It came as a surprise for everyone that was expecting Windows 10 to be the last version of the Microsoft Operating System. The company has been betting on long-term support focusing on Windows 10 for the past years, but now, it has decided to go forward into a new version. On June 24, Microsoft will unveil the next version of Windows – Windows 11. Ahead of the release, the first build has leaked today. The leak serves us with a couple of screenshots (via XDA-Developers) showing new changes in the Start Menu, Taskbar, and in other aspects of the Operating System.
Despite the new name, Windows 11 looks like a new version of Windows 10, perhaps a new refreshment. It brings a big visual redesign, but under the hood, we still have essentially the same OS. The new version comes to build certain excitement around the update. We have to agree that new Windows 10 updates aren’t as exciting as a new version update. Despite the familiar experience, we have new design changes that clearly hint at a new direction for Windows design.
Windows 11 brings a lot of Windows 10X elements
The new Windows 11 will come in all versions previously available with Windows 10. We’ll have Windows 11 Home, Pro, Enterprise, and others. Even the installing interface brings a new design refreshment that takes a major departure from what we’ve been used to with Windows 10. There are plenty of new icons with shadows and a light 3D-like effect. This is a major departure from the flat design well established by Windows 11.
One of the most notable characteristics in this leaked build is that it looks like Windows 10X. For those unaware, Windows 10X was a new version of the OS aiming at hybrid devices. Microsoft decided to ultimately discontinue the platform, but apparently, some of the work is being used with Windows 11. Windows 10X promised some under-the-hood changes, such as running apps in containers so they couldn’t access the rest of the file system. However, this isn’t happening on the leaked Windows 11 build. The company seems to be simply using Windows 10X shell on top of Windows 10.
You also may have spotted a new Windows logo, which is a blue Microsoft logo. The icon replaces the trapezoidal logo. The company seems to be changing the Windows-branded nature to something more Microsoft-branded.
The taskbar is now centered, however, you can customize it. In case you didn’t notice, the system brings a brand new Start Icon. Furthermore, Windows Search also gets a brand new look hero. Apparently, Microsoft is also using some of the elements of Sun Valley UX. These include floating, centered fly-outs. Moreover, the new search menu allows you to filter down results by apps, documents, settings, and more. The File Explorer does not bring many changes, however, in comparison with Windows 10 all the icons are different.
As far as the applications are concerned, nothing is really changing in terms of design. However, that can change in the future. If you recall, Windows 10 on its early builds was very close to Windows 8.1 in terms of design.
Windows 11 will bring back widgets. This time, however, we have something close to macOS, and it is likely to replace the Live Tiles. Worth noting that widgets will look different if you’re in light and dark modes.
Windows 11 big announcement in the next week
We expect new additions to come during the next months. After all, Microsoft will only announce Windows 11 in the next week. We expect a rollout for those signed in the Preview program. However, a full stable release should not arrive until the last quarter.