Microsoft announced plans to release the new Windows 11 on June 24, 2021 and it has not taken long for it to be leaked online. Initially, snippets of the build were leaked, but now the full build is available online.
Windows 11 is mainly a new version of Windows 10 as it runs on the same OS. It has a massive visual redesign and because Microsoft wanted excitement around it, it was rebranded. However, when booting up the leaked build, users will experience familiarity with Windows 10.
Windows 11 versions are presented in the same way with Windows 10; Home, Pro, Enterprise and more. Users will be required to choose their preferred edition, decide how to partition their drives, and install the bits before the familiarity ends.
The new Windows 11 looks a lot like a Windows 10X shell put on top of Windows 10.
Windows 11 features a new Windows logo, a blue Microsoft logo that replaces the trapezoidal logo which was initially there, flattening it out into a square. This probably aligns with the company’s strategy to make their devices more Microsoft branded than Windows branded.
Another aspect of the design refresh includes rounded corners. Windows 11 scales back from Microsoft’s sharp corners which have been a fixture from earlier Windows 8 days.
The Start Menu is similar to what we have in Windows 10x, save for the rectangular logo, with a centered taskbar.
Windows search features a completely new look with floating, centered fly-outs. It allows filtering by apps, documents, settings, or more.
File explorer features visually different icons which are available for preview for Windows insiders on the Dev channel. The Microsoft edge browser remains intact with no changes across both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Settings also seem to have no change in general, although Microsoft may decide to update it, along with other inbox apps, before it goes public. However, some new settings can be spotted in the leak including a bunch of customization options for the taskbar, including an option to align it.
Virtual desktops remain in the same position, although there is a new stock wallpaper for both light and dark themes. Right next to that is a new option called Widgets, which is the same as what is on macOS. This will most probably replace Live Tiles which tried to operate as a widget and shortcut at once. Now they are being separated like they are on every other operating system.
The keyboard’s top bar can be opened to insert GIFs, emojis, and more.
Windows 11 will allow you to unpin items such as Task view and Windows search from the task bar, meaning you can do more than just hide them.
The new windows will also allow users to easily set different split view options from the maximize button on any app. You will get options to split view, or view three or four apps on the screen at once, which makes things easier when navigating between screens.
There is probably much more that will be unveiled when Microsoft officially releases Windows 11 next week.