Satya Nadella teases major updates coming soon to Windows during Build 2021 keynote

Windows Sun Valley mock
Windows Sun Valley mock (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Satya Nadella teases the "next generation of Windows" is in the works.
  • It will be "one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade."
  • Microsoft will have more to share "soon."

Microsoft has remained incredibly tight-lipped around its plans for Windows this year. We've known for some time that the company plans to ship a significant UX overhaul for Windows this fall under the codename Sun Valley, and that Microsoft is planning to hold a dedicated Windows event sometime in the next few weeks to talk about it.

Because of this, the company has opted to not talk much about Windows at Build 2021, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella from teasing that something big is in the works during his opening keynote, calling the project "one of the most significant updates to Windows [in] the past decade."

Here's the full quote from Satya Nadella:

Across all the opportunities I've highlighted today, Windows is implicit. It's never been more important. Windows 10 is used by more than 1.3 billion people to work, learn, connect and play. And it all starts with Windows as a dev box. Windows brings together all developer and collaboration tools in one place. It lets you choose the hardware you want, works with Linux and Windows as one, and has a modern terminal.And soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators. I've been selfhosting it over the past several months, and I'm incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows. Our promise to you is this: we will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon.

I find it remarkably interesting that Nadella, just like Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay, refers to this update as the "next generation of Windows" and not simply "Windows 10." Perhaps Microsoft is hinting that this big update won't be called Windows 10 when it ships? Windows 11? It would certainly be justified if it did.

Microsoft is rumored to be holding a dedicated Windows event in the next handful of weeks, possibly in June, where it will unveil this next generation of Windows along with a new user interface and feature set. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the rumors around Sun Valley and the next generation of Windows? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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