Microsoft shows off Edge with new Fluent Design, and highlights priorities for next version

Microsoft told us today that it isn't planning to unbundle its Edge browser from the Windows 10 OS anytime soon. But while some many be disappointed by that news, others may be interested in what the company has in store for the browser in the coming months.

At its Build 2017 developer conference earlier today, Microsoft announced its new Fluent Design System, formerly known as the Project NEON design refresh. The new visual style is based around five 'building blocks': Light, Depth, Motion, Material, and Scale.

Microsoft offered a closer look at Fluent Design in a breakout session at Build today, details of which you can see here, including videos. In a separate session, the company also offered a glimpse of the Edge browser with a Fluent Design refresh.

In the screenshot below, you can see the new glassy, blurred effect in the tab area of the browser window:

The following screenshot offers a clearer view of the translucency effects in the tab area, along with 'depth' visualized by the shadow of the web page layered over the thumbnails of each tab at the top:

Microsoft also outlined its priorities for the next version of Edge, which will arrive with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update later this year:

It also outlined some of the improvements and new APIs that are heading to Edge in the coming months:

Microsoft said that it will continue in its efforts to improve battery performance when using Edge on portable devices, and that it will "double down on fundamentals" in the browser: "security, reliability, and performance".

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