Windows 11 Practice Leak: How Windows 10 Meets MacOS

After dabbling with the (now infamous) Windows 11 leaked for several hours, I came to a surprising conclusion: it looks a lot like macOS. Now listen to me: Windows 11, at least in this first version we’re looking at, is essentially a decluttered version of Windows 10. It comes with some of the optimizations we expected to see in Windows 10X, but now that I experience it, I’m getting some serious Mac vibes.

The most obvious difference is the new centered taskbar. It works just like since Windows 95, with the Start menu button, active applications, and your choice of shortcuts. But these are just icons now – I can’t find any option to show window labels on the taskbar. This is something Microsoft has been trying to push for years now, but as a native Windows user I have always rejected it. I preferred to know exactly what an application or window contained before clicking on the taskbar icon.

Gallery: Windows 11 leak | 7 photos

After a few hours, I got used to the Windows 11 implementation. In reality, it’s just forcing you to use Windows 7, 8, and 10’s default way of handling the taskbar. Just like before, hovering over an app icon shows you its open windows. The centered look makes everything look a bit more like the macOS dock, which has always focused only on app icons. It’s a small change, but coupled with the complete removal of taskbar labels, it goes a long way in making the interface cleaner.

If you’re a Windows fan, don’t worry, you can also push the taskbar to the left side of the screen. Personally, however, I dig the centered approach by default. It balances the visuals if you’ve only opened a few apps, and I find it easier to press app shortcuts without dragging my mouse all the way to the bottom left of the screen.

The Windows 11 leak also shows a revamped Start menu, which is sure to be controversial. By default, it shows you a collection of pinned app shortcuts, along with some recommendations. You will need to press the “All apps” button to see the rest of the Start menu. There are options to show your recently added and most used apps, but these seem like leftovers from Windows 10, they don’t change anything in the new Start menu just yet.

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