I don’t think it’d be hyperbolic to say that every new iteration of the Windows operating system is met with at least a little pushback. Or perhaps a lot of pushback if the battle of attrition that was the Windows 10 update was any indication. But while it may have been kicking and screaming, we eventually acquiesced with Windows 10, and while it definitely ain’t perfect, it’s at least relatively consistent with previous Windows versions. That consistency is a major sticking point for those who saw the leaked version of Windows 11.
Earlier this week, a complete build of Windows 11, the next iteration of Microsoft’s operating system standby, leaked online for people to tinker with. At an initial glance, one would be forgiven for thinking they’d booted up a Mac computer by mistake; Windows 11’s obvious design changes include softer, more rounded windows, a dock-like taskbar, and a start menu that’s been dragged all the way to the center of the screen. For those who are used to the start menu’s left-oriented placement, this is going to take some getting used to. A couple of older features have returned from all the way back in the Windows Vista era, such as the start up chime and widgets.
“can i copy your homework?”
“yeah just change it a little so the teacher won’t notice”
— Stefan (@FamedChris) June 15, 2021
Aside from these cosmetic changes, nothing else about the OS seems to be obviously different, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Users commenting on the leak on Twitter have expressed disappointment with both the visual overhaul and the general lack of obvious mechanical changes or fixes (which Windows 10 certainly could’ve used a few of). As such, while this is hardly an official tease, it’s not a great first impression.
Me when I find out Cortana is still installed on Windows 11. pic.twitter.com/exgjecrDit
— Jez (@JezCorden) June 17, 2021
Still, since this build is unofficial (and despite how convincing it is, it could also be fake), the finished version could look much different. For Microsoft’s sake, I hope so, or we’re going to have another drawn-out conflict on our hands.