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Microsoft teases new Windows 10 UI in video celebrating a billion users

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system passed a billion active users earlier this week, and the company is now marking the occasion with a video that teases new features and UI changes. In an Instagram video from Windows and Devices chief Panos Panay, Microsoft has revealed it’s pushing ahead with changes to the Windows 10 Start menu that will see the company deemphasize its Live Tiles.

Microsoft is planning to reduce the color of the blocks of the tiled interface on the Start menu to simplify it and make it easier to scan for apps. This is shown in the video alongside what appears to be some spacing changes to how Live Tiles are displayed.

Microsoft also appears to be working on improving its Fluent Design system in Windows 10, with more modern context menus and even a new Files app. We’ve been waiting quite some time for a modern take on the Windows File Explorer, and this video teases that one is coming soon.

It also includes many of Microsoft’s changes to the Windows icons that the company has been rolling out recently. Built-in Windows 10 apps are gradually being updated with new and colorful icons ahead of a bigger effort to modernize the OS with Windows 10X for dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo.

The teaser video comes just days before Microsoft plans to unveil consumer subscriptions for its Microsoft 365 service during an online event on March 30th. Microsoft is expected to bundle Office, Microsoft Teams, a password manager, and some general consumer-focused features into a monthly subscription.

We’re not expecting to hear anything about Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Book 3 or Surface Go 2 plans at the event, but there will likely be some news on the company’s plans with Windows for 2020 and beyond. Microsoft is also holding its Build developer event online this year, where we’ll hear more about Windows and Windows 10X for dual-screen devices.