We’ve been talking about the new look that Windows 10 is going to get for some time. A major release, known as Sun Valley, will appear in the Windows 10 21H2 update later this year and should address some of the biggest issues that the OS currently has with an outdated user interface, as well as old components that are in need of an update.
Microsoft’s plan to rework Windows might be looking to go further still though, as revealed by a job listing discovered by Windows Latest. Microsoft, the advert begins, is on a "multi-year journey to revolutionize the Windows UX platform." In English, the company wants to keep improving how Windows looks and feels for some time to come.
The big criticisms of Windows 10’s user interface currently boil down to how the modern, touch-friendly user interface doesn’t fit visually with the older Windows components. This is problematic from a design perspective, because it doesn’t look great. However, it’s also an issue because Microsoft hides the useful components of, say, the Windows Control Panel behind modern interfaces that lack the actual controls people want to use.
Take, for example, adjusting some network settings. If you head to the control panel you’ll see that modern, sleek look that Windows 10 wants you to use. But try and manually assign an IP address to your computer, or mess around with the DNS servers, and you might end up in an outdated interface that's existed in Windows since the NT4 days, or perhaps even longer. That’s absurd, because NT4 is now 24 years old.
While it all still works, and has no doubt been through multiple iterations of code, it’s not giving Windows a polished performance. It’s making it hard to find the settings you want because of that first layer, which promises the world and delivers nothing.
There are, in fact, two entirely different versions of the control panel in Windows 10. There’s “settings,” which is that modern UI, and then there’s “control panel” which includes a lot of the legacy features but looks very dated. However, it also works properly, with access to the things advanced users need.
Of course, we don’t know for sure that the new hires will end up fixing these problems, but Windows 10 certainly needs an overhaul. It should prove especially useful for people using touch-based devices.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited as ever about how tech can make your life better. Ian is the editor of T3.com but has also regularly contributed to Tom's Guide.