In the run-up to the Microsoft event on June 24th, the cat already seems to be out of the bag. Not only are the first screenshots of Windows 11 already in circulation, but even a preview build is also spreading online. Here you can find the first impressions of the new operating system.
The Redmond-based company actually wanted to unveil the next generation of Windows in the next week. Now the leakers get ahead of them. What has only spread via the Chinese blogging service Baidu can now be seen in an apparently official developer preview of Windows 11 aka Sun Valley, which was leaked in build version 21996.1 from previously unconfirmed sources. The present design changes confirm that Microsoft is primarily based on the recently discontinued Windows 10X and has adopted many of its features.
The new taskbar defines Windows 11 and is reminiscent of macOS
The “new” taskbar is the central innovation and that in the truest sense of the word. Because the icons are positioned in the middle and that is a bit reminiscent of macOS. Of course, Microsoft has positioned the app icons in its classic taskbar and not in a “floating” or seemingly detached transparent bar. However, icons and the Windows logo (and thus the start menu) can also be left-aligned, which gives you a taskbar experience that is based on Windows 10.
The app icons of Windows 11 are not static, but move in (compared to Windows 10) extended animations on the taskbar when you open or link apps. The quotation marks for “new” are anything but coincidence because this solution is not really new. This is a part of Windows 11 that was essentially exactly the same for Windows 10X.
Rounded corners, pinned start menu, boot sequences, and sounds
The previously confirmed, rounded corners, which should run through the entire operating system, are not yet fully integrated but define the settings, a new pinned menu for frequently used applications, and of course the start menu, among other things. Similarly, the first scenes of the show boot sequence of Windows 11 (Pro) and the new startup sound. Apart from that, the new icons for system apps are already used, which are also based on the former Windows 10X design.
New old news and weather widget
Windows 11 also gets a revised news widget, which is called “News and Interesting Topics” on Windows 10 in this country. The latter will also be available in Windows 11. This widget for news, sports results, weather and traffic reports is not fundamentally new, it is basically the same as in Windows 10. The individual windows are arranged a bit more airily and also have no background, but lie freely over the desktop.
Everything comes from an ISO file that is circulating on the net under the file name 21996.1.210529-1541.co_release_CLIENT_CONSUMER_x64FRE_en-us.iso. Since this is not an official release, we recommend that you use Google search if you are interested in an installation and take appropriate security precautions (e.g. installation using a virtual machine). However, the name already indicates that the preview build 21996.1 was released on May 29, 2021. Windows 10, on the other hand, is only in Dev-Build 21390.
New window animations, Explorer icons and fresh cell treatment for the installation
The design changes of Windows 11 (Pro) are also visible when using the classic snap function. Changing the window size when pinning folders and apps to different areas of the desktop is now accompanied by a smooth animation. Apart from that, the fresh wind of the next generation of Microsoft’s operating systems can also be felt in the system icons. From the desktop icon to downloads and documents to images and videos, the Redmond-based company is now using distinctive colors. So an end to the boring yellow-orange of Windows 10.
Furthermore, the installation of Windows 11 (Pro) is accompanied by a new look. Starting with the language selection, setting up the WLAN connection, and adding the Microsoft account to personalizing the PC, the so-called Out-of-Box-Experience (OOBE) is given a makeover. Only with the classic Windows setup, which provides the version selection as well as the hard drive partition during an installation via ISO file, everything remains (still) the same.
We will continuously update the article in the course of the morning and provide you with further impressions from the new Microsoft Windows 11 (Pro) operating system. It should be noted that a lot can change in the course of the year before the final release, both visually and technically. Microsoft should also keep some surprises open on June 24th that are not yet to be found in the current developer preview. A live stream of the event is scheduled for Thursday from 5 p.m. GMT next week.
The most important information about Windows 11 in brief
- Is called “Windows 11” – in the usual editions like Home, Pro
- The look is reminiscent of elements of the crushed Windows 10X, many elements such as the rounded corners and new icons have been adopted
- The taskbar has been redesigned and now has a centered display of the start menu, pinned apps, and search
- The live tiles have been removed from the start menu
- There is a new, transparent widget panel with calendar, weather, news
- New window management, e.g. in Explorer
- New standard backgrounds with new wallpapers
- Changed boot menu and a new start-up sound
- A completely new OOEB (Out-of-Box Experience) design for the initial setup
- The build comes from the “Cobalt” development branch and was compiled on May 29, 2021, the Windows Feature Experience Pack has the number 321.14700.0.3
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