In brief: If there’s one thing you can say about Microsoft’s products, it’s that they never stay the same for long, for better or worse. While that fact often presents itself in the form of sweeping (sometimes unwanted) changes to Windows 10, today, we’re seeing it take shape in less dramatic fashion. Microsoft is planning a massive overhaul of over 100 of its icons.
These icons belong to Microsoft’s various services, tools, and apps, and the redesign aims to bring them all in line with the tech giant’s “Fluent Design” philosophy. Fluent Design is, in Microsoft’s own words, “intuitive,” powerful, flexible, and coherent across a wide variety of devices. If that sounds like marketing gibberish to you, you’re probably not alone.
In more ordinary terms, Fluent Design tends to be more flat, simplistic, and easy to understand than past design systems. We’ve already seen several of Microsoft’s software icons receive Fluent overhauls, but now, the company wants to make the rest of its logos a bit more consistent.
Outlook, Paint, Windows 10’s Mail app, and dozens of others will now look like they actually belong to one company. A lot of the changes aren’t significant — sometimes they’re simple color swaps — but even small changes can go a long way.
One of the most notable icons receiving an overhaul is the Windows logo itself. While the current Windows icon is a simple, flat aqua (or white, depending on the background) color, its new version’s window “panes” will each be a slightly different shade of blue. The angle and overall shape of the logo are remaining unchanged, however.
To be clear, it is just app icons that are being redesigned for the moment. Microsoft continues to forge ahead with Fluent Design-focused app UI overhauls, too, but those obviously take much longer to develop.
We don’t know when Microsoft plans to roll out these icons across its various services and apps, but we’ll let you know if we find out. For now, the company is looking for user feedback, so feel free to drop them a line over on the official announcement blog post. While you’re at it, let us know your thoughts in our comments section below.