We got an early look at Windows 11

Windows 11 Leak

We managed to get our hands on a leaked build of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 11.

There has been a lot of stir in the IT sphere lately about what Microsoft’s plans were for the future of it’s extremely popular Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft themselves said back in 2015 that this would be ‘the last major version of Windows’, with only continuous background updates to follow. However, as we’ve just discovered – it looks like they changed their mind.

Windows 11 Desktop

For the purposes of preserving our partnership with Microsoft, we don’t recommend trying this development build yourself, and sadly we’re not able to link you to it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a sneak peak of what’s to come.

First and foremost on the list of things to address is the controversial naming. Now that it’s clear the newest edition of Windows will be called “Windows 11”, some people feel cheated that Microsoft fell short its promise that Windows 10 was the “last version of Windows”, as they argue that promise persuaded them to buy a copy of it in the first place. Others are voicing concerns that the amount of features don’t warrant a new name for the operating system, and that these updates should be included within Windows 10.

There has been no official word from Microsoft on the subject (understandably so given that it’s not supposed to be announced until next week). It’s widely anticipated that Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for those already rocking Windows 10, but only time will tell. Licensing and costs are always a delicate subject to broach within IT, so since we don’t know enough about them yet, we’ll stick firmly to the things that we know for certain – starting with the visual and functional changes.

After just a few minutes of playing with Windows 11, one thing that’s clearly a large focus for Microsoft this time around is unifying the user experience across apps and settings; it’s no secret that Windows sometimes feels like a time machine depending on how deep you dive into menus and settings – sometimes it’s a modern, sleek UI – and other times it’s straight out of 1998 (quite literally). This time around, Microsoft have clearly poured a tonne of resources into ensuring that the vast majority of places you’d end up look within the OS look clean, and feel responsive across devices.

TASKBAR AND START MENU

Arguably the biggest, and most notable, change comes from the new Start Menu. Microsoft have had a history of frustrating users with changes to the perhaps the most used button of all time – but have they got it right this time around?

To start with, the taskbar now presents itself neatly along the centre of the screen by default rather than the left hand side. This can be changed back to how you’re used to with an activated copy of Windows 11, but changing the default is a bold move from Microsoft. Another change you’ll no doubt notice – what on earth has become of the Start Menu we’ve grown to know and love?

Almost immediately we noticed the lack of “Live Tiles”, these were the animated tiles that changed with various information from new emails to the weather, also the dreaded ‘Candy Crush’ bloatware looks like it’s finally been axed from new installations of Windows. It also looks pretty slick in Dark Mode:

USER INTERFACE CHANGES

There would be too many screenshots for us to place here, but trust us when we say that a lot of built in Windows apps have had a makeover! Here’s part of the initial setup screen, which is completely different to Windows 10:

Here is the new File Explorer, complete with new colourful icons:

New Wallpapers!

Microsoft have finally given us a whole new set of wallpapers for their latest OS, here’s a gallery where you can browse through them, or you can download the whole set as a .ZIP file by clicking this link.

We’ll be putting Windows 11 through it’s paces, learning the ins and outs of all it’s changes so that we can continue to offer first class IT Support when the Operating System is released.

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