Windows 11 leaks indicate dramatic new look is coming soon

Tell me that doesn't sound like a loofah to you.

Tell me that doesn’t sound like a loofah to you.
Picture: Microsoft

We are one week away from find what Microsoft has in store for the next version of Windows, but the developer version is leaking indicate that Windows 11 is undergoing a dramatic visual overhaul.

A set of published screenshots at Chinese social media platform Baidu reveal a smoother and more minimalist Windows. The Start menu remains, but is now centered with the rest of the taskbar instead of going left. The overall aesthetic is very similar to the one now canceled Windows 10X, which Microsoft intended for dual screen devices. I can’t help but notice some similarities with macOS and all of its iterations. There are also some elements of Chrome OS in the way apps are placed on the taskbar. This is not surprising, given that Chrome OS is for two-in-one touch devices, just like Windows 10 and 11.

Windows 11 Start menu has been significantly minimized and removed of all dynamic graphic elements, such as those currently in Windows 10. There are no more Live Tiles, but there are still pinnable apps and quick access buttons to shut down and restart the device. Additional screenshots of the developer version surfaced today, and XDA‘s watch Windows 11 display the Dark Mode Start menu filled with icons and shortcuts, which pops up nicer than what you can see Baidu flees. It also gives us a better indication that what’s coming next week is a pretty big change.

The rest of the XDA screenshots show menu structures similar to Windows 10 currently. The taskbar appears centered by default, as there is a screenshot showing that you can go to the settings panel to move it back to the left, where it has been since Windows 95. Oddly, there is also a widgets functionality. XDA screenshots show the ability to pin the sports and news update to the desktop, as well as a weather forecast. This feature could replace Live Tiles as they were intended to be Microsoft’s version of Widgets.

Finally, we must talk about Windows 11 is new default wallpapers, available in light and dark mode versions. It’s a little more forward-thinking than you’d generally expect from Microsoft. Frankly this looks like a loofah from a distance, which I take to indicate that is how Microsoft is expressing the fluidity of its new operating system.

Microsoft mentionned that instead of marketing Windows 10X, it would take advantage of the “learnings” of its journey and integrate it into other parts of Windows. If you have watched past images of the Bone killed published by Microsoft and compare them to what we see now, it is clear that Microsoft is creating an operating system that runs on different form factors. Otherwise, why would it simplify the GUI to be a little less “graphical” and a lot more “interface”?

But nothing is official until Microsoft presents it to us at its event on June 24. We’ll cover it here at Gizmodo, so stay tuned.

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