At this point, we’ve already heard plenty about what Windows 11 and the new Microsoft Store are going to bring with them. Windows 11 brings a new interface to Start Menu, Action Center, and more. As expected, several apps developed by Microsoft are also getting a fresh coat of paint.
Windows 11 is all about design and it adopts Microsoft’s Fluent Design along with Mica to offer a cleaner interface with better consistency. It also drops sharp corners for rounded corners to build a “more human and approachable language” and improve your productivity and multitasking experience.
Ahead of Windows 11 rollout in October, Microsoft is apparently planning to bring Fluent and WinUI redesign to all major apps, including Photos, Paint and even Notepad. On June 24, Microsoft officially teased a new design for the Photos, Notepad and Paint apps on Windows 11.
It appears that two of the most popular Windows apps, Calculator and PowerToys, are also getting a new design.
Way back in 2019, Microsoft made the code for Windows Calculator public and released it on GitHub under the permissive MIT license.
Windows Calculator is now publicly maintained with feedback from the community. In a new roadmap update posted on Github, Microsoft has confirmed Calculator app’s existing design will be updated to follow the latest guidelines for Fluent Design and WinUI, such as rounded corners and transparency effect.
As part of the next big update, Microsoft will be adding a new settings page to include new customization options for the app.
In addition to a new design, Microsoft is also migrating the codebase to C#.
As you’re probably aware, Microsoft currently offers a collection of utilities called PowerToys.
This app was originally released for Windows 95 and it was eventually recreated for Windows 10/11 to enable advanced features for users. New tools continue to be developed and Microsoft recently added a feature that lets you enable “always-on” mode.
In a thread posted on Github, Microsoft officials have confirmed that PowerToys will be updated with WinUI (2.6) controls to match the new look and feel of Windows 11.
“We will not support multiple UX systems. It becomes near impossible to support and test. Apps have different UXs all the time. We will adopt the Windows 11 style as it is much more adaptable and flexible,” Microsoft’s Clint Rutkas noted on June 30.
As part of the new design for PowerToys, we’re expecting minor improvements, a new UX for the settings page, and more rounded corners.