UPDATED 20:27 EDT / JUNE 15 2021


Leak shows screenshots of Windows 11 ahead of launch event

Ahead of Microsoft Corp.’s launch event June 24 for the next generation of Windows, screenshots of a pre-release build of Windows 11 have found their way to the internet.

The news today that there will be a new version of Windows, the first in a decade, has come quickly. Windows 10, released in 2015, was said by some at Microsoft to be the last version of Windows ever to be released, with the company updating the operating system instead of bringing out new versions.

Microsoft started working on a simplified version of Windows called Windows 10X that would be optimized for personal computers and folding devices in 2019, but a report in May said that those plans had been put on hold. Although Windows 10X looks like it may never come to market, many of the design features in the unpublished version of Windows appear to have made their way to Windows 11.

First published today on the Chinese website Baidu, the screenshots of Windows 11, which clearly show that it is called Windows 11, adopts the Windows 10X interface, complete with moving the start button and taskbar to the bottom center of the screen as default. Users can apparently move the start button to the standard lefthand-side position by changing settings.

The new start button menu has a new layout that removes live tiles and instead shows pinned applications and recommended links. According to Windows Central, although users can pin as many icons as they want, only 18 can be displayed at once. For unpinned apps, users can visit a dedicated “all apps” list that offers a familiar list of apps. Recommended links are a replacement for the previous timeline feature and will show recent activities such as documents recently worked on.

Other notable changes include rounded corners on Windows as opposed to Windows 10’s square corners. File Explorer has also been upgraded with a new look and the Xbox app is now integrated into the operating system.

The Verge reported that widgets may be returning in Windows 11 as well. Previously known as Windows Desktop Gadgets, the widgets were last seen in Windows 7 before being discontinued.

That Windows 11 is coming is a given and Microsoft has already announced the end-of-support date for Windows 10. A Windows 10 lifecycle support page lists that support for both Windows 10 Home and Pro will end on Oct. 14, 2025.

Images: Baidu

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