Microsoft has been in the midst of overhauling the design of Windows 10 since the Fall Creators Update (Version 1709). Through Fluent Design, the company is evolving the UI of its platform through gradual increments. Microsoft is extending its revamp to icons, which will be universal across Windows 10.
The company's changing icons were unveiled last week when Microsoft revealed it has a new icon design for Office 365. However, hidden in that announcement was a hint that this is just the start.
Jon Friedman, head of Office design and author of the blog post, admits the new Office 365 icons are “the beginning of a cross-company effort to update all icons in the same style.”
“It is a huge undertaking to build a common system and design 10 icons at the same time,” he explains. “Now that we have established the system we will start to scale it across all of Microsoft.”
While the blog was focused on the redesign of Office 365 apps, it included a teaser of how the design will look across Windows 10. In the concept render, there are modern icons for news, mail, photos, and other Microsoft apps.
We expect this new design to extend across all of Microsoft's first-party services and eventually integrate with Fluent Design. Of course, as Friedman admits, this is the early stage of development so these changes are very unlikely to arrive with Windows 10 19H1.
However, a latter half of 2019 launch could be likely. As for the aesthetics, the icons look cleaner and more professional, offering a modern twist to Windows app faces.
Needless to say, it is about time Microsoft showed some attention to Windows 10 icons. Not least because some app icons are older than the OS itself. Many icons pre-date Windows 10 and are up to a decade old.