The first look at the new Windows 11 OS came unexpectedly in the form of a leaked early build of Windows 11. This gave us a very detailed insight into the look and feel of Microsoft’s next operating system. The design of Windows 11 seemed to be strongly influenced by Windows 10X, a previously cancelled dual-screen version of Windows 10. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait much longer, and Windows 11 was officially revealed at Microsoft’s Windows 11 event on the 24th June. This is everything that we know about Windows 11: the next major Windows release that succeeds Windows 10.
Windows 11 is set to be a welcome update to the already successful Windows 10 OS which was released in July 2015 (and will be supported until 2025). Here is a preview of the most important new features in Windows 11:
Minimal user interface (UI): The new visual design of Windows 11 is one of the most noticeable changes. Microsoft says goodbye to the traditional look of Windows, introducing simpler lines, rounded corners and floating menus.
New icons: Some of the classic Windows icons, that have been around for generations, will now disappear. The typical yellow folders are injected with new colors and their alignment will be horizontal instead of vertical.
Start menu and taskbar: The location of the Start menu and the taskbar will become central, with the possibility of moving them to the left or to the right. Live Tiles disappear from the menu and instead there will be a new widget feature on the taskbar, which contains information on news, weather, traffic updates and more.
Default font: Although it is still unknown what the Windows 11 font will be, the Microsoft design team is looking for a brand new font and the company has asked its test users for feedback on how to replace the formerly used Calibri.
New Windows Store: A big visual is expected for the Microsoft Store. The store is rumored to offer more opportunities for (independent) developers and creators. In addition, it will become easier to update applications independently from updating the operating system as a whole.
New startup sound: Although Windows 10 does not have a sound when starting, it seems that Windows 11 does.
Snap layouts: The Maximize button of each window offers a list of choices to arrange your windows on your screen. Users can see two applications side-by-side, or even open four apps at the same time where each of them occupies a quarter of the screen.
The Xbox Experience: The new Xbox app is fully integrated into Windows 11, giving you quick access to Xbox Game Pass games, the Xbox Network and the Xbox Store.
The Window 11 release date has been given as before the holidays later this year. The Windows 11 public beta will be available in July for users wanting to experience Windows latest OS before the final release date.
If you are wondering: how can I get Windows 11 now? You can sign up to the Windows Insider program and take part in the Windows 11 beta. To do so, there a few requirements.
Become a Windows Insider: Firstly you will need to sign up to the Windows Insider Program. You will need a Microsoft or Azure account to begin.
Check the Windows 11 requirements: Next you will need to see if your PC meets the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11.
You can also download the Microsoft PC Health Check app to see if you meet the Windows 11 system requirements. If your PC isn’t up to scratch, then you may need to upgrade your PC if you want to use Windows 11.
Install the Windows Insider Program: After signing up for the program, you will need to install the Windows Insider Program. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. You need to join the Dev channel to be able to install Windows 11 as soon as it is added.
Microsoft has announced that it will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14th, 2025. This will give Windows 10, 10 years of support since it was first released. As a result, you do not necessarily have to update to Windows 10 immediately if you enjoy using it. You can update your Windows OS to Windows 11 from now until October 2025, although by not updating Windows 10 you will miss out on any new features that Windows 11 brings.
The official update process from Windows 10 to Windows 11 has not yet been fully explained, however it is most likely to be the same as the Windows 10 update and installation process.
For existing Windows 10 users, the update to Windows 11 will be free. Hopefully the same thing applies to people who still make use of Windows 7 or 8. For now, no official Windows 11 pricing has been given, although you can expect it to be around the same price as the current Windows 10 version (around $100 for home, and $200 for PRO). If Windows 11 was more expensive, then the logical thing to do is purchase Windows 10, and then update for free.
The Windows 11 beta will be released in July and you can begin using Windows 11 before the final release later this year. You can go to our dedicated Windows 11 ISO download page to download the beta when it is ready.
With an early version of Windows 11 already being shared and downloaded on the Internet, we would strongly discourage you from installing it on your PC. We cannot guarantee that this version is fully stable and bug-free. And it is possible that viruses could be added to take advantage of the hype surrounding the leak.
Images: Microsoft Windows