Windows 11 is real, and details about it are leaking all over the internet. First, a Baidu user posted two screenshots of the OS this morning, revealing a centralized Start menu with rounded corners. That glimpse gave us serious Windows 10X vibes, especially since that (now defunct) OS also featured a Start menu with centered icons. Shortly after those images appeared, reporters were able to snag the early Windows 11 ISO and install it themselves. So much for Microsoft’s huge launch event on June 24th (or perhaps the company wanted to inspire some hype by sending Windows fans on a wild goose chase).
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 15, 2021
Tom Warren at The Verge has been digging through the leaked OS and unearthing some gems along the way. Windows 11 doesn’t seem significantly different from Windows 10, design-wise, but there are some noticeable UI tweaks throughout. In addition to rounded corners, there are new snap controls that let you easily shove a window to a specific spot on your screen. That looks a lot more convenient than dragging an app around and hoping Windows snaps it properly. Additionally, the revamped Xbox app is integrated directly into Windows 11, making it easy for you to find all of your Game Pass titles.
Now that we’re seeing what Windows 11 actually looks like, it makes sense why Microsoft gave up on 10X entirely. That OS was initially meant for dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo, but last year Microsoft announced that it was pivoting towards typical single-screen laptops. But Microsoft hasn’t had the best track record with Windows 10 variants — don’t forget how messy the Windows 10 S fiasco was. Now that we’re six years out from the launch of Windows 10, it makes sense for to jump towards an entirely new OS. And hopefully, it’ll still some optimizations to make Windows better on tablets, ARM devices and dual-screen PCs. (Seriously, where is the Surface Neo, Microsoft?!)