Project Neon to bring improvements to the Windows 10 design language

Microsoft’s Windows 10 upcoming user interface design refresh, known as Project Neon, revealed in leaked screenshots.

Windows 10 Project Neon

Project Neon is a new effort from Microsoft to improve the design language for Windows 10. The company introduced a new design language with Windows 10 that is simply known as Microsoft Design Language 2 (MDL2), which is what you see today throughout the operating system and when using Windows Store apps. However, later this year, the company plans to introduce “Project Neon”, which is a new update to refresh the current user interface.

In the new user interface refresh, the software giant will set new rules to streamline the design of apps. It’ll make more use of animations and blur similar to the Aero Glass interface used by Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

After Windows Central reporting on Project Neon last year, now MSPoweruser has managed to obtained a number of screenshots giving us an early glimpse on the concepts Microsoft is currently working.

According the report Microsoft is creating a new component called “Acrylic” that we’ll see throughout the Windows 10 design, and developers will be able to use to further customize the look and feel of their Windows Store apps.

Basically, Acrylic is the new blur that we’ll see in the background, sidebar, and navigation of apps (these new acrylic elements are also known as “Side-Nav Acrylic”, “Background Acrylic” and “In-App Acrylic” respectively) with new animation effects, which Microsoft calls Conscious UI and Connected Animations.

The report reveals two more concept images showing off how the Groove Music and Outlook may look with Project Neon.

Groove Music using Project Neon interface (concept)
Groove Music using Project Neon interface (concept)
Mail using Project Neon (concept)
Mail using Project Neon (concept)

Additionally, Project Neon will focus on 3D and HoloLens, improving the user elements in those places where you’ll be using the mouse pointer.

Keep in mind that Microsoft isn’t bringing an overhaul to the Windows 10 design. Project Neon is simply a minor update that aims to improve what we see today.

While the company hasn’t publicly share any details of the new interface refresh, we’re expecting Microsoft to begin adding some of the new design with the Windows 10 Redstone 3 update, which is scheduled to roll out in the fall of 2017 — months after the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Surely, we’ll hear more about Project Neon during Microsoft’s Build developer conference in May.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].