Microsoft is hosting an event on June 24 to discuss the future of Windows. And evidence was mounting that in addition to giving the operating system a new look, Microsoft was getting ready for a new name: Windows 11.

Now a leaked build of the operating system is making the rounds, and websites including xda-developers, The Verge, MSPowerUser, NotebookCheck, and Thurott.com have been posting screenshots and observations.

Thurrott.com

For the most part it looks like Microsoft took the work it had completed for Windows 10X before it was scrapped, ported it to Windows 10, added a few bells and whistles, and then slapped a new name on the operating system.

It’s basically Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint, but all the key features of Microsoft’s desktop operating system are still there. Windows 10 apps should run without any problems. And the Settings app, File Manager, taskbar, and desktop all pretty much work the same way they have for years.

Thurrott.com

But the Start Menu has been redesigned with a more modern look and feel. The taskbar is centered (although you can move it back to the left side if you want). There are new icons. And many elements now have rounded corners. There’s also a new out-of-box experience OOBE for setting up a fresh Windows installation.

As someone who often walks through the Windows setup process on review hardware, I’m relieved to learn that there’s no Cortana to be seen in the new OOBE, and apparently you aren’t nagged for a Microsoft account either. It’s possible one or more of those things could change – folks are testing a leaked pre-release build after all. But I view those both as positive developments.

One significant change? There’s support for widgets… although that’s not entirely new either. Microsoft introduced a type of widget it called “gadgets” with Window Vista, but ended support for the feature when Windows 7 was retired.

The Verge

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  1. Windows 11 could be the answer devices like the Aya Neo, GPD Win 3, etc, have been waiting for with its improved touch features, that will make navigating Windows via touch and touch typing a lot better than Windows 10.

  2. One thing I want Windows to have is the ability to do all the options that show up during setup in a single screen at the beginning of the installation. That way I can just start the setup and get back in an hour or two and see a ready computer.

  3. Ah, dang it. Now I’m going to have to replace everything on all the work computers AGAIN.
    I think that huge tech companies’ marketing departments have some bizarre notion that their existing users won’t leave them no matter what they do to them, and that they need to attract users from their competition. To do that, they can only imagine copying what their competition is doing, even though by mathematical definition to do things better than the competition you also have to do them DIFFERENT.
    …Of course, that’s probably also because they assume the average computer user is a complete stooge no smarter than an actual monkey and thus too stupid to adapt to something different than the completion they’re trying to pull users from.