Windows 10 just achieved a huge milestone: 1 billion users. It didn't earn a blog post, but Microsoft's Panos Panay shared a video that celebrates the milestone and offers a glimpse at the future of the operating system.
Microsoft kicks off the video with its classic boot screens and Start buttons. Once the nostalgia settles in, the Redmond-based company transitions to Windows 10. It starts with the initial layout introduced in 2015, but then the video modifies the existing user interface with modern enhancements.
The Start menu loses its colorful live tiles, Windows Central notes. Live tiles remain to a degree, but they're streamlined to blend in with the rest of the user interface. Also, tweaks to the System Tray are spotted.
In addition, the video offers a look at several redesigned apps. Microsoft highlights the built-in File Explorer, Photos, and Calculator apps but doesn't get into detail. Some apps also feature new icons that match the overall design language. Above all else, users will notice the consistency that Microsoft aims to usher in based on its Fluent Design System. It should align Windows 10 with the clean, efficient user interfaces familiar on other platforms.
Microsoft didn't confirm if these design elements are due out soon. Some might get introduced through a series of incremental updates, or Microsoft could withhold them for a major upgrade at the end of 2020. Windows 10X arrives on the Surface Neo this fall, and Microsoft could unify all editions of Windows 10 with a user interface that leverages identical design elements and apps. Of course, it could all turn out as a placeholder. Since nothing is official, Microsoft might introduce other tweaks that are unlike what's seen in its celebratory video.