We’ve been hearing rumors for a while about a major visual refresh planned for Windows 10 in 2021 codenamed “Sun Valley”. Those rumors were given some extra strength this morning, when Windows Latest reporter Mayank Parmar spotted a Microsoft job posting created in October that offered potential senior software engineers the chance to “deliver a profound visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to indicate [that] Windows is BACK.”
Shortly after Parmar published a report on the listing, Microsoft edited it to remove the interesting bits — it now reads like a standard software engineer job posting, offering the ability to “build delicious, polished experiences for Windows” without anything. to say about changes to come Ramen.
What we know about Sun Valley so far
Rumor has it that Sun Valley will be a major overhaul of the UI code that is expected to land in Windows 10 21H2 – the build that will drop in the second half of 2021. To be clear, the “rumours” part means exactly what it says – so far it’s just rumors, with multiple sources but no confirmation from Microsoft.
Zac Bowden of WindowsCentral published a piece on Sun Valley in October, with information mysteriously attributed to “sources.” ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said her unnamed contacts have confirmed the project exists — and she’s seen technical references to a “Windows 10++” expected next fall — but Microsoft’s official response has been a rather cold flaw. to confirmation:
It is not new for Microsoft to provide some Windows features through cumulative updates. We have nothing left to share.
New UI elements in Microsoft Store apps
While we don’t really know what Sun Valley will bring — aside from rumors of re-integrating mobile and desktop experiences — recent updates to some apps in the Microsoft Store seem to amplify those rumors a bit.
The most recent update to the Alarms & Clocks app showcases some new UI elements, including a map view for upcoming alarms and subtly rounded rectangles on those maps. This is an evolution of the existing Fluent Design motif, not a complete overhaul, and we broadly expect Sun Valley to offer similar changes to the Windows 10 visual experience.
Microsoft’s new head of the Windows division – former Surface VP Panos Panay –said he wants to move customers from “keep Windows that needs Windows to Windows,” and putting in a visual refresh that appeals to younger or more design-oriented users without alienating more conservative, change-phobic users will be key to that vision.