Microsoft wanted to differentiate themselves from the iPhone by launching Windows Phone with square icons in 2009, with the whole operating system featuring brutal and austere sharp corners.
Despite the limited success of Windows Phone, this design style eventually infected Windows 8, likely being in part responsible for the rejection of that operating system by the public. Live Tiles is still one of the least popular elements in Windows 10, but according to the WC’s Zac Bowden, Microsoft may finally be softening their stance on rounded corners, making the next major version of Windows 10 less user-hostile.
He posted the above picture from the new search console in Windows 10 201H1 and said:
that's not happening. The rounded corners are coming to Fluent Design. You'll see it all over Windows, Xbox, Office, and other products in the coming months/years.
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) May 2, 2019
“The rounded corners are coming to Fluent Design. You’ll see it all over Windows, Xbox, Office, and other products in the coming months/years.”
According to Bowden, the new Chromium-based Edge browser’s rounded tabs are another sign of things to come, and of Microsoft’s move away from squares.
The move is long overdue – while designers loved Metro, it has been clear that very little from everyone else did.