According to a report by Windows Central, Microsoft is working on a new design language for the third major update to Windows 10. The update is code-named Redstone 3 and will arrive with the new design language called “NEON.”
Microsoft’s love and hate relationship with design languages
Over the past few years, Microsoft has transitioned through multiple design languages. Starting with Windows Vista, Aero seemed to be all the rage for a few years. Shiny and reflective taskbar, glass window borders, and eye-catching animations attracted a lot of appreciation from users across different platforms.
Then everything changed when Windows phone 7 arrived. It brought along Metro Design Language (MDL) for the first time. It celebrated simple and colorful interface with smooth animations and clean typography.
MDL was transported over to Desktops with Windows 8. Things didn’t go as planned, though; with a huge number of people disliking the huge tiles staring in their face all the time, it was time to reinvent, or at the very least, spin the wheel again.
Windows 10 introduced MDL2 (Metro Design Language 2). It was an evolution of MDL and brought along some key changes to help it be more useful with a keyboard and mouse.
What is NEON?
NEON is the code-name for the next version of Microsoft’s design language. According to the report by Windows Central, it has been in the works for over a year internally at Microsoft. It is going to forward the design introduced with Windows 10. It extends the idea of running the same interface on all devices which was first introduced in Windows 8. NEON will serve as a bridge between holographic and augmented reality (AR) and the desktop environment. It’s a “UI that transports across devices” with a UX that maps to the physical world. It uses textures, 3D models, lighting and more.
When will it become available?
Internal plans at Microsoft place the release of NEON sometime in Fall 2017. It will start showing up in Redstone 3 builds which are expected to arrive around April or May next year. Microsoft will also release some strict guidelines at that time for developers to adopt to this new design language. Details about the design language itself are scarce right now and we will update you as soon as more information is made available.