Microsoft's Windows 11 event less than a day away! That means we're gearing up to become Windows 11 Central, and what better way to kick things off than with a list of things I'm expecting (or hoping) to see announced tomorrow.
Make sure you tune into the Windows 11 event on June 24 at 11AM ET. You can watch the event at the link.
Let's kick off with them most obvious one. I expect we'll see Microsoft announce Windows 11 at its Windows 11 event tomorrow. We'll see Microsoft show off all the new Windows 11 user interfaces and features in live demos and sizzle videos, and it'll be great.
We've already had a sneak peek at some of the new Windows 11 interfaces thanks to a leak last week. So we already know that there's a new Start menu and centered Taskbar on the way. But I also know that there's more to Windows 11 than what we've seen so far. The leak isn't everything.
We'll hopefully see Microsoft talk a bit about why it's doing Windows 11, as well as detail important information around when the release will ship, the update cadence going forward, and when Insiders will be able to begin testing the update before it rolls out to the public in the fall.
In regard to other OS changes, I expect we'll see Microsoft show off a new modern File Explorer UI, an updated System Tray / Action Center interface that matches the rest of the Windows 11 UX, some new things in the revamped Settings app such as battery usage graphs and personalization options, and other in-box app design updates to keep things looking fresh.
Microsoft may also focus on the new Windows 11 sounds, UI designs, and touch enhancements that it's shipping with this new release. Within the Windows 11 announcement, I'm also expecting to see the company focus on important changes to the platform and ecosystem, starting with a new Microsoft Store app.
New Microsoft Store
We've known for a while now that Microsoft is working on a brand new Store app for Windows, and I think we'll hear and see it in action tomorrow. The new Store will feature a brand new design, matching the rest of the new Windows 11 user interface. But the new app design is just one part of the story.
We also know that with the new Microsoft Store, Microsoft is relaxing the policies that govern what kind of apps can be submitted to the app store by developers. I expect Microsoft will announce that app developers can now submit unpackaged Win32 apps, as well as use their own content delivery networks and commerce platforms if they wish.
I also expect to see Microsoft put its own apps such as Teams, Office, and maybe even Visual Studio into the new Store as "proof" that Microsoft is committed to this new vision for the store. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Microsoft already has some third-party developers lined up to add their apps to this new storefront too.
Microsoft Teams Integration
Microsoft Teams is all the rage at Microsoft. It's been hugely successful in the enterprise space, so it should come as no surprise to hear that Microsoft is now trying to push a "consumer-friendly" version of Teams to the masses. So far, its impact has been minimal, but perhaps integrating it into Windows 11 will help boost it?
I wouldn't surprise me if we see some kind of Microsoft Teams for consumers integration on Windows 11. Perhaps Microsoft could have a new "Chat" app that's pinned to the Taskbar and lets you quickly start new chats or video calls in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft already did a similar thing on Windows 10 with Skype, but that integration was lazy and didn't really feel "integrated." If Microsoft wants one of these chat services to take off, the experience needs to feel a little more purposeful. We'll see what Microsoft ends up doing tomorrow.
Getting into more hoping rather than expecting territory now, but I think tomorrow would be a good time for Microsoft to unveil its new Cloud PC service. Cloud PC is all about putting Windows in the cloud, and making Windows apps accessible to anyone via streaming.
It would be a big deal if Microsoft tried to position Windows 11 as the first version of Windows to be built with the cloud in mind. Obviously, this would be more of a marketing spin than actual fact, as Windows 10 is already pretty well equipped to run in the cloud.
Windows 11 will be available locally on physical hardware, but imagine if Windows 11 is also available to "rent" in the cloud for people who don't have or need a Windows 11 device? Or, perhaps Windows 11 could have native integration with Cloud PC, allowing users to install apps to the cloud to save space on their PC, but still have those apps show up in the Start menu and Taskbar as if they were natively installed. Would be interesting.
This one is basically based on nothing but hope, but I'd love to see Microsoft reannounce the Surface Neo with Windows 11 tomorrow. I wouldn't expect them to ship Surface Neo until the fall, but a "one more thing" moment at the end of the show, announcing that Surface Neo is coming and that it will ship with the new Windows 11 later this year would be a great way to sign off the event.
The leaked Windows 11 build does appear to show that there are performance improvements on the way for big.LITTLE processors, such as the one that was announced as powering the Surface Neo. Coincidence? Probably, but I still think Surface Neo and Windows 11 make sense together.
What are you hoping to see?
So, that's my list of expectations and hopes for the Windows 11 event tomorrow. But I want to know what you're hoping to see. Let us know in the comments below!