The big day is approaching: the Microsoft scheduled an event to introduce the next generation of Windows on June 24th. Since then, a major leak seems to have revealed a lot about what awaits us – the Windows 11 should come as a major visual change to the operating system, initially expected as part of Windows 10 (Sun Valley).
But it is possible that the company also reserves other surprises, such as news for the Microsoft Store and even for the Officeand. Below, find out what the main bets are for this Thursday’s event.
Windows 11: a “pretty face” for Windows 10?
Over the past few days we’ve been reporting on the Windows 11 leak unfolding. The build probably doesn’t portray exactly what we’ll see in the final version of the system (or even what will be featured in the beta during the event on the 24th), but it does give a lot of clues about What’s next. And, based on Microsoft’s effort to remove download links for the leaked ISO, it’s quite likely that everything will actually be confirmed.
The main new feature is the Start menu, which has been completely overhauled (with some inspiration from Windows 10X), and now appears floating, with a clean look and more touch-friendly (for touchscreen notebooks and tablets). Live Tiles are gone, and you can pin your favorite shows at the top, while the system recommends some other apps at the bottom.
The Windows 11 taskbar appears centered by default – although you can change its placement if you prefer the old way. The Windows logo looks different, without the distorted perspective from before, and the windows have subtly rounded corners. The wallpapers look stylish, and steal the show – they’ve even been confirmed in a recent Microsoft teaser. Oh, and widgets should come back – with third-party apps included.
What’s next? Find out June 24th at 11 am ET when we go live. Set your reminder 👉 https://t.co/bk0mVX2d5S pic.twitter.com/bLZmqRyIgH
— Windows (@Windows) June 22, 2021
Some system elements still inherit the dated Windows 3.1 design, but it’s possible that Microsoft has reserved more changes for the official presentation, including new icons.
A build of Windows 10 for Dev channel members (in the Insiders program) even revealed a new variant of the Segoe UI font, which promises to work well in all sizes, from smallest to largest. It remains to be seen whether it will be present in the next version of the system.
In addition to the design changes, an improvement in performance is expected. A user who experienced the leaked build stated that Windows 11 has a boot time of 13 seconds instead of 16. He also conducted some performance tests, including one on Geekbench, in which the single-core was increased from 1,138 to 1,251, and in multi-core it was from 6,284 to 7,444.
Windows should also gain improvements to the audio selection menu and support for the AAC codec, used by default on AirPods, which should please Windows users who use Apple headphones.
Upgrading to Windows 11 should be free for anyone on Windows 10, 7, and 8.1.
A more attractive Microsoft Store for devs
Microsoft is well aware of what happens when developers simply don’t find it attractive to build apps for their ecosystem. Therefore, one of the plans for the near future is to make your store interesting for this community.
Right after the Windows 11 event, the company has another meeting – this time with developers – in which it should present news to the Microsoft Store, including more flexible application submission policies, which should open the door for browsers such as Chrome and Adobe Creative Cloud programs.
The store is expected to allow you to ship Win32 apps without MSIX compression and host updates on the CDN of your choice, as well as free up the use of third-party platforms for in-app transactions.
A redesign would also be welcome, as the company sheds Windows 8’s visual features.
Windows 11 SE
In addition to conventional Windows 11, Microsoft may release a limited version of the system, aimed at business and educational use. The Windows 11 SE SKU was discovered after the Windows 11 preview leak last week and has some restrictions in the Settings app.
The supposed Windows 11 SE also doesn’t allow offline account creation – which may just be due to the development stage, and not necessarily an expected lockout for the final version.
With the new “face” of Windows 11, it is likely that Microsoft is also thinking about redesigning for Office applications.
Starting with the source – the company announced a vote for users to choose a replacement for Calibri. This process should take a little longer, with the winner expected to be announced only in 2022.
However, it is possible that the company has some predictions and promises about Office to share during the announcement of the rejuvenation of Windows.
Finally, refreshments are also expected for those who use the Xbox app on Windows, with the possibility to quickly access Xbox Game Pass games and the platform store.
Microsoft doesn’t seem to have messed with the Xbox games bar, at least in the leaked preview, but it’s possible that some news in this regard will appear at the event on the 24th.
How to watch the Microsoft event on June 24th
The first event of the day, which should feature Windows 11, is scheduled for 12:00 (GMT) and can be followed by the company’s YouTube channel or by Microsoft’s official website.
Soon after, the company holds a conference focused on developers, at 4 pm, you can follow it through the Windows Developer channel, and the full coverage is available here, on Techblog.