Microsoft just unveiled Windows 11, which is the next generation of Windows. It's a major update that brings several new features, including a new Start menu, touch experience, Microsoft Store, and improvements for gaming. It also includes support for Android apps through the Amazon Store. It's the biggest news to happen to Windows-powered PCs in years, and you'll be able to grab it later this year.
Windows 11 stems from recent efforts to reinvigorate the OS, following a string of internal experiments to deviate from the widely popular Windows 10.
Windows 11 is real, and it's a big update
Windows 11 brings some major changes to the operating system. It includes a visual overhaul that rounds corners, adds animations, and makes the operating system feel more modern. The Taskbar has a new layout, and the overall look of the OS appears fresh. Many of the changes seen in Windows 11 were first demonstrated in Windows 10X, a new version of the OS that Microsoft announced in 2019. Windows 10X is now on ice to focus efforts on the full version of Windows.
Windows 11 is an exhaustive reimagining, better positioning the platform alongside competitors in the personal computing space.
Microsoft steadily established the groundwork for Windows 11, with both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CPO Panos Panay teasing the "next generation" to come. The company then unveiled the new operating system at an event on June 24.
How to download Windows 11
Windows 11 won't be generally avaialble until later this year, but you can test it out now through the Windows Insider Program. Note that this isn't recommended for your primary machine or if you aren't tech savvy.
We have a complete guide on how to get the first public preview of Windows 11.
A Microsoft blog post outlines how to get your PC ready to try out the operating system. It also explains the minimum requirements to run an Insider build of Windows 11.
A leaked build of Windows 11 appeared on the web recently, but it's incomplete. We do not support or condone downloading any Windows 11 builds ahead of the official release, or any illegal or malicious use of Microsoft property. Downloading stolen assets is neither endorsed nor approved by Windows Central, with possible legal ramifications for those involved. That's without touching on the security implications of installing code from dubious sources.