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Microsoft To Revamp Windows 10 UI With Upcoming 'Project Neon' Update, Leaked Images Show (mspoweruser.com) 265

Microsoft plans to revamp the user interface on Windows with an upcoming update called Project Neon. Chatter about this new update has been doing rounds for quite some time, but now first images of where Microsoft is going with the design changes are here. According to MSPowerUser, Microsoft will introduce a new component dubbed "Acrylic" to the overall Windows 10 design, which will serve as a method for developers to further customize the appearance of their universal apps. Project Neon also focuses on Microsoft's efforts with 3D and HoloLens, tweaking UI elements in places where you interact with a mouse pointer.
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Microsoft To Revamp Windows 10 UI With Upcoming 'Project Neon' Update, Leaked Images Show

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  • When will it end (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @10:48AM (#53616683)
    Just give us back a proper start menu you wanktards!
    • All I saw in the screenshots were the Groove music and the Mail apps... the Windows UI appeared to be the same as it is currently.

      • They should add the capability to play music videos from Groove, so that that can be put in playlists
    • Re:When will it end (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:21AM (#53616947) Journal
      When Windows 95 was introduced, a load of Windows users really hated the Start menu (you shut down by pressing start? WTF? And the icons are so small and hard to hit, plus you need to go through loads of layers of menus if you have a lot of apps installed!). 20 years later, and I wonder how many of them are the ones complaining that it's gone.
      • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:48AM (#53617201)
        There will always be some people resistant to change because they have to learn how to do something a little differently. The thing is that the Windows 95 Start menu was objectively superior to Program Manager. No UI can be perfect but Start forced some useful hierarchy onto Program Manager's groups and placed really important stuff like Control Panel or the Run box front and center so they couldn't get lost in some minimized Program Manager or deleted from Program Manager by a careless novice user.

        The problem people have with the loss of the traditional Start menu in 8.x/10 is that the most important fundamental benefits of Start were thrown out again. The Start screen in 8.x completely discards a layered hierarchy in favor of a two-level "pinned OR absolutely every shortcut in the entire Start shortcut pile" and in 10 the replacement "Start menu" crams the hierarchical stuff into one thin column in favor of searching for everything or (once again) "pinning a tile" instead. It's a half-hearted bone thrown to people who wanted the utility of Start back to shut them up. In the Anniversary Update they REMOVED the ability to use a keyboard to navigate the leftmost column with Power, Settings, File Explorer, and the user icon.

        Most of the changes to the Explorer user interface since the advent of Windows 8 have been severely regressive unless you use a touchscreen with no other input devices, a use case for a typical computer which is a niche specialty rather than the norm. It's nice not to worry about fat-fingering on a tablet, but when the thing isn't in "Tablet Mode" or some sort of option that enables a subset to that effect, it should not have the huge UI elements needed by the grossly inferior input device that is a touchscreen.
        • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @12:16PM (#53617511) Homepage

          When using Windows 8 I genuinely had no idea the full screen start menu was able to scroll. There are no bars or any indication it can move. I installed Office and couldn't locate any of the icons. There is actually a knowledge base article on this exact problem! Talk about a broken UI.

        • Isn't it funny how UI design on mobile devices is back to basically using Program Manager? What's old is new...

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's amazing (to me) that no-one has managed to come up with a really good way of organizing and launching even a moderate number of applications in an OS. The Start Menu system quickly gets overloaded with too many sub-menus, forcing you to navigation through multiple small targets. The various desktops (Windows, iOS) quickly get cluttered and force you to remember where things are or organize them by hand.

          The Android app drawer is probably the best, just an alphabetical list and a search box. At least rec

        • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @04:58PM (#53619599)
          I'd like to correct your first sentence. If every company in every facet of your life took that view point, you would spend your entire life re-learning how to perform nearly every task on a yearly basis. Many people like myself are resistant to change because we have other areas of our life we need to focus on. For products with a longer life-span, say an automobile, this isn't such an issue. I am not forced to buy a new automobile every year or two. Even smart phone manufacturers have figured this out. Almost every popular OS / launcher functions in a similar manner with similar characteristics. Because people may want something a tiny bit different, but don't want to relearn the system. In addition, phones are like cars in that way - they are a fun 'toy' to show off to your friends etc. A computer operating system is none of those things. It isn't fun. It isn't something I want to 'show off'. It's not something I want to constantly be forced to relearn by updates every year or two. As a technical user I have better ways to spend my time, as do most non-technical users. Microsoft needs to stop fucking with things that work. Seriously.
          • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @05:50PM (#53619911)
            It doesn't need correction; it needs clarification: there will always be people who are resistant to change regardless of the merits of that change. I'm in general agreement with you. Change is always a balancing act. The benefits of the change must significantly outweigh the pain that it will cause, otherwise the change will be worse than the status quo no matter how much more enlightened the changers think their ideas are.

            The Program Manager to Start menu change is an example of a change with a great enough benefit to overshadow the complaints of people who just happen to be used to whizzing around in Program Manager: it provides a drill-down hierarchy that is easy to understand and scales far better than program groups ever could, and it has excellent discoverability (an extremely important factor when making a significant change to how an interface works!)

            The Windows 8 Start screen is the ultimate example of a terrible change and a complete lack of regard for the most basic requirements of a good user interface design. Taking over the entire screen eliminates all points of reference. No scrollability hints, no borders around anything, awful contrast between UI elements, and abstract monochrome icons that are difficult to understand at first glance (which ironically is half the point of an icon in the first place.) The Start button changing to an invisible "hot corner" is difficult to remember for a new and elderly users. The charm bar suffers the same problem with its hot corners, plus its behavior lacks consistency; if you use a hot corner to pop it out, it'll vanish if your pointer slides away from it by a single pixel, but hitting WIN+C makes it stick around until you click away from it, and the Settings panel within the charm bar is so terrible and inconsistent that I don't think we have time for me to discuss it.

            All of these changes were a solution in search of a problem and were done despite extremely loud protests from inexperienced and expert users alike. Of course, some people liked the changes, though I have yet to find anyone who liked the changes in Win8 that could explain the things they liked other than how it was new and different and referencing nebulous aesthetic concepts like "clean looking." The reality is that basic UI design concepts were chucked out the window in favor of trend-chasing and building a corporate image of "forward-thinking-ness." The changes in Win8 rendered vast chunks of all Windows users' existing skill sets useless, but the only benefits brought to the table were "it's easier to use on a touchscreen device, something that the vast majority of computers don't even have!" and "we made it boot faster...sometimes!"

            Alas, there are fools that actually believe that newness in technical stuff is a merit like it is in car buying, as if Start is a set of tires that will wear out. If they were to all be struck dead right now, nothing found stored on their computers post-mortem would be of any value to society. It's easy to not care about the crappy Windows interface changes when all you do with the machine is masturbate to online pornography and bang out moronic condescending comments on Internet forums. All these idiots care about is "where's the blue E? And where do I type Redtube dot com? And what is that midget doing to that unicorn?" and that some computer dude somewhere told them that they can hold the power button for five seconds to turn the computer off when they're done.
      • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @12:06PM (#53617403)

        ... a load of Windows users really hated the Start menu (you shut down by pressing start? WTF?...

        You confuse "really hated" with "mocked". The original Start menu was mocked because in order to shut down the PC, you had to click on Start. (you have to admit, that really was a goofy way to word it...) The load of Windows users were making fun of the poor wording in the UI. Aside from that mocking, the Start menu was relatively well received.

        • It was still better than OS/2, where it wasn't obvious at all how to shut down the OS.
        • It was always a load of BS, and everybody knew it. The use of the word "start" wasn't all that bad a design choice - people looking at a computer the first time get a powerful hint where to... start. So where else could you have put the "shutdown" button? Consider the options:

          1. Permanently allocate screenspace for a second button, with only a single function: "stop" (or whatever you want to call it). That makes no sense at all: the start button takes up a lot of valuable screenspace, but offers a huge amou

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Back then we thought it was funny that you even had to shut down your PC. We were used to just hitting the power button on our Amigas.

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @12:02PM (#53617359) Homepage
      It doesn't end. Have you ever had a dream, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream user interface and the real world user interface?

      What if in the dream OS everything you did was phoned home to the mother ship?

      What if every time you had acclimated to the most recent user interface, a new user interface was inflicted upon you?

      A user interface not based on three plus decades of human interface research, but based on the whims of some hipster design wanker whose only skill is photoshop. What if the only purpose of this new UI was a lame attempt to get you to like the vendor's failed phone products?
    • I'd like a non-GUI DOS machine for basic work functions like Lotus 123, Dbase3, Wordperfect, etc.

      That shit would scream.

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @10:55AM (#53616741)

    Has the title bar expanded an inch or two? Why so much wasted vertical space?

    The same idiots who subverted 30 years of UI research at Microsoft are still at it with their inane attempts to enforce a hipster UI on us. I don't need buttons that get lost because they are not clear, multi-colored and where I expect them. I don't need monochrome, abstract icons. I don't need menus IN ALL CAPS.

    Stop changing stuff I've become accustomed to, stuff that makes me productive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Answer: Touch screen UI.

      (It's not a satisfying answer for those of us that hate phone-UI on desktops, but it's the reason.)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:12AM (#53616881)

        Yes, but this 'touchscreen' UI isn't any use on touchscreens either. Touchscreens need visible, 3D buttons (only larger) just as much as a desktop environment does. The answer is "bunch of amateur idiots with no UI skills whatsoever blindly copy Apple's stupidity and think they are being 'cutting edge' and 'modern' ".

        • Yes, copying Apple, who is notorious and under a lot of fire for still not releasing a single Mac with a touchscreen. Copying THAT for your "touch-friendly OS." They're really smart up there in Redmond. Do I really need to place a sarcasm tag by that?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hear, hear. I knew before I clicked on it that it would be more 'flat' nonsense. Atrocious 'design', these idiots haven't got a clue about user interface design - we already had the most beautiful interface ever made, in Windows 7. Just WHY are the window buttons not at the top right of the window? Why is there no title bar? Why is there no visible border? Why is there no shadow - so you can see which window is on top, instantly? Why don't they just allow the user to CHANGE all of these things to our own li

      • Why don't they just allow the user to CHANGE all of these things to our own liking

        They are fighting two different markets: Corporate (Monoculture) and Home (Individual)

        In a corporate environment, you want everything to look/feel the same on every computer in every location. It makes for faster training and much easier to support. On the other hand, it sucks for people who want to have things setup for them and the way they work. If you allowed "change" then it would fuck up the Corporate Workstation. If you don't allow change, people like me who customize their systems for three days bef

      • Just WHY are the window buttons not at the top right of the window? Why is there no title bar? Why is there no visible border?

        Hopefully this might address the problem that I have. When I'm using the touch interface on my Surface Pro, I do have problems using my finger to select between minimize, maximize, and close. I don't know what the solution is, because I use both the mouse interface and the touch interface quite a bit.

    • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:14AM (#53616893)

      Oh god, that looks terrible. Good catch. It's an ENTIRE UI based on iTunes for Windows.

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

      Has the title bar expanded an inch or two? Why so much wasted vertical space?

      This +1000. I understand the need for whitespace on a touch UI, but why is everything spaced so far apart on my desktop? I have a giant HD monitor so I can fit a bunch of stuff on screen at the same time (not a fan of multimonitor, I'd rather have one huge monitor) With a 2" border around everything, I'm going to need a separate monitor or a 34" 4K monitor just so I can have a media player in one corner, Notepad++ in the other corner, and an IDE open on the side.

    • by dbraden ( 214956 )

      And they couldn't figure out a way to put the window controls into the actual corner? Maybe they just couldn't get their CSS to work the way they wanted.

      That top space does look terrible, and you're right, such a waste of screenspace.

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @10:58AM (#53616763)

    Ok, partially. I put classic shell on to it and really haven't looked back. I'm too busy to learn a new UI. It's pretty decent for the gaming and work that I do on it. Works a lot faster than my previous Windows 7 installs (never tried 8).

    Shutup10 took care of my privacy concerns.

    If Microsoft wanted to engender positive feels on Windows 10, they'd release a UI start menu that matched Windows 7 and keep themselves from changing their damn UIs every other release. Overall, i'd give this a B grade as a tech product.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by johannesg ( 664142 )

      If they didn't change the UI every release, how would you even know it was a different release? And extrapolating from there, how would you get the masses to buy a new Windows version if they couldn't tell the difference?

      In terms of features, OS'es have been 'finished' for a long time, with only minor polishing and arcane features that have no relation to anything 99.9% of the market actually does with computers left on the to do list. Yet somehow, people must be convinced to buy these things...

      • Just introduce a new wallpaper every release. No need to tinker w/ the things people already love and which work well
  • Looks like they are copying recent OSX features. Oddly enough, the ones I can do without. I was never too much into UI animation either. First time you might say ooohhhhh! Then it rapidly becomes boring.

    In the end, more features to turn off.

    • Animations serve a useful purpose in a UI. Humans are really bad at spotting things that have changed, so having changes move smoothly can draw your attention to the correct bit of the UI. Unfortunately, a lot of developers rush into the 'ooo shiny' approach, in much the same way that some managers add PowerPoint animations to everything.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      UI animations like the ones in the Groove app aren't there to wow you, but to make the UI more coherent.

      In Groove, once the user starts scrolling (obviously now more interested in the contents of the scroll area than in the contents of the description pane), the top part of the UI collapses so that the description goes away. The animation keeps it from being so jarring. Simultaneously, it ensures that the smallest scroll action only moves the content as far as expected (instead of suddenly having a differ

  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:02AM (#53616793)
    Give them superficial inaneness. Microsoft's time-honored tradition and trademark.
  • Lipstick On A Pig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:08AM (#53616839)
    When Windows 10's underlying data harvesting infrastructure has fundamentally broken users' trust in Microsoft and Windows 10, why bother with trying to make Windows 10 look prettier?
  • Now I get it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:11AM (#53616859)

    Clearly, Microsoft programmers got solidly behind the concept of ramming Windows 10 down everyone's throats, just so they could force their freak-show visions of user interface experiments upon the largest possible number of rubes. The data mining and potential ad revenue were just a bonus.

  • Neon? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:11AM (#53616871)
    So Windows will finally have a good UI? [kde.org]
  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:33AM (#53617041)
    Microsoft has gone insane. They've taken their already-flat design and ironed the crap out of it. Hey assholes, when I hit the Windows key on my keyboard, why can't I hit the up arrow to get to the power button or settings cog anymore? Why don't you have hotkeys for the folder icon views like I used to get with ALT, V, and the view's corresponding letter key? Stop fucking with the "ooh shiny" user interface stuff until you fix the really basic stuff that you broke. It would also be super nice to have some of the fundamental UI design best practices brought back in from the streets where Microsoft chucked it and the baby and the bath water.

    Also, has anyone noticed that a huge number of Microsoft Support forum posts are "solved" by someone with an Indian-looking name going "Kindly try a 'clean boot'. Kindly try System Restore. Kindly let us know if that fixes it." Then a huge pile of people go "NO, that generic reply didn't fix it and I have the same problem!" and the MS helpers go dead silent and absolutely no one at Microsoft gives a damn?

    At least with "archaic" Windows 7 nearly every problem has a discoverable solution at this point. The way that Windows 10 problems have been handled by Microsoft under Satya Nadella indicates that they really don't care about delivering a decent product anymore. They were never even close to perfect but they at least had a few really sharp people on staff that both gave a shit and had the power to help or fix problems. Now it's the best company that H1B can cheap out!
    • by Calydor ( 739835 )

      Also, has anyone noticed that a huge number of Microsoft Support forum posts are "solved" by someone with an Indian-looking name going "Kindly try a 'clean boot'. Kindly try System Restore. Kindly let us know if that fixes it." Then a huge pile of people go "NO, that generic reply didn't fix it and I have the same problem!" and the MS helpers go dead silent and absolutely no one at Microsoft gives a damn?

      "Would you kindly ..."

  • If not, why do you wake me?

    Look, MS. You can paint the turd, you can put a cherry on top of it, you can even dress it up and pretend it can tap dance, as long as you sell a turd as chocolate ice cream, people will still puke on your feet once they ate it. No matter how you sugar coat it.

  • The UI is going to stay the same by design, and that's a promise the devs keep living up to.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:39AM (#53617123)

    While I think a lot of the looks are improved compared to the rather ugly steps in Windows 8/10, there is a massive amount of wasted space.

    • by eepok ( 545733 )
      So much this! A massive portion of Windows users have more than one window open at a time. Sometimes, they need to have these windows parallel to each other. Massive empty/whitespace eliminates the ability to multi-task. At the very least, give the option to re-skin!
  • Because that's what it looks like.

  • Transparency is not very useful.

    How about fixing the Bluetooth File transfer?
    How about making mounting cellphones more reliable?
    How about giving easier fixes for non 4K compliant programs?
    How about giving us more than 2 power management options at once?
    How about fixing your photo program that won't leave Irfanview's associations alone?
    How about building some audio system like core audio or Jack Audio Server, you know, to help the musicians that make your music.

  • Lipstick On A Pig (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @12:10PM (#53617441)

    Microsoft plans to revamp the user interface on Windows with an upcoming update called Project Neon. ...

    Microsoft can try to dress up the UI of Windows 10 all it wants, but until the egregious data harvesting stops, Windows 10 will continue to suffer from a lack of trust.

  • Microsoft, Apple, and even to an extent the various Linux desktops, are all moving to UIs that use lots of negative space, and removing visual cues as to the type and mode of interaction with the visible elements. Buttons are flat, sometimes swipable, sometimes not. Things could be buttons, text fields, drop downs, etc. and you don't know until you give them a poke. The whitespace is getting so big as to spatially break up things that should be grouped, etc. It's terrible. Even the window borders no longer

    • We must be looking at things differently, even in flat design, I can tell a text field from a button. I have never met a swipeable looking button that didn't respond to both gestures swipe or tap either. whitespace is only a problem in applications that simply have no reason to fill an entire landscape or portrait display.

  • by MrLogic17 ( 233498 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @12:26PM (#53617615) Journal

    Remember when we were told that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows"?

    Ya, and this move is exactly what I expected. Windows will keep changing, complete with random, pointless UI changes. Nothing in the update schedule has changed.
    Mark my words - at some point "Windows 10" will change it's name because of sales & marketing pressure. Forced updates and user-hostile changes will continue unabated.

  • Some real furious turd polishing going on right there...

    No deal until I can disable all telemetry and prohibit forced reboots.

  • Finally Microsoft changed it's operating system to something that I can live with. I'll be switching soonest.

    Not.

  • I wouldn't call it a revamp, the basic design tenets are the same, this is just some polish and bling truthfully. At least that's how it looks right now. I doubt they will stray far from this though, it makes no sense to me to shake things up much, the basic ideas they have are good on the surface already, this just brings some more eye candy.

  • The author says "a change is always exciting." Really? How about when a hospital is running life-saving applications on Windows and the latest forced upgrade introduces an "exciting change" and now the nurse can't figure out how to launch her application?

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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