A Microsoft job posting confirms that the software giant has big plans to overall the Windows 10 user experience in the coming year.
“You’ll work with our key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers,” the job posting originally read. However, since the job posting was discovered and reported on, Microsoft has made it vaguer, noting only that “you’ll orchestrate and deliver experiences that ensure Windows is a great user experience for our customers.”
The changes there are interesting.
First and most obviously, the “sweeping visual rejuvenation” bit hints at the recent rumors about a major UX change, codenamed Sun Valley, that could arrive as soon as Windows 10 version 21H2.
Less obviously, I find the comments about this UX team partnering with key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to be somewhat telling. One of the promises of Panos Panay taking over Windows is that he will create some kind of renewed synergy between Microsoft’s hardware (Surface) and OS software (Windows) teams. But this line suggests that Microsoft’s PC maker partners—the OEM partners mentioned in the original job posting—will also play a role.
(The job posting also notes that customers will play a role, too. “[You will also work] directly with our customers to understand their needs and deliver magical software that exceeds their expectations,” the posting still says.)
As for “Windows is BACK”—and yes, the all-caps is from the job listing, not something I added—I guess we’ll see. Pronouncements are easy, and come on, Windows never left. But with the COVID-19 pandemic reminding so many that PCs still play an important role, I’m happy to see Microsoft seize this moment to make long-overdue improvements to the Windows 10 UX.