context menus, an improved dark mode, and new touch, gesture, and multi-tasking controls.

Windows 10 21H1 Update nears completion

But before we get the big Fall update, we'll see a minor Spring release. Usually the Spring release of Windows 10 is the biggest update of the year -- but this time Microsoft switched things up.

This year's Spring update will fix some bugs, offers some stability improvements, and has enhancements for Windows Hello and Group Policy editor. Basically, nothing to really get excited about.

More forced updates are on the way

On a related note, Microsoft also announced it will force upgrades to Windows 10 20H2. This applies to users running versions of Windows 10 that are no longer supported, such as Windows 10 version 1903. The software giant uses machine learning-based algorithms to automatically update machines with compatible hardware -- without explicit user permission.

To avoid a forced update, users of older Windows 10 versions are recommended to manually update to Windows 10 20H2. The next version of Windows 10 to hit the end of service is version 1909, support for that build ends on May 11, 2021. Windows 10 version 2004 is next in line, with support ending on December 14th, 2021.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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