Microsoft’s going modern. At least that’s the news from Neowin today, which has taken a look at a few leaked builds of the upcoming Windows Threshold operating system.

The latest details point to a streamlined user interface that keeps the digital assistant Cortana close at hand.

Threshold is a collection of updates for Microsoft Windows, and rumors point it to carrying the Windows 9 moniker eventually. These updates touch on all manner of operations.

The build is in alpha tests, which means that Microsoft could remove or change some of the proposed features prior to release. Even so, what’s currently included is pretty nice. The overall UI is going to look much different from Windows 7 and 8, sporting a more modern and flat design. The Start screen is moving to the background on desktop computers and tablets likely won’t have it available at all in the future.

The taskbar is set to be more streamlined as well with interactive icons that offer up more information than the previous static location setup. The idea here is that you can hover over an open-yet-minimized app in the taskbar and see what’s going on within it without clicking or opening it fully.

Microsoft Cortana, the digital assistant from the Windows Phone 8.1, is going to be available in the taskbar as well for added convenience. Apps are also slated to run more intuitively without a titlebar. The design is flat, but options for closing and minimizing apps will still be present. Desktop widgets could make a reappearance as well, but Microsoft has not confirmed this. Again, all of this is info from an alpha build, but it’s still promising to think the next incarnation of Windows could be taking a more modern approach.

These details could make for a more intuitive Windows experience that looks and feels much the same across your Windows Phone, tablet, or desktop. In fact, we at VentureBeat previously discussed how the Threshold OS will act as a unifier across all Microsoft products. And earlier this year, we reported that Threshold is likely to ship in April 2015.