Microsoft officially unveils Project Neon, the 'Fluent Design System' for Windows 10

Microsoft today unveiled its new design language for Windows 10, called the Microsoft Fluent Design System and formally known as Project Neon. This new design language is an "evolution" of Metro, first introduced in Windows 8 back in 2012, and it includes several new design elements and functionalities that developers can take advantage of.

The goal of Fluent Design is to deliver harmonious, intuitive, inclusive and responsive cross-device experiences and interactions. Developers will be able to build beautiful, expressive apps with the Fluent Design language, with animations, blur and fluidity, according to Microsoft.

Windows Insiders will have already seen this new Fluent Design System in action via first-party Windows 10 apps. For example, Microsoft recently pushed updates to Groove, Calculator, Films & TV, and more, that introduced improved user-interfaces within the apps, including blur and hover animations. Developers will now also be able to develop apps officially using the Fluent Design System, with the design language also coming to the OS over time too.

Microsoft also admits that the experiences Windows users see on certain devices can differ dramatically, and the Fluent Design System is designed to cater to those different device types, providing the best user-interface designs depending on your device type.

From Microsoft:

These devices all behave differently and fulfill different needs. From large screens to no screens they rely on touch, ink, voice, gaze, and gesture. Every day, developers also face the challenge of a multi-device, multi-interaction world, and we are committed to simplifying this world with a modern Microsoft design system.

Windows Insiders will start seeing more apps and system elements make the switch to the new Fluent Design Language throughout the development of the Fall Creators Update, with the first official parts of the Fluent Design Language going live in the Fall for the public.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Pics?
  • ...or it didn't happen...
  • Video has been provided.
  • You can download the latest Fast Ring upgrade and experience this for yourself. :)
  • All we need is ALL this in a Surface Phone and we're in business.
  • Similar to when Project Scorpio gets its offical name, I'm still going to refer to FDS as Project Neon, just because Project Neon has a nice ring to it :)
  • Exactly :D
  • Unless it's actual name is better, I will also continue calling it Scorpio.
  • Lol just imagine how RS3 will perform once it's implemented on Scorpio.
  • I know that feeling. I simply deny to call RS3 "Fall Creators Update"... Because it's lame... 😂
  • Just call it "The Neon Update"
  • Remember Project Spartan? ;)
  • Edge?
  • We don't call Edge Project Spartan anymore, that's his point. :)
  • Why is it that Microsoft always comes up with fantastic, memorable code names, but fails in the final product naming? We were lucky that Cortana ended up keeping the name Cortana, and not "Microsoft digital personal assistant for Windows Phone 2014" or MDPAWP. 😋
  • seriously I remember the community immediately got on their ass about keeping the name Cortana. It was huge
  • Apps are normally really boring. So good to hear apps will be better in the future. Now we just need a pocket Surface to go with my PC. And the family is complete.
  • ..and an app that syncs playlists from Groove PC to Phone -__- ...been using Windows Phone Desktop App this whole time and since last night it stops working once phone is connected =(
  • The groove android ios app syncs mp3s and playlits but you have to upload them all in onedrive
  • Groove on Windows does that too but the point is, I should be able to sync without being obliged to do it through onedrive.  I have over 70GB of music and I live in Beirut were the internet is still at 2-4 mbps amd its expensive.   What if I was at a location or trip with no internet? Does Microsoft not feel it's important to simplify such scenarios? That said, after writing this, I discovered that if you have created/updated your playlist on groove, you can connect your phone to thr PC and copy the files (from stored music folder), playlist and music, to the playlist and music folder on your phone (through file explorer).  While this does work, it's definitely not as nice as just opening a program and hitting sync.  Zune did this best not sure why they took that feature away and never brought it back in Groove.  As groovy as Groove is, it loses its groove when its time to sync (sorry just had to).    
  • Yes I get your point and I am with you here. You see I was a window PC and phone user but I didn't get it why there was no local sync. Of files, music and pics. Man its 2017 someone should have thought of it.  Btw, I get your pun bruh
  • another rebranded stuff from the past we had AERO glass since Vista but some high IQ manager decided to kill it
  • Though similar to Aero, this is different. Depth, light, and motion are all part of it, whereas Aero was simply transparency.
  • I wish it could come to Mobile, that would look amazing. Imagine: You open an app, and your start background still shows but blurred with either white or black (depending on your theme color). Animations is needed on Mobile too
  • Probably will be available with the nest iteration of mobile as it will need semi decent hardware  
  • Hopefully there will be a next iteration of W10M and new devices :'(
  • Animations are totally needed on Mobile!! And e everything related to UX and UI improvements. In other words, Mobile needs Neon ASAP!!
  • why do i see snap chat there...
  • Good catch 🤔
  • now I got extremely curious as well :O
  • they're probably being hopeful
  • Looks meh.
  • I think it looks improved and that all that matters right?
  • Microsoft is the only company that can take something and make it overly complex to remember.  Cool sounding "Neon" now becomes Fluent-somthing or other. I can't even remember and I just read the article.  Not that they needed to keep Project Neon as the name just not make it so 1980's IBM sounding.   I can't wait for Fluent Design Language is so catchy sounding. /s  Shortening it to FDS doesn't help. It makes it sound like an abbreviation for a disease.
  • Microsoft Fluent Design System is not hard to remember lol. If you're such a simpleton then you shouldn't be using a PC in the first place.
  • What difference does it make? The name is mainly for developers, who I doubt care what they call it. The consumer will probably never even see the name (unless they're an enthusiast).
  • Now seems a good time to hop back into Insider builds. 
  • Gorgeous! Can't wait to see it all come together.
  • I still want to know details. What exactly is the FDS besides translucency ("Acrylic") and new hover animations?
  • It's more. It's a way to counter the static design. Check out apps for ios and android, there's beautiful design. Windows is getting hers
  • Watch the video m8.
  • Serious lag is coming.
  • I doubt, with intel Improving their graphics rendering on cpu's including AMD, they will run smoothly. On older hardware, flat fills will be used, I saw the xaml code has a property of "AppNotFocused"( I'm not certain but it refers to the app not in focus, the color of the bar changes from acrylic to solid fill. I'm sure this can be set global on the operation system in cases where old systems are failing to keep up with the design
  • Great thing hopefully. Since Metro it seems there is no design guideline (actually there is, but not even Microsoft apps take them serious). It's going to look a bit like Mac, but well, they stole flat design from windows :D And I hope they make it easier for developers to create animations. With all those storyboards you have trouble all the time when it gets some complexity.
  • What a bad name. Neon sounded way better. Neon thought op by the nerd programmers. Then the awful marketing team changes it to fluent..
  • I can't wait until the Fall Creators Update is released; this new design system looks awesome.
  • Sh*t is sexy. Hopefully all that depth and motion hoopla are actually part of the update. Wouldn't mind opening my laptop to that digiporn. They'd probably need a light mode though for weaker devices or battery saving. Maybe keep the current style as a setting.
  • Cool
  • Beautiful! As more under-the-hood upgrades were coming to Windows 10, I long hoped that the design team would get a chance to hone in the vast inconsistencies in UI elements. This sort of stuff gets me super it!
  • Good move MSFT but I hope they fix their file indexing and search. That lag from searching is unbearable
  • Hmm at first glance I'm not so sure that it's really a successor to Metro. For one thing Metro shunned shadows and making 2d things appear 3d, while Fluent embraces it. Let's see how it goes, but color me skeptical.
  • Looks like iOS mixed with Androids material design, which are flat after metro did this... so it will be a good evolution, hopefully. But look good so far
  • I don't like it. I does not remind me of metro. And the blur gives readability issues with small fonts.