Microsoft explores design tweaks for Windows 11 Shutdown dialog, Recovery Environment

We’ve heard a lot about WinUI on Windows 11 and how it could eventually overhaul many aspects of the existing operating system’s user interface. A couple of job listings have suggested that WinUI will lead to the development of new parts and modernization of existing parts of the Windows user experience.

Windows is in the process of a major redesign that officially kicked off last year. The plan is to bring the WinUI elements to even the oldest legacy parts of Windows. As part of the redesign, Microsoft has updated the legacy context menu with rounded corners and even dark mode.

In Windows 11 Build 25115, Microsoft is now exploring a slightly updated interface for the famous Alt+F4 dialog. The revamp ditches the traditional Windows logo for a clean look, similar to the dialog from the Windows 95-era.

Windows 11 new Shutdown UI
New UI for Shutdown dialog

For those unaware, the current interface of Shutdown dialogue is identical to the one we have on Windows 10. It does have the new Windows 11 logo and rounded edges, but it doesn’t support the ‘modern’ WinUI design.

New Shutdown

It looks like Microsoft is preparing to add more WinUI elements like Mica to the Shutdown dialog in the operating system. Right now, Mica applies to the Windows apps title bar only and Fluent Design is also missing, which could be considered a more or less all-pervading theme of the new operating system.

These changes are not huge, but they set the stage for future improvements and they really are necessary for design consistency.

New icons for WinRE

In addition to the Shutdown dialog, Microsoft is also testing WinUI and Fluent Design icons for WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment).

The Windows 8-era WinRE interface which is present in the OS now has new icons and more changes could be due, as remember the Windows 11 Build 25115 is still an early working version of the next year’s major release.

Windows 11 WinRE

Again, this is not a big change, but changes for long-standing legacy portions of the operating system may lead to a more consistent design across the platform.

In the original release of Windows 11, Control Panel also received UI improvements, including rounded corners and new icons, which could be considered a good move, but we still hope that one day the company will be able to entirely ditch legacy areas like Control Panel without making things difficult for users.

It is worth noting that Microsoft is exploring the design tweaks in Windows 11 Dev Channel and there’s no guarantee these changes will ship with version 23H2.

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