Microsoft has been working for a whole year on a great visual rejuvenation of their OS and on June 24th we will finally be able to see what the Redmond giant has prepared for us. However, an early Windows 11 build version has already been leaked before its official unveiling, so we had the chance to look at some new aspects of the aesthetically revamped Windows like the start menu, the desktop and more.
Windows 11 Symbolizes Microsoft’s Growth
Windows 11 is Microsoft’s first big step in modernizing its operating system. Windows has been accumulating remnants of past updates for many years and gradually becoming a kind of “Frankenstein’s monster”.
After taking control of Windows, Panos Panay, former director of Surface, has set himself a goal: to get Windows back to the top. Panay states that his wish is for people to use Windows because they love it and not just because they need it. Self-criticism regarding the state of the operating system is evident.
Windows 11 will bring with it a great visual rejuvenation of the operating system in all aspects, including redesigning parts of the operating system that had not been touched for much more than a decade.
After many years with the company at the center of its thoughts, Microsoft now looks to the consumer with Windows 11. They want consumers to want this operating system and enjoy using it.
In addition, they see it as a great opportunity to advance their plan to modernize the operating system for the coming years. It is very likely that Windows 10 will live for a long time as “the Windows for business and administration” and Windows 11 as “the Windows for the rest of the world”.
After the recent cancellation of the unborn Windows 10X, Windows 11 looks like it will be its natural heir, incorporating a large number of the first’s foundational technologies.
What’s New in Windows 11?
The start sound is back, that’s for sure. Microsoft removed startup sound in Windows 8 (at least by default). Now it seems that those in Redmond are walking back in their footsteps and have recovered one of the hallmarks of the operating system. Then, with all of you, the new Windows 11 startup sound
Windows 11 will introduce new iconography based on fluent design lines throughout the operating system. Currently we have several examples of this new iconography in Windows 10: the icons of Edge, Mail, Photos, Alarms…
Windows 11 will delve into this aspect and try to put an end to the inconsistencies. Thus, we will have new icons of Settings,Folders, Notepad, Paint,Task Manager and many more. Even the Control Panel icons and others that have been intact since Windows 95!
Start Menu and Task Bar
One of the most noticeable changes of Windows 11 in the eyes of the general public will star the new Start menu and taskbar
Learning from past mistakes (Windows 8), those in Redmond are not only not going to remove the Start menu but are going to give it even more prominence. The new Windows 11 Start menu will open by default in the middle of our screen to show us a list of fixed apps (we think up to a maximum of 18) and, just below, a series of “recent files”.
In these screenshots we can see the new start menu interface in the light and dark themes. It remains to be seen if Microsoft implements at the bottom a series of shortcuts to File Explorer, as had been rumored.
As far as the taskbar is concerned, we know that it has been completely replaced by the Windows 10X taskbar. Thanks to being built with modern technologies, this bar will have more effects and will work better than the current one. The icons set to the taskbar will be placed by default in the center and will move fluidly depending on the elements we have.
If you do not like centered elements, you should know that Microsoft will allow you to move everything to the left and leave it as in previous versions of Windows.
A Redesigned Activity Center
The Activity Center that is part of the leaked build of Windows 11 does not seem the definitive one that will be distributed with the operating system. Our information is that it will be replaced by one very similar to that of Windows 10X very soon, which is more minimalist and fits much better than the rest of the Windows 11 interface.
New System Applications
Windows 11 will renew all or the vast majority of modern apps preinstalled with the operating system. Thus, we will have new apps of Photos, Settings, Music, etc. In particular, there is talk of a huge design change in the Settings application whose design seems to have already been leaked..
Microsoft has already told us how this new design will look through the Alarms and Clockapp, which was updated a few months ago.
One of the most anticipated new designs is that of File Explorer. We have already seen a good part of this redesign:new folders, more spacing, new icons… We do not know if Microsoft will dare to go further but the changes introduced so far already represent a substantial improvement over the current design.
We also know that Microsoft is working on a unified Mail and Calendar experience known as Project Monarch or One Outlook. This application will replace the current native Mail and Calendar and will be based on the Microsoft Edge Webview2.
Improved Touch Experience
Microsoft wants to recover the users it left abandoned after the jump to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. Those in Redmond have suffered lately looking for a middle ground that will please “keyboard and mouse” users and touch users and Windows 11 will try to put an end to this.
Windows 11 will introduce new gestures to open and close apps, go back to Start, open multitasking, and so on. It’s basically about the gestures that we already saw in Windows 10X and that we liked so much.
An Overhauled Microsoft Store
Just over a month ago it was leaked that Microsoft has been working for a long time in a Store. The App Store concept was introduced with Windows 8 and hasn’t had the success Microsoft had hoped for. Therefore, the American tech giant will take a 180º turn with the policies of its new Store.
Microsoft will apparently allow developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps (both in .exe and . MSI), host apps and updates on your own CDN and use third-party commercial platforms in your applications.
As if this were not enough, we have also known that the Windows Store will reduce its commissions from 30 to 12% when it comes to video games. Thus, the pressure on Steam (which remains at 30%) it redoubles in the face of the push of its competitors. Microsoft wants its new Store to be a success and is willing to do whatever it can to achieve it.
In addition to the new developer policies, the new Microsoft Windows Store will be built from the ground up to be more modern, faster and more efficient than ever. It promises a much faster operation and animations at the height of Windows 11.
New User-Centered Features
In addition to all the improvements in Windows 11 when it comes to user interface, Microsoft will also be giving us new user-centric features. We’ve already seen one of them on Windows 10 with the recent inclusion of the “News and Interests” widget but there’s even more on the way
First of all, we know that Windows 11 will include more information about the status of the battery and the use of the battery. Thanks to this new function we will be able to know the health of the battery of our device. The inclusion of this feature highlights the great importance that Microsoft attaches to Windows laptops and convertibles, which represent a huge percentage of total sales.
On the other hand, the colleagues of Windows Central tell us about another series of functions that could come to Windows 11. First of all, it highlights a feature that will allow you to separate the open Edge tabs from our windows in multitasking. This will be especially useful for those users who usually have many applications and browser tabs open at the same time, allowing you to have better control and be more productive.
New Animations, Sounds, Rounded Corners
What’s new in Windows 11 doesn’t end there. We know it will feature new, fluid animations to open, close, minimize and maximize apps and maybe a few more.
In addition, it will incorporate new sounds throughout the entire operating system. Both animations and sounds are likely to also be largely inherited from Windows 10X.
We’ll see how all menu and app windows take on rounded corners in Windows 11, abandoning one of the last vestiges introduced with Windows 8.
Finally, Microsoft has worked to make the dark theme more consistent throughout the interface. Windows 10 has a dark theme that only applies to modern interface elements, while certain menus and screens continue to display blank, hurting the user experience. This will not happen with Windows 11. In addition, combinations of dark grey will be used instead of using “pure black”.
In addition, Microsoft has worked during the last months in polishing the base of Windows 11,which we have already been able to test internally in the Windows Insider channel. I can confirm that it is a more robust base than the previous one and with a much smaller presence of bugs.
During this time, Microsoft has also taken the opportunity to anticipate some of the novelties that will also come to Windows 11 as a new source for the operating system or the definitive removal of Internet Explorer.
Windows 11 Requirements
As long as Microsoft does not say otherwise, we must assume that the minimum requirements are the same as currently for Windows 10. So, in order to use Windows 11 your PC should meet these minimum requirements:
- 1 GHz processor or faster
- 4 GB of RAM
- at least 30 GB of free disk space
- Direct X9
- Integrated or a dedicated GPU
- Screen resolution of at least 800 x 600 resolution.
When Will Windows 11 Come Out?
The launch is scheduled for fall 2021, probably during the month of October. Everything points to it being a free update that can be obtained by all Windows 10 users. So, don’t forget to keep up with technoish as we’ll have even more news after the official Windows 11 reveal event scheduled tomorrow.