Although Microsoft’s upcoming event is still a few days away, details about the upcoming build of the next version of Windows have already leaked. Also, the screenshot leaks confirm that rumors about the Windows 11 branding are true.
Update: We managed to get a copy of the unreleased Windows 11 build, and already put together our initial thoughts. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of Windows 10 in this Windows 11.
The build—known as build 21996 from the co_release branch—is a near-final build for the new operating system, and was noted on MyDigitalLife. Screenshots revealing the look of the apparent Windows 11 UI were originally posted at Chinese site Baidu.
The UI looks similar to both Chrome OS and Windows 10X, the latter of which was canceled and rolled into what is now Windows 11. Windows 10X was originally planning on using that OS for dual-screen devices. Sources are confirming that the operating system seen in these screenshots is called Windows 11 Pro.
The screenshots show off a revamped user interface, including centered taskbar app icons and a much cleaner looking tray area overall. There have been rumors of Microsoft reviving Windows Widgets, and a new icon in this taskbar (labeled Widgets in the operating system) suggests they might be. The widgets are designed to simply slide out and give you a quick peek at things like the weather or news.
Also on display were a new Start button and an overhauled Start menu, which look to be a more simplified version of what we see now in Windows 10. In the place of Live Tiles, you’ll see things like recent files and pinned apps, and you’ll have easier access to various power options. There also appears to be a new Windows 11 startup sound and a handy window snap feature built into every maximize button. Overall, things seem to be smarter and much more functional.
It also appears that there is an updated Xbox experience, with the revamped Xbox app integrated into the OS. Now, gamers can quickly and easily access the Xbox store, Xbox Game Pass, and various social features.
Before the leaks dropped, Microsoft had already been leaving clues that it would be launching Windows 11, including this weird—yet oddly soothing—11 minute video featuring slowed-down sounds of startup noises from previous iterations of Windows. For now, though, we’ll have to wait until Microsoft’s official Windows event on June 24 to learn more about the new operating system and other details.
via Windows Central