Microsoft: Next generation of Windows is incredibleSpeaking 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.
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 completionBut 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 wayOn 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.