Windows 11 leak reveals new UI, Start menu, and more (UPDATE - added source for Windows 10 retirement date)

Armenius

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Despite being touted as the final version of Windows by Microsoft, Windows 10 has been given a sunset date of October 14, 2025. Microsoft is now set to unveil the next version of Windows soon, which the internet has naturally dubbed "Windows 11." The Verge has posted pictures from a version of the OS that has leaked out, and it appears as though the design of Windows 10X has infected the main version of the OS. Be prepared to deal with a UI designed for touchscreens yet again.

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 11 operating system has leaked online today. After screenshots were first published at Chinese site Baidu, the entire Windows 11 OS has appeared online, complete with a new user interface, Start menu, and lots more.

The new Windows 11 user interface and Start menu look very similar to what was originally found in Windows 10X. Microsoft had been simplifying Windows for dual-screen devices, before canceling this project in favor of Windows 11.

Here's a first look at Windows 11. There's a new Start menu, rounded corners, a new startup sound, and more...

This updated Start menu is a simplified version of what currently exists in Windows 10, without Live Tiles. It includes pinned apps, recent files, and the ability to quickly shut down or restart Windows 11 devices. It’s really a lot more simplified than what exists in Windows 10 today.

Microsoft is also using rounded corners throughout Windows 11. These are visible in context menus, and around apps and the File Explorer. The Start menu itself also includes rounded corners.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/15/22535123/microsoft-windows-11-leak-screenshots-start-menu

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EDIT: Since there is ongoing discussion about this actually being Windows 10 21H2 and being called "Windows 11" for clickbait, here is the direct source for when Windows 10 will reach retirements status. Note that the date is not listed in the "Releases" section like every other feature update.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/windows-10-home-and-pro

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OFaceSIG

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This is so dumb. "How do we appease Mac people who hate us? I know, CENTER THE TASKBAR ICONS"... This is the kind of crap that ruins products. Mac people aren't going to buy Windows, I'm never buying a Mac. Golly man, have some pride in your product.
 

GotNoRice

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This is so dumb. "How do we appease Mac people who hate us? I know, CENTER THE TASKBAR ICONS"... This is the kind of crap that ruins products. Mac people aren't going to buy Windows, I'm never buying a Mac. Golly man, have some pride in your product.

Part of me agrees with the sentiment, but I do think there are legitimate reasons. Especially when you have an ultrawide monitor, it starts to feel a bit odd having go all the way to the side of the monitor to access certain functions (such as the start menu when it's all the way in the bottom left).

Also, maybe they will actually have multiple themes that you can choose?
 

bigdogchris

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Am I the only person that is not convinced this is legit? This seems more like Windows 10 with the upcoming UI changes that was announced 6 months ago. Not a single element from that site shows something new. Unless of course, Microsoft has just decided to ship 21H2 as Windows 11, which if that is the case, this is believable.
 
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Part of me agrees with the sentiment, but I do think there are legitimate reasons. Especially when you have an ultrawide monitor, it starts to feel a bit odd having go all the way to the side of the monitor to access certain functions (such as the start menu when it's all the way in the bottom left).
Even on larger 16:9 monitors centering the buttons is easier to reach/more efficient than the current bottom left.
looks a bit like chromeOS.
Windows 11 has features from cancelled 10X, which was supposed to be a direct Chrome OS competitor. So this makes sense.
 

ChadD

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Looks like Gnome... without the top bar.

Here is hoping that "windows 11" is just Microsofts Linux distro at last. Its time to unify the world under *nix. In all seriousness if MS would just dump all there stupid windows junk... switch to the kernel, and pick on of the far superior open source File systems and throw developer support into it. Microsoft could have a OS 10x better then the one they have... all while saving themselves millions in development. There is nothing stopping them from running their application APIs on top of Linux instead developers of all but system utilities wouldn't even notice the difference.

I don't know if this UI is real... but if it is, Man just run Gnome Microsoft save the money there as well.
 
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GotNoRice

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Here comes Vista!

That would be quite nice, since Vista was actually one of the most innovative versions of Windows that Microsoft ever made. A LOT of very GOOD changes happened under the hood with Vista. Windows 7 was basically Vista with some minor UI tweaks, yet somehow 7 was remembered as one of the best desktop versions of windows. People hated Vista because they were coming from XP (which was a very lean OS in comparison to a modern OS) and freaked out at the extra resources that it used, especially with many computers still only having 1-2 cores at that time. Vista also required new drivers, some of which weren't available or mature right away. But Vista is the OS that legitimized 64-bit, in part when Microsoft forced vendors to supply 32-bit AND 64-bit drivers in order to get WHQL certification. That created a huge pool of mature 64-bit drivers by the time Windows 7 came out, and many of those 64-bit Vista drivers are still usable even on Windows 10 if there is no newer driver. Windows 7 was only good because Vista laid the foundation. If they had jumped directly from XP to 7, people would have hated 7 just as much as they hated Vista, for mostly the same reasons.
 

OFaceSIG

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Also, maybe they will actually have multiple themes that you can choose?
Hopefully that is the case.

Let me spell this out to you microsoft:
N - O - B - O - D - Y wants touchscreen tailored UI on a desktop OS, Nobody. Have you learned nothing from 8?
I hated Win8 with a passion. It's like they haven't learned.
 

Rvenger

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That would be quite nice, since Vista was actually one of the most innovative versions of Windows that Microsoft ever made. A LOT of very GOOD changes happened under the hood with Vista. Windows 7 was basically Vista with some minor UI tweaks, yet somehow 7 was remembered as one of the best desktop versions of windows. People hated Vista because they were coming from XP (which was a very lean OS in comparison to a modern OS) and freaked out at the extra resources that it used, especially with many computers still only having 1-2 cores at that time. Vista also required new drivers, some of which weren't available or mature right away. But Vista is the OS that legitimized 64-bit, in part when Microsoft forced vendors to supply 32-bit AND 64-bit drivers in order to get WHQL certification. That created a huge pool of mature 64-bit drivers by the time Windows 7 came out, and many of those 64-bit Vista drivers are still usable even on Windows 10 if there is no newer driver. Windows 7 was only good because Vista laid the foundation. If they had jumped directly from XP to 7, people would have hated 7 just as much as they hated Vista, for mostly the same reasons.
Maybe I should have said "Here comes windows ME"

You are right, Vista was damn good once it was patched up.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It seems to continue the trend to dumbing down the UI, and I hate that.

It reminds me of Apple.

I don't understand why these constant changes are necessary. It would be nice if they just chose a UI and stuck with it rather than making it a moving target.
 

Mchart

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This makes no sense to me. It would make more sense to stick with 10 long term like OSX at this point and do the regular updates.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Hopefully that is the case.


I hated Win8 with a passion. It's like they haven't learned.

They are still salty that they missed the mobile bandwagon, so instead of trying to break into mobile with a new product (which is very difficult to do, and they have already failed at) they are trying to convert the entirety of Windows into a mobile operating system.

Screw desktop productivity. There is no money in that. Mobile is the future, right? o_O

It's not for me. I hate just about 100% of UI changes since Win7. Flat, ugly, lots of dead space and wasted screen real estate so they can have fat finger touch screen space, you name it. Everything about it sucks, but it seems Microsoft is absolutely determined to bring Windows down this path and they - as always - don't care if their users hate it.
 

GotNoRice

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It seems to continue the trend to dumbing down the UI, and I hate that.

It reminds me of Apple.

I don't understand why these constant changes are necessary. It would be nice if they just chose a UI and stuck with it rather than making it a moving target.


Here's the thing though. Change is always painful. You really don't know if it's better or not until you're looking back and analyzing it in retrospect. Many hated the UI changes after XP, yet going back and using XP today is downright painful. Would we all be better off if they had just "stuck with" the XP UI and never moved on?
 

Armenius

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That would be quite nice, since Vista was actually one of the most innovative versions of Windows that Microsoft ever made. A LOT of very GOOD changes happened under the hood with Vista. Windows 7 was basically Vista with some minor UI tweaks, yet somehow 7 was remembered as one of the best desktop versions of windows. People hated Vista because they were coming from XP (which was a very lean OS in comparison to a modern OS) and freaked out at the extra resources that it used, especially with many computers still only having 1-2 cores at that time. Vista also required new drivers, some of which weren't available or mature right away. But Vista is the OS that legitimized 64-bit, in part when Microsoft forced vendors to supply 32-bit AND 64-bit drivers in order to get WHQL certification. That created a huge pool of mature 64-bit drivers by the time Windows 7 came out, and many of those 64-bit Vista drivers are still usable even on Windows 10 if there is no newer driver. Windows 7 was only good because Vista laid the foundation. If they had jumped directly from XP to 7, people would have hated 7 just as much as they hated Vista, for mostly the same reasons.
Vista was great, but my first experience with it was on a brand new PC. I still think that Vista had the best user interface out of every version of Windows. 7 kind of went back to the XP look to intrigue the XP holdouts, but 7 is also where all the dumbing down of the UI and low-level function started happening.
 

michalrz

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I'll hold back a lot of venom here and just try to go with what is contrary to UI design stuffs.

"cleaned up the tray area,"
It was clean. If they mean dumb it down then it's already annoying because, guess what, I kind of need the systray. If they want to get rid of it then they should think about unifying it with the taskbar. Programs/icons in taskbar + icons in systray -> programs/icons in taskbar.

"and the ability to quickly shut down or restart Windows 11 devices."
This wasn't really a problem before they started the race to the bottom with 8. At first glance I see that the 'power button' is now on the right, which is a no-no. I feel this is just the usual restoration of a function that was previously yanked due to stupid decisions.

"Microsoft is also using rounded corners throughout Windows 11"
Pick a fucking lane already.

"Windows 11 also includes new snap controls that you can access from the maximize button on all apps."
I would argue that the way it works in 10 is better. It's faster to grab the title bar and swipe it where you need it to be. Aiming and clicking is slower (to me anyway).

"The new Xbox app is now integrated into Windows 11"
No. Should be optional anyway and not in memory, not everyone games.
 

Eulogy

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Let me spell this out to you microsoft:
N - O - B - O - D - Y wants touchscreen tailored UI on a desktop OS, Nobody. Have you learned nothing from 8?
I actually do, considering I use Windows on quite a few touch devices (two Surface Pros and a laptop with a touch screen). It's nice to have a UI that works well on both.
It seems to continue the trend to dumbing down the UI, and I hate that.

It reminds me of Apple.

I don't understand why these constant changes are necessary. It would be nice if they just chose a UI and stuck with it rather than making it a moving target.
Why the gate keeping? Just because something is simpler and accesible to more people does not make it worse. It brings more people into the ecosystem and puts more things in a single place (for the average user, not anyone on this forum obviously).
This makes no sense to me. It would make more sense to stick with 10 long term like OSX at this point and do the regular updates.
Win10 has been out for 6 years at this point. "OSX" isn't a direct comparison, that would be analogous to "Windows". Considering Apple went from OSX 10 to 12 in the span of 2 years....
 

LurkerLito

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It's really anti-climatic to me. I use True Launch Bar and configured it to have multiple categorized launch menus similar to those screen shots in the center of the task bar. I have had them like this for almost a decade now. I basically only go to the start menu to shutdown the PC (not that I can't add that to one of the menus but it doesn't feel necessary and at least I can use the start menu for something ;) ).
 

Lakados

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This makes no sense to me. It would make more sense to stick with 10 long term like OSX at this point and do the regular updates.
Windows 11 isn't exactly 11, 11 is a fun marketing name its actually just 10-21H2 formerly known as Sun Valley which was expected around Oct of this year. Calling it 11 drums up traffic and chatter because Apple is killing it right now on the marketing side of things with all their "leaks" on the new iPhone and new iOS and blah blah blah. So they needed to drum up some PR and slapping an 11 on some UI screen shots is a cheap and easy way to do that.
 

1_rick

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Maybe I should have said "Here comes windows ME"
Windows Me was fine, too. It was 3rd-party bloatware that made it look bad.

Example: I bought an HP Pavilion desktop that came with Me. It ran like hot garbage, and HTTPS simply didn't work. Pages that used SSL would just never load. After a while I got sick of the system and all the bloatware and installed fresh from a clean CD. All the problems I had went away, and it ran perfectly.
 

Balkroth

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Windows Me was fine, too. It was 3rd-party bloatware that made it look bad.

Example: I bought an HP Pavilion desktop that came with Me. It ran like hot garbage, and HTTPS simply didn't work. Pages that used SSL would just never load. After a while I got sick of the system and all the bloatware and installed fresh from a clean CD. All the problems I had went away, and it ran perfectly.

I had a HP that came with it and it worked fine, though I had one of the "Try ME at home and give ME to a friend" disk OS that Microsoft gave out to businesses at the time (Imagine that today, non key needing OS distributed by Microsoft wanting it to be shared ) that I had dumped on most of my devices at the time and thought it worked great. Everyone else I knew hated it and it ran like crap for them . It worked GREAT on like the 10% of systems it ran perfectly on, everything else had some thing the OS didn't like.
 

Lakados

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Windows Me was fine, too. It was 3rd-party bloatware that made it look bad.

Example: I bought an HP Pavilion desktop that came with Me. It ran like hot garbage, and HTTPS simply didn't work. Pages that used SSL would just never load. After a while I got sick of the system and all the bloatware and installed fresh from a clean CD. All the problems I had went away, and it ran perfectly.
The 3'rd party bloatware is what plagued just about every Windows install since 95, it didn't start getting better until after Microsoft put some language in their OEM contracts about how much of a performance hit was acceptable on startup applications that the OEM were bundling. I don't remember if that came in with 8.1 or 10. But it has certainly improved over the past few years, but a clean install is always going to be the best option unless it is Windows 10 Home, then that needs to be cleaned after regardless.
 

SmokeRngs

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Here's the thing though. Change is always painful. You really don't know if it's better or not until you're looking back and analyzing it in retrospect. Many hated the UI changes after XP, yet going back and using XP today is downright painful. Would we all be better off if they had just "stuck with" the XP UI and never moved on?
I don't know what you're talking about. If someone plopped an XP machine down in front of me I wouldn't have any trouble using it. Especially if I could turn off the Fischer Price theme and put it back to the Win2k look. Win2k was the pinnacle of MS UI design. It was simple, it worked and you didn't need to spend five minutes going through different menu entries to get to settings. The only "problem" with that UI is that it wasn't "pretty". Vista is where MS started going massively downhill in the UI department and tried to hide it with the fancy Aero theme. As nice as Win7 was overall it continued down the path of bad UI design which started with Vista. 8 took the bad UI design and said "hold my beer". 10 backed off the bad UI design in some places but made it even worse in others such as the idiotic settings panel.

MS has gone from a simplistic and easy to use UI to an unholy mess of split personalities. Current MS UIs don't have a clue what they are or what they're supposed to be and are mashed together like a Frankenstein monster. It's painful to mess with a new one because they don't make any sense.
 

Armenius

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Windows Me was fine, too. It was 3rd-party bloatware that made it look bad.

Example: I bought an HP Pavilion desktop that came with Me. It ran like hot garbage, and HTTPS simply didn't work. Pages that used SSL would just never load. After a while I got sick of the system and all the bloatware and installed fresh from a clean CD. All the problems I had went away, and it ran perfectly.
Even with a clean installation from a retail CD I was still getting more blue screen crashes than Windows 98 SE.
 

auntjemima

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Hope to be Windows free by then.
I wish my kids didn't play fortnite or Roblox.. both of those are the only things keeping me on windows.

I mean, how the hell does fortnite not work in Linux? It works across cell phones, consoles and PC's all together.... But no Linux. Crazy.
 

Armenius

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Windows 11 isn't exactly 11, 11 is a fun marketing name its actually just 10-21H2 formerly known as Sun Valley which was expected around Oct of this year. Calling it 11 drums up traffic and chatter because Apple is killing it right now on the marketing side of things with all their "leaks" on the new iPhone and new iOS and blah blah blah. So they needed to drum up some PR and slapping an 11 on some UI screen shots is a cheap and easy way to do that.
I added a source for the date of retirement of Windows 10 in the OP, direct from Microsoft.
 

Burticus

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As a non-mac user, this looks like mac to me. And I don't care for it.

If MS follows tradition, every other version of win has issues... so Win 11 could be a dumpster fire then Win 12 would be the refreshed and "fixed" version
 

pendragon1

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doesnt look like the changes my insider version has. also, the verge? really? should anybody be listening to anything they have to say after the build vid fiasco?!
 

ChadD

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After reading the comments about vista xp 7 8 here.

MS really should move to a Linux base... and offer 2 or 3 official microsoft DEs. lol

Windows Classic DE.... can look just like 7
Windows X DE... can look just like 10
Windows Touch... can be whatever they are cooking now.

Really even if they are not going with a Linux base... nothing stopping Microsoft from doing that anyway. I never understood why Microsoft didn't just add a couple UI choices. Classic(slim) Modern and touch. I mean it would shut everyone up about their UI.
 

vegeta535

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The 3'rd party bloatware is what plagued just about every Windows install since 95, it didn't start getting better until after Microsoft put some language in their OEM contracts about how much of a performance hit was acceptable on startup applications that the OEM were bundling. I don't remember if that came in with 8.1 or 10. But it has certainly improved over the past few years, but a clean install is always going to be the best option unless it is Windows 10 Home, then that needs to be cleaned after regardless.
They were very lenient on the requirements tho. New computer still come with a boatload of shit like McAfee. I just ordered a new laptop from dell and the first thing I am going to do is do a clean install of windows.
 

Lakados

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I had a HP that came with it and it worked fine, though I had one of the "Try ME at home and give ME to a friend" disk OS that Microsoft gave out to businesses at the time (Imagine that today, non key needing OS distributed by Microsoft wanting it to be shared ) that I had dumped on most of my devices at the time and thought it worked great. Everyone else I knew hated it and it ran like crap for them . It worked GREAT on like the 10% of systems it ran perfectly on, everything else had some thing the OS didn't like.
ME was OK as long as the hardware didn't support DOS. At that time a lot of hardware and system drivers for many components hadn't actually been updated in a long time and were still using various calls to DOS, even in Win 98. So when ME pulled out the true DOS backend and replaced that with an API for compatibility it was pretty easy to break that and as it had kernel access it almost always resulted in a BSOD, audio subsystems were the most notorious for these issues because of all the flavors of SB16 compatible crap out there, of course, a good portion of the 33.6 modems too. The "newer" 56.6k ones were generally fine as they had been designed for 95 and 98 explicitly.
 
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