It is a few months since Microsoft first unveiled the new look icons for Windows 10 and various applications.
Now, having started the roll out of the new icons to Windows Insiders, the company is giving everyone access to the new designs. At the moment, it seems to be people running Windows 10 version 1909 that are affected, and this means they can enjoy new icons for Mail, Calendar, Calculator, Photos and more apps.
Back in December, Microsoft explained the aesthetic changes it was going to be making, saying: “With the newest wave of icon redesigns, we faced two major creative challenges. We needed to signal innovation and change while maintaining familiarity for customers. We also had to develop a flexible and open design system to span a range of contexts while still being true to Microsoft”.
Initially it was only those involved in the Insider program that had access to the new icons but, as noted by Techdows — and confirmed by BetaNews – the new look is now being delivered to non-Insiders.
While updates to the Calendar and Mail apps seem to have been pushed out automatically to everyone, in order to see the new icons for the Calculator and Movies & TV apps, you’ll need to update the apps via the Microsoft Store.
Ugly icons have plagued Windows for years. Even when Microsoft moved to minimalist ‘Metro’ Design era flat icons, it never got around to redesigning all the Windows icons, leaving us with the current mishmash of white silhouettes and dated skeuomorphism.
Fluent Design was introduced at Microsoft‘s 2017 Build conference, presenting an intriguing new direction for Microsoft. You can read more about it in our breakdown here, but the essence is that it combined elements of lighting, motion, depth, material, and scale to make for adaptable elements that work across devices (PCs, phones, TVs, VR) while looking pretty too. Microsoft latest promo video for its new unified Office app gives you a good idea of the aesthetic direction the company is headed in.
These are the first icons to roll out to everyone after arriving for Insiders last week.
We’ve seen these new icons roll out on Windows 10 version 1909, otherwise known as the November 2019 Update. The icons are more colorful than their predecessors, mimicking the design language seen in the rest of the new icons Microsoft has on deck. It’s unclear when we can expect the other icons to roll out, but Insiders on the Fast and Release Preview rings have the first crack at them.
The new aesthetic comes as Microsoft continues to shift forward with its Fluent Design language. This is on full display with Windows 10X, which will launch on Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Neo dual-screen PC later this year.
The new Mail and Calendar icons appear to be rolling out now, but it’s possible they won’t arrive for everyone right away