In recent years Microsoft has talked a lot about how it ‘cleaned up’ Windows. How Windows 8 then Windows 10 successively cut back on animations, shadows, and transparency effects introduced by Windows 7 ‘Aero’. Well now the company is taking a trip back to the future…
MSPowerUser has managed to attain an upcoming build of Windows 10 and it contains the first changes introduced by ‘Project NEON’ – a user interface upgrade. And guess what? They look a lot like Windows 7 Aero with a dash of Windows Phone and Android’s Material Design thrown in for good measure.
While this news will no doubt cause a chuckle or two, Microsoft should actually be commended. In my opinion, Windows 10 went too far with its minimalism and the new focus on animations, depth and consistency is a welcome return to a more intuitive interface.
MSPowerUser points in particular to a new component called ‘Acrylic’, which adds blur to the background, sidebar and navigation within an app (as seen above).
Acrylic is combined with Microsoft is calling the ‘Conscious UI’ and ‘Connected Animations’ where the former reacts to whatever is behind the current app or window and the latter is much like Material Design where the UI animates to show a transition between actions. For example the shrinking of a musician’s image when your start scrolling down their discography in Groove Music.