Microsoft yesterday kicked off its Build 2021 conference, and during the two-day event, the company is talking about its plans for Windows in the near future. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, during his Build keynote, said that Microsoft will soon share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators. The Microsoft CEO also said that he has been testing the “next generation of Windows" in the recent months. This comes at a time Microsoft is already working on a Windows 10 redesign that is slated to come with the “Sun Valley" update.
Microsoft is also working on a new app store for Windows, which Nadella referenced to in his keynote, with a promise to unlock a better economy for developers and creators within Windows itself. This will include some significant changes to the Windows Store and will allow users to submit any Windows application - including browsers like Chrome or Firefox. Rumours have previously suggested that Microsoft may even allow third-party commerce platforms in apps, so developers could avoid Microsoft’s 15 percent cut on apps and 12 percent commission on games.
Nadella mentioned a “next generation of Windows," but he was referring to Windows 10 only. A report in The Verge said that this language could suggest that Microsoft is preparing a more significant shift with Windows branding than just the user interface. Nadella also said that we will hear more about the future of Windows “very soon," and it is expected that some announcement or event will take place in the coming weeks.
Some significant UI changes are already expected on Windows 10 with the ‘Sun Valley’ update that is scheduled for October this year. Some of that work has already been implemented with new system icons, File Explorer improvements, and the end of Windows 95-era icons more recently.