With Windows 11, Microsoft is rethinking its Fluent Design approach and embedding a new design language across all of its apps and interfaces.
Will the new textures, skins, and visuals affect the performance of my Windows 11 device? Redmond claims there will be no negative effect.
What is Mica?
As part of the visual transformation, Windows 11 also features a new design material called Mica, which is a soft dynamic material that brings the theme closer to the desktop wallpaper.
Mica’s role is obvious when looking at settings or third-party apps like Edge. Mica will colourize the background of several application and preference windows to create a visual hierarchy.
In Windows 11, Mica will be the most common design element and will appear in various applications and in the operating system itself.
Mica allows the desktop background behind the application window to appear in focus blur. In the Insider Preview builds, you can see Mica content in Explorer, Settings, Microsoft Teams, and elsewhere.
Mica refreshes the application window by adding themes and desktop wallpapers, as well as drawing the background.
Mica won’t impact performance Microsoft promise
In a recent Q&A session, Microsoft explained that the Mica material does not save the desktop wallpaper every frame, but only blurs the image once for the best performance and usability.
Kevin Gallo, head of the Microsoft Developer Platform said:
Performance is truly our top priority. We want to make sure that all these cool new features (Mica and the rounded corners) work very quickly and do not affect the operating system. For example, compared to the special effects of Acrylic, Mica is specially designed for higher performance. For rounded corners, we’ve optimized rendering performance so you won’t notice any difference compared to square corners.
Implementation of WinUI, Mica, and new Fluent Design controls started with Windows 11, version 21H2 (due October 2021), but work is still in progress.
It will be interesting to see how Windows looks and performs when considered a full-fledged product.