There isn’t a lot of mystery left to Windows 11, thanks to a complete filtration last week. But there are also some lines that are left to overshadow, in particular any improvements to Microsoft’s home-grown applications, such as Office and Game Pass. And every time an operating system with more than a billion users gets an upgrade, even small changes can have a big impact. Here’s how to look for yourself Thursday, and what to look forward to.
How to watch
But what can you see! Well, this is still not hard to understand, since a first compilation went online at all. Which isn’t to say that all the secrets of Windows 11 have been revealed, especially since the changes so far seem largely aesthetic. But Microsoft probably has some surprises in store as well.
Windows to the Future
In the meantime, though, the visual review has some interesting twists. It seems to simplify a lot of what you’re used to from Windows 10, especially around the Start menu and taskbar. They’re moved to the bottom center of your screen, rather than to the left. (You can move them back if you prefer the current placement.) You won’t even find a dedicated Cortana icon in the taskbar anymore, which is also nice, because it was picking up some valuable real estate value without much payment.
Once you open the Start menu, you’ll find simple app icons rather than the dynamic Live Tiles of Windows 10. It’s a cleaner, more minimal layout, even if that hides most of the menu under a separate button click. On a (dare we say) Apple-y touch, the file menus and apps in Windows 11 will have more rounded corners. The maximize button in the application windows has been redesigned to allow you to instantly close windows side by side or in corners. According to Tom Warren at The Verge, Windows 11 also comes with a new flower startup sound and some beautiful predefined backgrounds.
The Microsoft Store is expected to get a realization too, although the details are more blurry. Noises from earlier this year indicate that Microsoft’s goal is to make the Store more attractive to developers. On the heels of the legal ashes between Apple and Epic Games over app store policies, Microsoft is interested position yourself as the good guy and encourage devs on their platform. However, it is clear that there is more news for Microsoft to come, both in its upcoming Windows 11 event and beyond.
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