Windows 11 is more than just a new Start menu

Windows 11 Logo 2 Winver
Windows 11 Logo 2 Winver (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

It has been a wild 24 hours with an early internal build of Windows 11 (from late May) hitting public forums. Unfortunately, while leaks can be fun to gawk at, the downside is Microsoft doesn't get to show you the whole plan for its next-gen OS.

That vacuum of official information has led many to form an opinion on an incomplete picture of Windows 11. One hot take I keep seeing, often from people who have not tried the leaked build, is that Windows 11 is "just a new Start menu" and therefore does not deserve a new version number.

This is a terrible take. Here is why.

Windows 11 leak: What is there now

If all you have seen of the Windows 11 leaks are a few screenshots, it is easy to focus on the new Start menu. No doubt, it is a significant change, as, after all, the Start menu is the identity of Windows. It has been ever since Microsoft declared it with its Windows 95 campaign (cue "Start me up").

There's still a lot we haven't seen of Windows 11 yet.

From that perspective alone, I think it is fair to give this Windows a new version: It looks nothing like Windows 10, a left-aligned, Tile-based start system we've had for the last six years.

A new Start menu and UI were also the driving factors behind the shift from Windows 7 to Windows 8 to Windows 10 — so it is not like there isn't history here. On the contrary, you could argue it is the very raison d'être behind Windows versioning changes.

But there is so much more in this build that everyone is just glancing over. Here are things we know about:

  • New Start menu, centered, no more Live Tiles
  • New animations
  • New touch experience
  • New icons
  • New sounds
  • Widget Panel
  • New OOBE
  • New Ink Workspace
  • New Windows snap menu
  • Snap Windows in a vertical orientation

These are just the things we've discovered ourselves. Who knows what's in the official changelog from Microsoft.

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You could hem and haw about how you do not care about any of that, but it is irrelevant. From the moment a new out-of-box experience (OOBE) launches with its new ambient sound profile, and it loads the new Start menu, you realize this is not Windows 10.

Or, instead, it is an evolved Windows 10, you know, like a Windows 11 or something. I'm just spitballing here.

The smoothness of the animations, the new Windows snap options, the acrylic menus, and, yes, rounded corners all deliver a much slicker, leaner look. It all feels quite different and yet, familiar. That is likely on purpose.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Of course, I could digress into a philosophical discussion on the criteria of new OS versioning. But you know what? I do not make Windows; it is not my call to make. All I know is when Apple or Google do it, no one seems to care (have you really considered if Android 12 should really be called Android 12? Probably not.).

But for an OS that people keep writing off as irrelevant, there sure are many opinions on Microsoft's naming choices. Funny, that.

Windows 11: There is more yet to come

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

We also know from our sourcing there is a lot more in Windows 11 that is not in this build.

Putting aside that this leak is from May and Windows 11 is not expected to ship until October, there are good reasons to believe that Microsoft has more to reveal on June 24.

Some things we know are coming include:

  • Completely new Store experience
  • New inbox apps, e.g., Mail
  • Media control overlays
  • More consistent dark mode
  • Wake on Touch

But even our sourcing has limits leaving gaps in our knowledge of what Microsoft's big vision is for Sun Valley, which is why we'll be tuning in on June 24. For example, we are unsure if a revamped Action Center is planned. Or if Microsoft will open the Widget panel to developers, bring changes to the platform, File Explorer, etc. We're not even sure about Windows 11 SE. You know, big life-and-death questions that matter to 0.01% of earth's population, like "will Microsoft give a dark mode to Task Manager?"

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

What about under-the-hood changes to Windows 11? Improved performance, app resource usage, future options for developers, battery optimizations, security changes, support for new and evolving standards — all of it is unknown currently.

Putting aside the expected October release, Windows 11 is never going to be finished. No operating system ever is these days (see iOS 15 or Android 12). That means what does not come in October will come in future updates as Microsoft modernizes Windows.

Windows 11: Don't knock it until you try it

Windows 11 Dan Lowres Iphone

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

A few of us here at Windows Central have been running the leaked build for 24 hours now, and it is really nice. It is a refreshing change from the same-looking OS we have been using for the last six years. It is also relatively stable since it is using the underlying Windows Insider builds in current testing.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

And if you don't like Windows 11 so far, that's fine, too. You can probably even get back your precious Live Tiles.

But as we head into the summer, keep an open mind until Microsoft gives its full pitch on Windows 11. After that, there will be a lot more news and things we haven't seen that could sway your opinion.

There are undoubtedly going to be fair criticisms of Windows 11 as all operating systems deserve – and we'll certainly make them in our Windows 11 review later this year. But, if you are leering at screenshots from your phone and reaching a conclusion about Windows 11 without having tried it, well, maybe rethink that.

It is OK to wait and see.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I prefer the taskbar and Start left-aligned and want live tiles so I would go back to the Classic start straight away. The other stuff looks nice so far
  • Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if they build a toggle to switch back to the old menu. Seems like something they'd do.
  • Zack, in the first look video already showed that they did add a switch button.
  • Fair enough but unless you go all in you aren't ever giving new ways of using software a chance. For example Live Tiles are replaced with Widgets.
  • We will see on June 24th, since as it stands now this new "Widgets" is limited and inferior among Widgets systems due the lack of 3rd party support. Live Tiles could have been placed to that new location, at least for a while while devs is transitioning to new system. I will miss that nice flip and slide animations of Live Tiles. Sadly was the only lively thing on overall Windows 10 UX since animations on Windows 10 were just okay at best.
  • Can't wait. My Surface Pro X is crying out for a modern operating system to go with the modern hardware.
  • Absolutely. Would look lovely on that device.
  • Meh. After being so close to a truely modern, new from-the-ground-up OS in Windows 10X, this Windows 11 seems a pretty poor consolation prize.
  • I definitely get that, as 10X could have been fun on "new hardware experiences," but you have to admit selling this as "just Windows" with no compromises is going to be a hell of a lot easier.
  • Actually I prefer this. I want the transition to a modern, light OS be more-or-less seamless. And I don't want the "light" to mean "tablet OS" - I want it to mean efficient + good on a tablet as well as at a desktop. A new OS for which you need to buy a new device is the old MS willing to push its market power to the limit and help out OEMs. I want an OS from a company that makes its money from making me happier and more productive in my work, and I think this might be an expression of that. I can wait for the ultra-modern stuff under the hood.
  • "Completely new Store experience
    New inbox apps, e.g., Mail
    Media control overlays
    More consistent dark mode" Thank God. The Store has needed an overhaul for years. I like the inbox apps generally but they're really not as stable as they should be (looking at you, Mail). Same with the sharing system. The media control overlays are a remnant from Windows 8; they look ridiculous and get in the way. And any added visual consistency is welcome. Here's also hoping for more in terms of touch and touch gestures as well. And I'd like to hear more about the widget system. That would be the second thing I'd ask MS about (after changes to the Store, before touch and touch gestures).
  • Yes, a good list. The UI of the Mail app in Windows 10 really offends me, but there aren't a lot of options between it and full-fat Outlook. For my personal email, what I want is a stripped-back version of Outlook rather than something with funky background graphics. Perhaps they could call it something catchy like "Outlook Express". Improved media control overlays will be a big improvement too - the current ones in Windows 10 look out of place (holdovers from Windows 8 I think).
  • Thumbs up. Now all we need is for Microsoft to commit and go all in on ARM.
  • We can all get behind this for sure and Win 10X should be named Microsoft CoreOS with ARM only support
  • They should've kept big windows on its current path and not named 10x 10x and went with CoreOS so people didn't expect win32 and really focused that system on pwa, uwp/reunion and inbox apps with the MAIN SELLING point being a new level of Apple-like interoperability that Microsoft has not achieved before with its 1st party devices that ran it (Andromeda, Neo, hub2x). You could then have all the protections and locked down nature free of scrutiny from the tinkerers and enthusiasts who want to manage every aspect of big windows and enterprises who move slow. It would take time for new apps to come but let's be real, people use the same few apps on "light" locked down devices and are fine with it(ex: ipads and chromebooks).
  • Plus, a lot of the app gap stems from things like financials and entertainment. Most of those have been resolved with PWA and the others benefit from being able to use a full-fledged desktop browser with Edge.
  • Indeed. I'm currently running Windows 10 ARM in Parallels on an M1 Mac and hope to see a W11 ARM insider version ASAP. With Apple silicon's leap ahead in performance and efficiency, I hope Microsoft will keep its ARM initiatives on the front burner.
  • "All I know is when Apple or Google do it, no one seems to care (have you really considered if Android 12 should really be called Android 12? Probably not.)." Exactly...
  • Or back in the day when Android would have a whole new name but the version barely changed anything.
  • The dessert name was the only mildly Interesting thing
  • If it doesn't have option to have classic w10 start i won't bother upgrade. I wonder why you defending Microsoft so hard. We all fanboys of Microsoft but making new start menu and rounded corners doesn't need new windows number, especially after being told that w10 is last windows.
  • "I wonder why you defending Microsoft so hard. "
    I must have miswritten something for you to conclude that. My thesis here is don't judge changes to an OS you haven't used, based on screenshots of an incomplete product. I actually don't care if you like the OS or name change. It's fine, and I say as much. That has nothing to do with Microsoft, you should be approaching everything in life this way.
    "doesn't need new windows number,"
    Real question: Why do you care what they call it so much? Why is this so important that they don't call it Windows 11? And how do you justify the shift from Windows 8 to the name change in Windows 10, when all they did was, you know, change the Start menu (merged Windows 7 with Windows 8 Tiles, basically).
  • It's important because we've been told that w10 is the last windows.
    Breaking this words for this update is not ok.
  • The folks that said Windows 10 is the last version no longer work at Microsoft. If you care so much, then go ask Steve Ballmer, Steven Sinofsky, and Terry Myerson 🤣
  • Developers, developers, developers, developers...
  • lol, why? What's going to happen? It's still Windows as a Service (Waas). That is what that really meant - an OS that is forever being upgraded with no additional costs. That's not changing. And Microsoft never officially claimed that Windows 10 was the last version, that's in no ad copy, no PR releases, it doesn't say that anywhere on their website or in the OS. It was an engineer who stated it to a reporter. You may not be old enough to realize this, but, things change. It's OK. George Lucas swore there would never be any more Star Wars after Return of the Jedi. He said the same after the prequel trilogy. Let me tell you how that all ended someday ...
  • I'm old enough to know every second windows is lame:
    xp - good
    vista - lame
    7 - good
    8 - lame
    10 - good And here goes 11 :(
  • Windows 10 good? Windows 8 was ok once a decent start menu was put in place.
    Ok yeah, Windows ME was rubbish, so was Windows 98, but windows 98Se was fine.
    windows 95, which is when I had my first PC, was awful to be honest, unreliable, certainly compared to my Amiga.
  • 8.1 is better than 10 and 7 in terms of performance. I didn't use 8 but 8.1 which was good and I have 2 systems, one with w10H and other is w10Pro. It doesn't work well on 8GB ram which I can't upgrade on laptop. Where PC has 16gb ram which runs better because of 16GB ram and SSD.
  • I am glad I am not the only one who thought that that Windows 8/8.1 was better at performance than 7 and 10. I thought it was my imagination, but software just seemed to work smoother on it. i wanted to stay with Windows 8.1, but when I updated from my old AMD FX to a Ryzen 7, Windows 8.1 would not stay stable, kept crashing due to a memory management error.
  • I'm smart enough to know that superstition is not a guiding path to life, but short-circuit's thinking, logic, and science. 😏
  • A very odd thing to say.
  • Nothing was wrong with Vista performance wise, especially after the SP1 update, it was just ahead of the hardware and everybody was not going to buy a gaming machine to run it. That would have been the case for a Windows 10X style of OS for those crap ass Celeron processors and Closeout bin Pentium 4 computer companies were pushing to consumers. Yes, MS should have just been honest and said if you have "Blank" computer Vista will not run to your expectations. But Vista was a perfectly fine OS.
  • Yeah, "last version of Windows" is basically a myth.
  • People and companies change their minds all the time. Remember when Apple said they would never make a phone larger than 4.3 inches?
  • Please provide me Microsoft's official source of saying this. I would love to find it.
  • change is good, but looks like you're still living with your parents (as living elsewhere would be a change that you are not willing to make)
  • How much of this UI overhaul is simply merged into what's already there as opposed to replacing anything? It's gotten to the point where I don't even really care what Windows looks like and just for the love of god want it to all look the same. I'm driven to make system level UI changes not because I care so much about personalization but because I just want some form of consistency in the design. This is where MS is fully exposed as to prioritizing enterprise miles above home consumers which pushes me more and more towards other OSes.
  • It is a design law that consistency is the most important rule in good design. Yes, MOST important. I doubt you could find a statistically significant number of accomplished and respected designers who would disagree with that statement. Round corners, square corners, either can be good or bad depending on how it fits with the overall design.
  • I agree, but also can't help but notice that these changes more closely resemble OSX and especially ChromeOS. If Panos is smart and I think he is he will copy the best things from Apple and Google and ad a Windows flare. And finally that has to work for corporations. Nadella really grows from the core of the business out. So Windows has a few years before it really gets rolling with new leadership
  • I agree that it looks more like Apple and Google, but that's at least in part because design tends to tie in to the current zeitgeist, like clothes fashions. There is no perfect design that can then stop evolving, because good design induces delight and pleasant surprise among many of the viewers (never all, because different people have different tastes), and a static design can't do that, because it's already known and expected. Rather, design aspires to be visionary and timely. Hopefully, what Microsoft delivers will be AHEAD of the curve overall, rather than just following others.
  • It seems majority of the UX on Windows 10X were ported over to Win 11.
    If that's the case, I see the "postponement" of 10X as a good decision. By the time people get used to Win11, then 10X (or better still 11X) could be released as a "CoreOS + CShell" successor to Win11, which would be easy for everyone to adopt.
  • Now that tiles and sharp corners are headed down the river, MS decides to make the Start/Windows logo look like a bunch of sharp tiles? I find that hard to believe. If anything, this logo would have made more sense for the Windows 10 start menu: "Click the tiles icon to.. you know.. bring up the tiles"! And another thing--this looks just like the Microsoft logo, except monochromatic. Is that intentional? I almost wonder if this is a placeholder icon. All that said, the gradient and visual effects on mouse hover and click look great. I do like it, but I wonder.
  • Several years ago they changed the company logo to be the Windows logo.
  • Sort of, they did reuse the same four colors from Windows for the new MS logo but up until today the shapes have been distinctly different: a skewed perspective window vs four normal squares. When I see the squares, I think MS, not Windows.
  • I really like what I've seen so far.
    My biggest hope is that this OS eventually saves the Neo.
    I could totally see the Neo with Win 11.
    Not terribly optimistic, but hope dies last...
  • Is floating pop-up feature looks satisfying? Can 10-20(pixels) margin would affect the UX in good or bad way?
  • Well said Dan. Especially those saying this does not deserve the Windows 11 name is just ridiculous. Like seriously? What exactly are they expecting? A flying car or a space shuttle? Of course succeeding versions of Windows will naturally share a lot of DNA - it's why it's a version of Windows and not a totally different OS like Linux.
    Anyway, all I'm asking for is that they do not completely abandon the live tiles, for the sake of the 0.00001% of users like me that absolutely love them.
    Every other change is actually very good and welcome :-)
  • Are users going to be able to use live tiles? I really like them and hope to enable them going forward with Windows 11.
  • I believe on June 24 we will see much more than in the leaked build. Also, I do not want too many new features, I will be fine with polish to the existing ones. There is enough polish needed it deserves an increase in the version number.
  • Who cares about new "shiny bits" and GUI tweeks.
    I want to hear more about the rumored massive re-write of the entire scheduling stack to finally take advantage of the newer CPUs with 12, 16, 24, and more threads. This will be especially important as both Intel and AMD move to a "Big.Little" architecture (like ARM CPUs have.)
    Supposedly there are re-writes of the networking stack, WiFi interface, a new driver module to switch seamlessly between WiFi and LTE/5G, and more internal plumbing changes to make the entire OS more responsive, resilient, and use less resources. Fingers Crossed.
    Microsoft also desperately need a full re-write of the whole GDI model which is STILL based on the old EVGA mode (the smartest thing Apple ever did for the MAC was going to a full Postscript-based GDI model. Windows is woefully bad at screen scaling because of their ancient GDI model.)
    The GUI looks to be more flexible, and that is good, but I want to hear about the plumbing!
  • Those who have installed it have reported that performance is very snappy, so it is likely they have improved the engine in some ways. In addition to the scheduling, I'd like them to put more work into WASAPI and audio. Make it competitive with Core Audio on MacOS.
  • lastmessiah, what's wrong with current WASAPI? I think it's a solid sound API, good support for full bit depth recording and low latency (vs. MME or DirectSound). Maybe I'm looking at it from the recording side and you're talking about playback? If you're referring to playback, I confess I don't know if that even uses WASAPI. I do get frustrated that it's a damn pain to get surround sound working properly from a Windows PC to a decent deck. Windows has LOST/DOWNGRADED support for surround sound via S/PDIF, forcing hardware upgrades to HDMI audio components just to get surround sound, but then broke that with HDMI that only works if it's attached to a video feed. So if that's what you mean by WASAPI, I'm with you. But as Dan would point out, this probably only matters to about 0.01% of Windows users. :-)
  • I'm referring to recording/production. WASAPI is an improvement on what once was. I'm not sure if this is on MS or third party developers, but it seems that most audio software does not regard WASAPI as a valid low latency driver and requires ASIO. Bitwig Studio for instance has minimal support for WASAPI.
  • I think that's on the developers and hardware manufacturers. You may know more about this than I do, but I believe ASIO is a pure third-party solution and not part something Microsoft provides. It may have some advantages over WASAPI or just be closer to the methods with which some sound equipment manufactures were familiar. WASAPI is the MS solution and, I think, is solid for recording and is as good or better than anything else out there from a purely technical perspective (latency, bit-level quality). The problem I know of with WASAPI for recording is that not all devices have drivers that support it, meaning it's not always possible to record and playback on the user's preferred hardware (e.g., if I want to record from my USB mixer but play back over S/PDIF) without dropping down to DirectSound for playback.
  • "I want to hear more about the rumored massive re-write of the entire scheduling stack to finally take advantage of the newer CPUs with 12, 16, 24, and more threads."
    Great points.
  • Khaaannn, that's great to know. I had not heard about those advances. I hope we hear more about those too. I'm sure Windows Central will tell us. That said, I also care about a nice UI with better touch support and more animations. I know those don't change the function of the OS, but UX matters too.
  • Speaking of plumbing ... What about a better update system?
  • (Live) Widgets with PWAs >>> Live Tiles.
  • I don't write it off as irrelevant, but some shiny graphical changes and a new mail client doesn't mean anything to me. Windows is an environment to launch tools and as long as the changes don't break existing code I couldn't care less.
  • Oh I hope they open widgets to developers, how fast the tumbleweeds in that pane will make it go the way of My People and that activity menu? How many devs jumped on the opportunity?
  • I think they will. We may not get it for this release, but I can't see how they haven't considered the idea to do it. Just will take time to build out the APIs.
  • Do you think we will get a teaser of upcoming Surface devices that could possibly launch around the same time as Windows 11?
  • I don't think so. Maybe we'll see Neo in a sizzler reel for a second, but I think the most we'll get is "launching on new hardware this fall" or something. Then save a future October event for Surface.
  • If Microsoft were to open the widget panel to developers, would Windows Central accept the invitation to join? The WC app has been missing some W10 love for quite some time... The live tile still shows the old WC logo...
  • The store app is blocked still, could allowing android app be the biggest news of that conference?
  • Android apps in the windows app store is a terrible idea. As it introduces an additional attack vector and opens up the o/s to android based malware. 2)It destroys anything Microsoft had with developers as a why would develop apps for Window, when you can use a poorly optmised android app? Not to mention it throws everything Microsoft has done to unify the code base out the literal Window.
  • Not saying it won't happen, but we haven't heard anything suggesting it will.
  • I was underwhelmed by the screenshots, but was a lot more impressed after watching all of the YouTube walkthrough - the quality of the animations and the improvements to window management are really impressive. I hope File Manager is updated in the final release though, that does let the OS down a bit. Another thing I'm hoping for (probably in vain) in the official announcement is a better business model. With Windows 10 being free in a lot of scenarios, they have to extract maximum value - pushing cloud services, forcing Bing, ignoring default browser and launching Edge from some parts of the OS, hiding local login. Please, just charge me money instead of trying to monetise me. I'd happily pay a reasonable price for Windows 11, even annually. Just $20 would raise a huge amount of cash that they could pump back into the product.
  • Great article Dan. And good to put this Windows 11 build in the right perspective.
    Part of me was hoping this leak wouldn't happen and see the reveal on the 24th. That said, and running Windows 11 as we speak, I am still very curious as to where MS is taking this OS.
  • Yes, is 3.11 + 95 + XP - 7 + Vista + 10 + Linux + 1
  • Does not compute. :D
  • BDOS Error..................... Hit the any key to continue.
  • That's all well and good, but most of what you're describing still looks more like what could be accomplished simply as a UI update (aka a new theme) and some new/updated applications. What I most want to know is how much the substructure has changed to support this--a little or a lot? If nothing else, though, this is a good opportunity to escape the "10" badge of dishonor currently bogging down Windows. And above all else, Windows still needs to be Windows--the place where all of your Windows programs still work.
  • I do hope they make under the hood improvements so that OS runs smoother and better on existing and newer hardware as well.
    The change of UI should not be the only talking point.
  • From what I have seen in the video posted by Zac, the touch improvements look totally awesome. It is the removal of the tablet mode that concerns me. And I'm concerned about it for reporting when Windows is being used on a tablet and when it is being used with a keyboard. How are developers going to know if people are using Windows without a keyboard? Today, with Windows 10, I think the issue also exists where you cannot tell Windows is a tablet from browser stats. If one looks at browser stats, iPad is the clear winner, and Windows tablet is near zero (I believe due to poor reporting), so devs will focus tablet development for iOS and iPadOS, and completely forget Windows supports tablets. This could stunt growth of Windows apps for a tablet market. I use music apps, and prefer to not have to buy an iPad to meet these needs. I would prefer to use my Surface Go since it is a much more versatile device. I would like to see a rich tablet friendly Windows app market, and stat reporting is important to feed that investment.
  • Dan and wild colors...
  • I just tried it through Virtual Box. animations and overall visual paint looks and feels nice.
    But for me personally, I couldn't help but notice the lack of support for moving taskbar around. I think the new UI is gonna be locked down to one taskbar position, unless you revert to the older design, which i don't. How i mean is, look at current windows 10 support with taskbar on top, it's janky anyhow, and with the new animations and stuff, unless they programmed with this in mind, don't think they will let you move the new taskbar at all. Let's see.
    Also let's see if UX is more consistent.
  • Wow what I think might happen on June 24
    Windows 11X foldable devices
    Windows 11 ES I think this is pretty much from the educational Market.
    Windows 11 mobile not going to happen but it'd be fun to see everybody's heads explode if they did this.
    Windows 11 for smart watches and smart TVs. All I want them to do is approve tablet mode.
  • You know what I think it'll change? The "maximize" button. You can see it in Edge's feedback window already a more rounded look.
  • Don't make things rounded! It's ugly! For the love of Bill Gates and all that is reasonable, stop it! It might have been cool in 1989 on a monochrome Mac, but it does not look good in 2021!
  • I don't personally care (as long as the design is consistent and clean, I'm open to loving it), but I think the majority of designers would say that square corners is very 2010s. Design doesn't have a static end point. It evolves over time with the fashions of the day. Ideally, good design will lead others though. One criticism with round corners is that Apple and Google were there first, making MS appear to follow. But I would at least partly reject that: square corners is 1 facet among hundreds in UI design. And the only possible direction to go from square is rounded, so all possible designs except for 1 (absolutely square corners) will be rounded. With that in mind, moving away from square corners now is effectively ripping off the band-aid, dealing with the criticisms of "following" Google and Apple, and taking that 1 design facet off the table for their future changes.
  • I just wish they'll upgrade; Photos, groove, film&tv (able to record screen like macos QuickTime will be nice), other stock apps with more features and better performance (especially photo app).
  • I should hope it's more than just a Start Menu.
  • To all the naysayers, just wait until Panos pitches it to you next week. You will believe! But if he can't make you one, then probably no one can.
  • He does have that effect on us, doesn't he.... :-)
  • Panos is the best. :)
  • Hello again! I have million dollar idea for Microsoft.
    If someone has connection with Microsoft send them my idea. Microsoft is well known for backward compatibility. And they had lots of futuristic ideas decades before android or ios copied them. For example primary color of windows you can see in all Microsoft uwp apps and in some custom.
    This is great stuff and decade before android 12 copied this. My idea is customized corners.
    You can set rounded, half rounded or square corners. This shi* will save Microsoft ass from having negative feedback and will make it unique. Also it better be true, that we can use win10 start on win11
  • Maybe that could be done, but I'm not sure it could without violating design consistency across the rest of the OS and app design. In product development, one of my rules is don't give customers the ability to do things that can yield bad results, or they'll blame you (as the product developer/manufacturer), even if it was 100% their choice. That said, you make a good point that they did it successfully with color, so maybe it could be done with UI shapes too.
  • Is there going to be a new UWP File Explorer? Yes, I know that there is the hidden one, but it lacks most functions.
  • Is Microsoft going to fix the touch keyboard at some point? The split keyboard layout blocks over 1/3 of the screen for no reason at all.
  • The touch keyboard is totally new even on existing Windows 10 Insider builds. The split layout puts the keys where your thumbs are on the lower right and left sides, which is where the keys need to be.
  • What I am saying is that I want it to look like this:
  • I gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.
  • What I really want out of a new version of windows is better integration with Android for all phones, not just samsung. May be an air-drop like collaboration across the two platforms, the way they have individually as of now. And of course using my phone display on windows. . . we anyways need to install an app for the current Your Phone app to work, why not build that in I guess Even without the above I am glad to the new look, and sad/nostalgic for when we will say goodbye to the live tiles, which I wish had evolved into more functional widgets (which the new OS could have)
  • On the matter of the store - the current windows 10 store is still too unreliable in terms of showing installation/updates in real time like phones do, needing me to exit the page and open it again. Wish more developers would make modern apps.
  • Oh let us not forget Windows on ARM!
    @Daniel Rubino, is there any chance we might get to see an emulation layer on windows for x86 the way Apple did Rosetta?
    I feel like in the current landscape we really need that. For someone who uses a laptop for work, it would be so good to have better battery life without loss in performance. Just this improvement alone could make laptops better and possibly cheaper, and dare I say, revive windows tablets?
  • Any improvement to ARM is a mystery right now for us. We don't have any concrete leads, which is why we'll tune into the 24th.
  • Man the comments on all these articles... This is a Windows centric 'fan' site. But as soon as Microsoft changes a few things everybody starts screaming and crying. If you are a tech enthousiast you are welcoming this stuff with open arms, actually try it and keep an open mind for the final product. Otherwise you are not a tech enthousiast at all. A lot of people in the comments of this site (which I consider the loud vocal minority) seem to really have issues with change and letting things go. They always seem to be really attached to all the stuff that failed to gain traction in the past. This time it is Live Tiles. Pretty sure most Microsoft apps will lose live tiles in future updates if tiles are not supported on Windows 11. If you don't like it, don't use it. For me personally July is a very very exciting month with all these OS announcements and beta versions.
  • Well said. And yeah, the core audience is special lol.
  • The problem here is not tech enthusiasts. It's that "normal" and uninformed people can say whatever the **** they want on the internet. Don't let it/them get to you.
  • Because sometimes they change things for no reason. Is a new start menu and taskbar look really going to make the OS work better? Would be a good idea if they finish windows 10 instead of bring another out.
  • This is like calling a car a Ferrari just because you paint it red. Come on MSFT, we want under the hood changes, not just a new GUI: better memory management, better CPU core usage, more robust file structure, etc
  • Why do you think there are only cosmetic changes? Because of the screen captures of what's changed? Obviously, those will show cosmetic changes. Of course there are also under-the-hood changes. Zac already has a video out showing some of them.
  • Actually, I'd say it's more like having an older house, and instead of re-doing the hardwood floors, tearing down walls, introducing new plumbing, or even buying an entirely new house, you're investing a few grand to redo the moldy siding, add a deck, and spruce up the landscape that has made your house look like crap for years.
  • I think it is a good start to Windows 11. But, they need to follow through with replacing more options in the control panel for example. Also, faster Windows Updates; take the improvements they made with Windows 10X and put that in Windows 11. Also, project reunion, hopefully that is completed so they can include all the new APIs and .net framework changes with the initial Windows 11 release (actually, it is too bad it is not done already so third party programs could be updated when Windows 11 is released).
  • Will live tiles be removed completely or will there be an option to bring them back?
  • I link to an article about how to get them back in the closing paragraphs.
  • I hope the Windows 11 Start menu will include some sort of folder or tagging system. For example, if you have a lot of image/video editing tools, being able to group them together is far better than arbitrary names in alphabetical order but scattered all over the place by function. And having to remember the name of every app in every category (so you can find by typing the first few letters) gets tougher as you grow to over a hundred total apps installed (in my case well over three hundred).
  • Can't wait to try WIndows 11 as my main OS I am excited for the event , Loved leaked build so far even tho its unfinished
    Windows 11 gonna be BEST !!!
  • I can't wait for this update to happen and to let me down!! I want to complain about the inconsistent design, still immature features, old file explorer and icons, control panel etc. for the next 5(?) years; till I realize nobody is listening and everybody is complaining and finally settle down to use the OS for crying out loud! Till they change the design or (gasp) release Windows 12...
  • Nothing exciting then, just Windows ten with more bloat, a different look and number 11 stuck on it.
  • A purely ignorant statement in lieu of the performance improvements Windows 11 has over Windows 10. Also, what do you think Windows 8 was compared to Windows 7? Or Windows 10 compared to 8.1? Are you even a Windows user? Because I have to question your knowledge about this platform considering the last few versioning updates were literally about new UI/UX paradigms.
  • The only way a UI update should warrant a new version number like Windows 11 is if it's comprehensive. Since we know the UI update isn't (because of the massive amount of UI that ignores dark mode) then there has to be some feature or integration that wasn't possible in Windows 10 for "Windows 11" to be justified in my opinion. The article mentioned a new store and some basic apps like email, and I'll believe that when I see it, but those aren't completely new features either; just updates to existing ones.
  • Again, you're wrong. "because of the massive amount of UI that ignores dark mode" That's not accurate. You're judging this on a leaked build from May and I'm here to tell you that there is more to it, including more system-wide use of dark mode.
    "then there has to be some feature or integration that wasn't possible in Windows 10 for "Windows 11" to be justified in my opinion."
    I'm not sure what you mean there, but if you are referring to new features coming to Windows 11 not in Windows 10, yes, there are those and you haven't seen them yet, again.
    "The article mentioned a new store and some basic apps like email, and I'll believe that when I see it, but those aren't completely new features either; just updates to existing ones."
    Take my word on it. But sure, wait and see. The real question I have is: Why do you care so much if they call it Windows 11? The fact is, if you put a screenshot of Windows 10 next to Windows 11, there is no world in which you would confuse those as the same version of the OS. I feel weird even have to state that when it is so obvious, which alone is a reason to give it a new version number. We haven't even touched on the performance improvements and app developer story, or even gaming.
  • It's still exactly like Windows 10 only with a new start menu, rounded corners and nothing else.
    The design inconsistency is still extremely gross and it doesn't even bring a new file explorer and the windows vista/7 control panel is still in there.
    Microsoft is going to have to go all out with the design if they want to call it a "new windows". But surprise!!! They won't do it and they will keep saying it's a process...bullshit!
  • It's still exactly like Windows 10 only with a new start menu, rounded corners and nothing else.
    The design inconsistency is still extremely gross and it doesn't even bring a new file explorer and the windows vista/7 control panel is still in there.
    Microsoft is going to have to go all out with the design if they want to call it a "new windows". But surprise!!! They won't do it and they will keep saying it's a process...bullshit!
  • Will there be a new/updated kernel? If not, doesn’t warrant a new OS moniker.
  • I hope that Microsoft allows Windows 11 to be downloaded & used by it's windows insiders so MS gets official info from MS users on how well it performs on their Machines, if they
    like it & what features they want it to have . Microsoft will also find out what companies
    have to certify their Old machines to run Windows 11. I want to know what are the minimum specs a computer has to have to run Windows 11.
  • Does the search function finally work, have they fixed the file indexer or is it still unusable and slow crap?