Microsoft has been teasing the launch of Windows 11 for months now. Luckily for us, we don't have to wait, as the new operating system was leaked in an assortment of screenshots earlier this week.
To say the Windows saga is convoluted would be a dire understatement. While Windows 10 was originally considered the “last version of Windows” at launch, the company has clearly changed gears with its build up to its upcoming announcement.
Now though, the wind has been at least slightly taken out of their sails, as a leak has shown what the new operating system will look like whenever it goes live. Here is everything we know about Windows 11 so far.
New Start Menu
That's right, the Windows Start menu is getting a pretty serious overhaul in Windows 11. For one, it's significantly more simplified than the Windows 10 version, offering all the same pinned apps, recent files, and power controls you need without the Live Tiles.
Additionally, perhaps taking a page out of the Mac book, Windows 11 will have the app icons and Start menu centered rather than left justified. However, if you're stuck in your ways after years of Windows 10 use, you're in luck. There is of course the option to return the app icons and Start menu to the left in settings although center will be the default.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the Start menu — as well as the rest of the menus throughout Windows 11 — will have rounded corners, following recent trends in the software interface world.
If you're looking at the app icons and wondering what the new one is, we've got some news for you. While the feature has not officially been announced by Windows, rumors have been swirling that the updated operating system will bring Windows Widgets back into the fold.
The screenshot below demonstrates a more bare-bones version of what will be available, as the finishing touches are still clearly in the works. However, you can see that weather, news, calendars, sports scores, and a wide range of other functionalities will be available with a simple slide.
This addition makes it clear that Windows 11 is going to be more of a robust upgrade rather than a full-on transformation. In fact, many of the ideas, including Windows Widgets, are leftover ideas from the scrapped Windows 10X operating system.
Improved Snap Feature
If you're a fan of Windows for its many productivity features, then you're going to love this one. As many know, Windows has a great snap feature, which makes it incredibly easy to view multiple windows at once. Well now, in Windows 11, you'll be able to customize even further, with a new feature.
Rather than simply deciding which type of format you want when you drag your window to one side of your screen, all you'll have to do now is press the expand button in the upper right corner, and it will give you an array of options to choose from.
Whether you need two, three, or even four different windows, you'll be able to get the perfect configuration on the first try.
New Startup Sound
Saving the least significant for last! It's certainly not a massive update — in fact, it's quite minor in the grand scheme of things — but a new startup sound will be coming to Windows 11.
The notably softer, even calming sound will happen, you guessed it, when you boot up your Windows 11-powered device. Check out the sound below, in a tweet from the leaker in question.
this is the new Windows 11 startup sound pic.twitter.com/UQZNFBtAxa
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021
We'll continue to update this article as more information comes out about Windows 11, so be sure to check back later this month.
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