It looks like Microsoft is going through with it. After much discussion about whether there will be a successor to Windows 10, and if so, what it will be called, a leak preempts the official announcements. Over a Chinese website, a preview of Windows 11 has found its way into the web. It is a mixture of Windows 10, Windows 10X and new design elements from the Sun Valley project.
You never know with Microsoft. It was obvious that a major design update for Windows 10 would be released in the fall of 2021, but the codename Sun Valley has been around for quite some time. However, this was not unusual, because Microsoft releases new Windows versions twice a year, and the May update was really a mini update. However, then the events rolled over and the rumor persisted that Microsoft now has Windows 11 at the start.
Officially, the whole thing is not confirmed, Microsoft has planned its own Windows event on June 24. But now a pre-release version of Windows 11 has been leaked onto the web via a Chinese website. So you can see in advance where the journey is going. This is what Windows 11 looks like.
- Also Read: Meet the 16 Big Winners of the Corona Crisis
Legacy of Windows 10X: Floating Start menu
One thing you can clearly see in the leaked Windows 11, Microsoft uses many elements that were actually planned for Windows 10X. Therefore, the project, which has been discontinued in the meantime, was not in vain, but rather a supplier of ideas for the Windows 10 successor. Users can choose to place the Start menu in the center, it floats a bit above the taskbar and shows a new layout.
The live tiles have disappeared; the upper area now shows pinned programs, recently used files and the controls for turning off the system. And by the way, the rounded corners have also been implemented. The Start menu shows them, and they also appear in context menus.
Start menu also works on the left
There are still light and dark modes, but Windows 11 gets new standard wallpapers without the Windows logo. The taskbar has the same role as before, but looks noticeably better with centered icons and a new Windows button. For clarification: Putting the Start button and icons in the center of the taskbar is only one option, if you want, you can have the whole thing left-aligned as before.
Windows 11: widgets are coming back
Microsoft is actually launching the successor to Windows 10 under the name Windows 11. At least the setup reports itself as Windows 11 and Windows 11 also shows up as a name in the system information. It is possible to install the leaked preview on existing Windows 10 systems. For example, Windows 11 Pro can be installed, depending on the version.
Widgets are also new in the system. They have already existed in the Windows history and are probably experiencing a second spring with Windows 11. The leaked version doesn’t show the whole thing completely, although it seems to be clear that it will be small information snippets that show weather, news or stock prices. Around a third of the screen is used for this on the left edge of the screen.
Even the permanent construction site Windows search will be tackled again with Windows 11. The search can easily be started from the taskbar via the magnifying glass icon. Besides the search terms, there is also an arrangement of the most popular programs and the last search terms, as well as a small list of quick search terms. Above that, you can tap into the weather or news again.
- Also Read: All You Need to Know about Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies: Mining, Buying, Understanding
New details in operation
Microsoft has also implemented some small innovations in Windows 11 that are supposed to make it easier to use. As an example, the window control does not only allow maximizing windows, you can also move windows to the desktop corners or arrange them next to each other by pressing a button. Additionally, the boot menu has been redesigned and Windows 11 announces itself with a new startup sound. The Power User menu, which you can access by right-clicking on the Start button or via [Windows] + [X], has been slimmed down and is now much leaner.
No changes are “yet” visible in other places, such as the Microsoft Store. Even old familiar features like the Control Panel or the Disk Management are still in Windows 11.
If you choose a fresh new installation, you will be presented with a completely new setup. This is another development that was already part of Windows 10X. The objective of this is a slimmed-down installation, which is supposed to run faster and easier. However, you can see the new setup when updating from Windows 10 to Windows 11. In the process, everything has become a bit fancier, for instance, there are dynamic background images for waiting, fancy icons and simple buttons for settings.
Right at the beginning, the privacy settings are requested on a page. Everything is turned on in advance, as before, so users still have to set their own prohibitions when it comes to tracking or diagnostic data.
- Also Read: 11 Best Free Instant Messaging Apps
When will Windows 11 be released?
Besides the new features, an exciting question is of course “When is Windows 11 coming?”. Microsoft will hopefully have some answers here at its event on June 24. As the leaked version, which is from the end of May, is already quite ok, it should probably start soon with the test for insiders. When exactly that will be is not clear, but we hope it will be close to the event.
Apart from that, there is still a Windows 10 update for the fall. Of course, it would be cool if Windows 11 would be released by then. But there are still too many open questions, including support times and parallel operation. Some users might also be interested in whether it’s possible to switch from older Windows versions to Windows 11 right away.