Windows 10 next year: Microsoft shows off new look Start Menu starring Fluent Design

Microsoft latest Windows 10 Redstone 4 preview shows where it's heading with its new design language.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has added Fluent Design's Reveal light effect in Start menu.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 preview build shows off more of its Fluent Design in the Start Menu.

The preview isn't for the upcoming Fall Creators Update but the next version of Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 4.

The Fall Creators Update preview released this week just had bug fixes, but this Redstone 4 preview -- for Windows Insiders on the "skip ahead" part of the Fast ring -- shows off how Microsoft is implementing its new design language, Fluent Design, in Windows 10.

The Fall Creators Update brings Fluent Design elements to some apps and features, such as Action Center.

Fluent Design includes Acrylic Material, which offers apps an opaque, layered effect to add depth, Connected animation for creating transitioning scenes, and Parallax 3D effects.

This preview shows how the Reveal effect will work in the Start Menu. Reveal is a lighting effect to focus users' attention on elements of the screen that have an action, such as a button of an app, when they mouse over it.

Moving the mouse over the apps in the Start menu displays each app button in a gray tinted box as the mouse moves over them. A GIF would have better illustrated the effect than Microsoft's image, however Windows Central has published a video of the new Start menu, which shows Reveal following the mouse along the menu and a circular light pulse when clicking on the app. It's a minor change but the Start menu is central to the Windows experience.

Microsoft says it will start to "light up" more Fluent Design changes in future updates for the next release of Windows 10.

Microsoft's Edge browser got a lot of fixes in this update to address various problems in the address bar, the tab preview for PDFs, the text search field, and a range of misfiring shortcuts.

With Microsoft building Windows 10 as a service, it now has a semi-annual release schedule aimed at March and September.

The Fall Creators Update, also known as version 1709, should be released in October. The next version of Windows, version 1803, should be released around March 2018.

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